Crystal Palace edged closer to Premier League survival with a drab goalless draw against Everton, who finished the game with 10 men and drop into the bottom three.
Palace were the more cohesive side in the first half without managing to carve out any clear openings, Michael Olise’s tame shot their only effort on target before the interval.
Everton grew into the game after a disjointed start, their best chance of the first half coming when Alex Iwobi’s first-time effort from Tyrick Mitchell’s clearance was pushed away by Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Eberechi Eze thought he had broken the deadlock early in the second half after lifting the ball over Jordan Pickford, but the 24-year-old was denied a fourth goal in three games by an offside flag.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, making his first start since early February, fired narrowly wide not long afterwards, before Mason Holgate was dismissed for a second bookable offence late on.
Toffees into bottom three despite point
Everton have now gone five games without victory and with a tricky run of fixtures on the horizon, the Toffees’ place in top flight is under serious threat.
They were boosted by the return of Calvert-Lewin, who made his first appearance in more than two months after recovering from a hamstring injury, but the striker was left isolated for the majority of the first half.
Sean Dyche’s team were poor in possession to begin with and improved as the first half wore on, Iwobi forcing a fine save out of Johnstone with a sweetly struck volley from around 25 yards.
Calvert-Lewin did go close to firing Everton ahead in the second half, but his left-footed shot from Iwobi’s pass rolled agonisingly wide of Johnstone’s left-hand post.
Holgate endured a particularly torrid afternoon against the lively Jordan Ayew and was sent off with 10 minutes remaining after clipping the Ghanaian’s heels.
After welcoming high-flying Newcastle to Goodison Park on Thursday, Dyche’s team travel to fellow strugglers Leicester City on 1 May in a crucial encounter near the foot of the table.
Leicester swapped places with Everton on Saturday by coming from behind to beat Wolves 2-1.