London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Everton and Tottenham Hotspur both missed the opportunity to grab solo second spot in the Premier League standings after they settled for a scoreless draw Sunday at Goodison Park.
The Spurs, who have not won at Goodison Park since 2007, controlled the first half but could not make their chances count, while Everton had a much brighter prospect after the interval.
However, they had to settle for a share of the spoils, with the Spurs moving up to fourth with 20 points while Everton remaining in seventh place with 19 points.
With a victory, both had a chance to overtake Chelsea and Liverpool for solo second behind league-leading Arsenal.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez left Ross Barkley out of their starting line-up for the first time in the Premier League this season, with Leon Osman replacing him in central midfield.
Andre Villas-Boas fielded an unchanged team from the 1-0 league victory over Hull City, giving Lewis Holtby was afforded the opportunity to play against the club he supported as a boy.
Spurs had the best scoring chance in the game with Sandro’s swerving long-range strike but Tim Howard was there to tip it past the post.
Everton created its most dangerous opening in the first few minutes after the break but Kevin Mirallas was tackled by Vlad Chiriches as he tried to score.
“It was two different halves from our point of view. In the first half we lost the ball too quickly. It becomes a difficult game. I was pleased when we managed to defend throughout that period, with good intensity and good focus,” said Martinez.
“For all the emotion in the game – the chance for both teams to go second – we did extremely well,” Villas-Boas said.
Meanwhile, Steven Caulker scored against his former team to lift Cardiff City past Swansea City, 1-0, Sunday at Cardiff City Stadium.
The England defender, who spent a season on loan at Swansea, netted just his second goal in the 62nd minute to end Cardiff’s three-game winless run.