Kevin Mirallas' penalty miss proved crucial at Goodison Park as Everton were held to a 0-0 draw by West Brom on Monday.
Everton were left to rue a missed Kevin Mirallas penalty in their 0-0 Premier League draw with West Brom on Monday, after the Belgian controversially claimed spot-kick duties ahead of Leighton Baines, only to shoot wide.
Despite Baines' impressive record from 12 yards, Mirallas took charge of proceedings after Joleon Lescott had handled - but put the ball wide before being substituted by Roberto Martinez at half-time.
The early withdrawal of Mirallas, in the wake of the Belgian seemingly over-ruling team orders by taking the penalty, is likely to prompt more questions over the future of a player apparently interesting the likes of Tottenham.
And the hosts' frustrations continued into the second half as West Brom - adopting a defensive approach that saw them fail to muster a shot on target - held firm in the face of persistent pressure to pick up another point in their bid for survival.
Everton are now winless in six Premier League outings and only four points above the relegation zone, while West Brom are a point worse off and remain unbeaten under head coach Tony Pulis, who has wasted little time in stamping his mark on his new club.
Martinez brought in Mirallas for the suspended Aiden McGeady and the forward had the game's first effort on target when his shot was gathered comfortably by Ben Foster.
While Everton dominated the early possession, they were unable to break down a deep West Brom backline.
The visitors made a rare foray forward 20 minutes in, but Andre Wisdom failed to muster an effort on goal after getting into the Everton area.
Mirallas again tested Ben Foster - this time with a free-kick - before Muhamed Besic saw a long-range strike deflect wide.
While Mirallas had been among the bright sparks for Everton in a relatively dour first half, he spurned the best chance to send his side in ahead at the break.
After Lescott had clumsily handled in the area, Mirallas could only stroke the ball past Foster's right-hand post to add to Everton's misery.
It proved to be his final contribution of the game as he was replaced by Bryan Oviedo at the break - a decision that will only fuel rumours of a January exit.
In his absence, the Everton dominance continued but still Pulis' men stood firm, the Welshman replacing Saido Berahino with midfielder Graham Dorrans to further tighten up at the back.
Martinez threw Arouna Kone on for the impressive Besic, but the Ivorian failed to provide an elusive winner as Foster remained relatively untroubled.
While Baines forced a free-kick late on, the full-back’s delivery was poor and immediately cleared, and the Goodison Park faithful filed out to ponder when their ongoing malaise will end.comments