Everton missed the possibility to maneuver additional away from the underside three after a tepid goalless draw with already relegated Watford at Vicarage Street.
On the identical day Watford confirmed Rob Edwards as their new supervisor for the beginning of subsequent season within the Championship, the house facet collected their first level on residence soil since beating Manchester United in November.
Possibilities have been at a premium with Ben Foster’s tremendous save to disclaim Richarlison within the second interval the closest both facet got here to breaking the impasse – however Leeds’ 3-0 residence defeat to Chelsea edges Everton additional away from the hazard zone.
The end result means Everton transfer on to 36 factors in sixteenth place, whereas Watford are nineteenth on 23 factors after a primary residence clear sheet of the marketing campaign forward of their ultimate fixture in entrance of supporters towards Leicester on Sunday.
Watford: Foster (7), Ngakia (7), Kabasele (8), Samir (7), Masina (6), Kalu (7), Sissoko (7), Sema (6), Gosling (6), Kayembe (6), Pedro (7).
Subs: Cathcart (n/a), Etebo (n/a).
Everton: Pickford (6), Mykolenko (7), Holgate (6), Keane (6), Coleman (7), Gordon (5), Delph (6), Doucoure (7), Iwobi (7), Grey (5), Richarlison (6).
Subs: Allan (n/a), Calvert-Lewin (n/a).
Man of the match: Christian Kabasele.
Everton’s survival hopes nonetheless in steadiness
Frank Lampard reiterated how his Everton workforce have all the time tried to stay optimistic throughout their robust spell within the relegation battle previous to kick-off, however there have been only a few openings within the first half an hour. Demarai Grey had a shot blocked whereas Anthony Gordon skied a cross from Alex Iwobi.
Forest Inexperienced chairman Dale Vince accused Watford of “doubling down on deceit” after Edwards left the membership earlier on Wednesday and entered superior talks for the place at Vicarage Street, the place the membership are making ready but once more for a yr within the second tier.
Everton made simply the one change to the facet that received 2-1 at Leicester on Sunday with Michael Keane coming into the defence as Yerry Mina missed out with a calf pressure. That meant Allan, Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been on the bench as soon as extra whereas Vitalii Mykolenko overcame cramp on the finish of the King Energy Stadium contest to retain his beginning berth.
Joao Pedro shook off a setback to start out however there have been seven modifications to the facet that misplaced 1-0 at Crystal Palace. Jeremy Ngakia, Pedro, Adam Masina, Ken Sema, Dan Gosling, Christian Kabasele and Samuel Kalu all began. Out got here Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, Tom Cleverley, Ismaila Sarr, Josh King, Emmanuel Dennis and the suspended Hassane Kamara.
Roy Hodgson used his programme notes to apologise for not acknowledging supporters who had witnessed the affirmation of Watford’s relegation at Crystal Palace on Saturday, however there was loads of pleasure proven from the house facet right here with Samuel Kalu a brilliant spark, combining properly with Ken Sema down the left and firing over after 18 minutes.
In fact, there was little or no high quality all through the primary half as misplaced passes and pointless fouls have been the fixed function. Kalu’s free-kick in a harmful place cleared Jordan Pickford’s crossbar however the hosts have been applauded off for his or her enchancment on the Palace show.
There was additional encouragement not lengthy after the restart when one other foul from Michael Keane allowed Sema to ship from the left however Mousa Sissoko rose unopposed to look his header extensive.
It sparked Everton into life as Richarlison wriggled free contained in the field solely to see his deflected shot clawed away by Ben Foster’s outstretched hand. A greater likelihood would fall Grey’s manner simply after the hour-mark when Salu’s slack lay-off allowed the ahead to trade passes with Iwobi earlier than poking extensive.
There have been different half probabilities as Michael Keane headed straight at Foster from a nook whereas Grey sliced horribly extensive from vary on the halfway level of the second interval because the second of star high quality continued to abandon the guests.
Lampard turned to Dominic Calvert-Lewin within the ultimate 13 minutes as he sought to show one level into three, as Gordon’s tame effort was simply gathered by Foster.
One other tentative strategy fell Vitalii Mykolenko’s manner within the closing levels following Richarlison’s contact however his tame shot into the gloves of Foster summed up this stale affair that leaves Everton’s hopes of survival nonetheless within the steadiness.
Fan energy driving Everton on
Sky Sports activities’ Ben Grounds at Vicarage Street:
There was an actual lack of high quality however no lack of battle on present at Vicarage Street as Everton earned one other level in direction of their security mission.
It might appear small towards a Watford facet who had misplaced their earlier 11 residence league fixtures – a brand new membership, Premier League and English top-division file – however given the occasions at Elland Street, and the subsequent two residence fixtures, avoiding defeat might show priceless come the ultimate reckoning.
Everton took their full allocation of two,500 followers however there have been much more right here flanking the segregated space to maintain the soundtrack of the Spring – the Spirit of the Blues – going from Finch Farm the day earlier than all the best way to Hertfordshire.
A 328-mile spherical journey on a Wednesday exhibits there’s a unity Frank Lampard has fostered in these previous few weeks that their relegation rivals have struggled to copy.
This was a efficiency not on the identical degree as witnessed at Leicester, who have been far superior opponents than this heavily-depleted Watford outfit, however the stakes are so excessive now.
Lampard felt he could not change a profitable method as he caught to the again 5 system that served him so properly throughout these wins over Chelsea and the Foxes, however with Brentford and Crystal Palace developing now at Goodison Park, this stalemate could have made him contemplate whether or not a extra offensive formation is required to clinch the 2 wins that would assure Everton’s top-flight standing.
Watford host Leicester on Sunday of their ultimate residence Premier League recreation; kick-off 2pm. Everton are again at Goodison Park on the identical day internet hosting Brentford, reside on Sky Sports activities; kick-off 4.30pm.