Liverpool was held to a 2-2 draw by Everton in the Merseyside derby, leaving manager Kenny Dalglish still without a win since taking charge. Manchester United returned atop the Premier League with a 0-0 tie at Tottenham.
Dirk Kuyt’s 68th-minute penalty today gave Liverpool a first Premier League point in three matches. Dalglish, who previously coached the Reds from 1985 to 1991, was overseeing his first Anfield game since succeeding Roy Hodgson, who left the soccer club by “mutual consent” this month.
“I think you can see there’s a bit of belief now coming back into the players, and that’s great for us,” Dalglish told reporters. “The players are much better than where we are at the moment.”
Everton and Liverpool remain 12th and 13th respectively, tied on 26 points. Manchester United, unbeaten in the league this season, moves ahead of Manchester City on goal difference at the top -- both on 45 points. Arsenal has 43 points, with Chelsea on 38 and Tottenham one point further back.
Elsewhere today, in two other derby matches, Aston Villa tied 1-1 at Birmingham, while Sunderland and Newcastle drew 1-1.
Liverpool almost took a 17th-minute lead through Fernando Torres. The striker cut inside the penalty area before striking a left-foot shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard, but it hit a post and bounced clear.
Howard made two saves from Kuyt after 29 minutes, although Liverpool made the breakthrough when Raul Meireles collected the loose ball to fire in his first goal for the Reds.
The lead remained until halftime, then within a minute of the restart Everton was level as Sylvain Distin beat Martin Skrtel to head the ball past Jose Reina.
Everton was ahead six minutes later, Jermaine Beckford set up by Leon Osman to finish from 10 yards.
Liverpool replied from the penalty spot after Howard was adjudged to have brought down Maxi Rodriguez. Kuyt scored as the goalkeeper dived the wrong way.
The hosts were unable to secure a winner but ended a run of three straight defeats, including Hodgson’s last game in charge. Dalglish had suffered losses in the F.A. Cup at Manchester United and Blackpool in the league.
“Overall I think we had more shots, more efforts and more clear-cut chances, so possibly we could say we deserved more from the game,” Dalglish said.
At White Hart Lane, United had its ninth league draw of the campaign. The visitors played about 20 minutes with 10 men after Rafael Da Silva received a second yellow card.
“It’s a decent point, I can’t really complain,” United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. “I think the draw was a fair result.”
Ferguson described 37-year-old Ryan Giggs as “an incredible human being” after the midfielder played in his 600th league match.
Sunderland earned a home draw against Northeast rival Newcastle with an injury-time goal from Asamoah Gyan at the Stadium of Light. Newcastle, a 5-1 winner against the Black Cats in October, had appeared set for a victory when Kevin Nolan scored after 52 minutes.
Birmingham and Villa drew in the Midlands. Roger Johnson put the Blues ahead after 49 minutes at St. Andrew’s, with James Collins tying the game in the 74th minute.
Yesterday, Manchester City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3, Arsenal won 3-0 at last-place West Ham, Chelsea defeated Blackburn 2-0, while Wigan and Fulham tied 1-1. West Bromwich Albion beat Blackpool 3-2, and Stoke defeated Bolton 2-0.