Everton remains on course to finish above Liverpool in the Premier League for the second season in a row after holding its city rival to a 0-0 draw in a scrappy Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool’s best chance saw a goal-bound effort from man-of-the-match Steven Gerrard cleared by Everton defender Sylvain Distin, who had a goal contentiously disallowed at the other end.

It meant Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher failed to finish on the winning side in his 30th and final Merseyside derby, while Everton is still without an away win in this fixture since 1999.

The draw left Everton somewhat marooned in sixth place in the table, five points above its neighbour and five points below the European qualifying positions with two games to play.

Unchanged side

Liverpool was unchanged from the side that routed Newcastle United 6-0 last weekend, but Everton was first to threaten, with Marouane Fellaini prodding the ball narrowly wide from a Leighton Baines free-kick in the 17th minute.

At the other end, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge failed to hit the target with a couple of pot-shots, while Phil Jagielka produced a pair of impeccably timed blocks to thwart Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool had the better of the second half, Tim Howard saving from Sturridge and Distin clearing off the line from Gerrard, although Distin also had a header ruled out by referee Michael Oliver for a foul that was far from evident.

Fastest goal

On Saturday, Theo Walcott scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season as Arsenal beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0.

Walcott netted after just 20 seconds against relegated QPR at Loftus Road, eclipsing former Arsenal teammate Robin van Persie, who had scored for Manchester United against West Ham United after 33 seconds in November.

The results: Liverpool 0 drew with Everton 0.

On Saturday: QPR 0 lost to Arsenal 1 (Walcott 1).

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