Marco Silva insisted Everton were also pushing hard to win Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool despite a stalemate denting their rivals’ Premier League title hopes.
The visitors could not break down the Toffees at Goodison Park although Jurgen Klopp’s side created the clearest chances, Virgil van Dijk missing a free header and Mohamed Salah seeing a one-on-one opportunity saved by Jordan Pickford.
Everton had openings of their own but Alisson had little to do in Liverpool’s goal, with Silva hailing the home atmosphere while claiming his team were trying to secure all three points as well as halting their opponents’ title charge.
“A tough match for both teams. The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic,” Silva said to Sky Sports. “If you can repeat this then I am 100 per cent sure that 20 to 30 per cent of our job is done.
“I know it is a special match. Both teams wanted to win, they had a chance in the first half when we lost a ball through a mistake. Both teams had dangerous crosses but we were the better team in the second half.
“The fans can push our team to win, not just this game but any game. They were the 12th player on the pitch and I expect 80 per cent of that in the next game here.
“We pressed more high in the second half and our team improved with the fresh players. We played more in the middle but we had to be aware of their counter-attack.
“What I wanted to give the fans was the three points but we gave them a good performance and desire. We showed a good attitude and they want to see that always.”
34 – This was the 34th goalless draw between Everton and Liverpool in English league football – 15 more nil-nils than any other fixture in the history of the Football League. Anticlimax. pic.twitter.com/sE4D74thYe
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 3, 2019
As well as Pickford’s crucial save from Salah, Everton were indebted to centre-back Michael Keane, who made a superb challenge to deny the Egypt star a shot on goal.
And the England international accepts it was a boost for Everton to be able to land a blow on Liverpool as the red half of Merseyside chases the Premier League title.
“I tried to keep a line to play offside so I ran back in and took a chance by lunging in and luckily got the ball,” Keane told Sky Sports.
“It is a big build-up to the game, everyone asks about it and it is a massive occasion. You have to focus on your job when the whistle goes.
“I don’t think anyone wants their rivals to win the title. We respect them and the team so it is up to them what they do. We played our part by trying to stop that happening.”
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