A frustrating afternoon for those of an Everton persuasion, who watched their side fail to score in the Premier League for the first time in 2014/15.
However, Swansea boss Garry Monk also came away feeling a tad aggrieved that referee Kevin Friend did not award a “clear, clear penalty” as, for the third time in four matches, he was left feeling a little miffed about decisions.
In the battle of the two ball-hoggers it was Roberto Martinez’s home side who dominated possession, attempting almost 600 passes to the Welsh outfit’s 300. Swansea’s possession figure of 33.16% was their lowest ever figure in a Premier League game.
But despite firing in 17 attempts on goal, the Toffees only managed to get 3 of them on target and were unable to make the numerical advantage count after Jonjo Shelvey saw red with 18 minutes left.
"It became a little bit of a frustrating game for us," said Martinez. "If you look at the stats before the sending off, Swansea had no corners or shots on target. It is a game that probably was less open than I expected, but we're happy with the defensive side of our performance. I don't think the way we were moving the ball was quick enough and that allowed us to get frustrated."
Crossing was the order of the day for Martinez’s men; the Merseysiders wanging the ball into the
box 33times over the course of the afternoon, but only finding a blue shirt twice.
While Ross Barkley, fit and firing again after a knee injury, was a constant threat, completing 33 of his 38 passes in the attacking third and attempting a game-high 9 dribbles.
Swansea’s 3-0 League Cup win against Everton earlier this season was their first-ever success over the Toffees after 15 defeats and five draws. And their chances of an unlikely double might have increased had Antolin Alcaraz been penalised for handball inside the penalty area from Shelvey’s strike.
"I didn't know you were allowed to play with two goalkeepers," Monk quipped. "I thought it was a great save from Alcaraz. [It was a] very strong wrist and something I'll be showing my keepers in training!”
A man down for the finale, the visitors had to batten down the hatches and hold out for the point; something they did in no small part thanks to Angel Rangel.
He and skipper Ashley Williams led the way for clearances (8 and 9 respectively) but the Spaniard also made the most ball recoveries (13), tackles (5/10) and interceptions (4).
"I told the boys they'd probably never earn a harder point than what they did today in terms of the way the game panned out and the circumstances," said Monk.
"I'm very proud of the players and they should be proud of themselves."
- This was Everton’s first goalless draw in their last 37 Premier League games.
- It was also the first time the Toffees have failed to find the back of the net in their last 12 top-flight games.
- Garry Monk’s side have now won just 1 of their last 7 Premier League games, drawing 3 and losing 3.
- Swansea’s possession figure of 33.16% in this game is their lowest ever figure in a Premier League game.
- Swansea have been on the wrong end of a league-high 3 red cards this season.
- The Swans mustered a total of 12 shots in the game (including blocked) but 0 of them were on target.
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