Brighton edged a point closer to Premier League safety with a goalless draw against Everton at Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls climbed a place to 15th after the low-key encounter – seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham who have played a game more.
Brighton pushed for a winner late on but Neal Maupay lashed an effort over from 10 yards and Lewis Dunk had a header tipped over the bar.
The point did little for Everton’s hopes of Champions League qualification with Carlo Ancelotti’s side seven points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham with a game in hand.
They were without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin because of injury and did not force Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez into a save until the 71st minute.
Brighton closing in on survival
A win would have all-but secured another Premier League season for Brighton but a point was a decent enough result.
They offered almost all of the game’s attacking intent but, once again, were left rueing their lack of a clinical presence up front.
Of their 23 shots, Maupay had their two best chances. Had he shown more composure with a first-half effort that was deflected wide or later in the second half the three points would have gone to Graham Potter’s side.
“In terms of the performance I’m really happy,” Potter said. “We were the team closest to winning.
“We missed the last pass of that bit of quality in the final third but we are happy with what we have done. It’s a hard-earned point and a decent performance.”
Seven points from their past four games have moved Brighton clear of trouble. One more win and they will surely be safe. That said, Potter was keen not to take anything for granted.
“Everyone is fighting, there’s lots of good teams down there,” he added.
“None of them are going to give up, we just have to keep fighting.
“You have to be wary of everybody [at the bottom] until it is mathematically possible.”
Injury-hit Everton’s season is stalling
Everton started bright enough but regressed, severely lacking the focal point of their top scorer Calvert-Lewin, who was ruled out with an abductor issue.
They lacked creativity and were sloppy, with manager Ancelotti looking increasingly frustrated as the ball was repeatedly given away.
Alex Iwobi flashed a shot over in stoppage time but it would have been an unjust victory had the ball crept below the crossbar.
A lengthening injury list, worsened when Yerry Mina limped off in the second half, saw defender Mason Holgate start in central midfield and seven members of an eight-man substitutes bench having just two Premier League appearances between them.
The loss of important players is a clear factor in a season that is stalling badly.
A Champions League place looked a real possibility a five weeks ago – the Toffees were fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand – but Everton have now gone five games without a win in all competitions for the first time since December 2018 under Marco Silva.
“I think the attitude of the team was good, the quality of the play was not so good,” Ancelotti told BBC Sport.
“We were affected by the absences. In midfield we only had one attacking player available so we had difficulty building up and reaching our strikers with efficiency.
“The attitude and the spirit was good. We defended well, we tried to build-up from the back, but we had difficulty creating chances.”
50 up for Ancelotti at Goodison – the best stats
- Against no side have Brighton played more home Premier League games without ever losing than against Everton (P4 W2 D2).
- Only Manchester United (6) have drawn more Premier League matches 0-0 than Brighton (5) this season, while this was Everton’s first goalless draw of the campaign, leaving Sheffield United as the only side still yet to play out a 0-0 draw.
- Brighton have kept a clean sheet in five of their eight home Premier League matches in 2021 – no side has kept more home shutouts in the competition since the turn of the year.
- Carlo Ancelotti became the seventh manager to take charge of 50 Premier League games for Everton, with none of those seven bosses losing their 50th league match in charge of the Toffees (W4 D3). Indeed, only Roberto Martinez (89 pts) has won more points from his first 50 Premier League games in charge of Everton than Carlo Ancelotti (78 pts).
- Ancelotti has picked up 78 points from his 50 Premier League games in charge of Everton, his lowest return after 50 league matches in charge of a side during his managerial career (previously 89 with AC Milan).
- Everton have won just 25% of their games without Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the Premier League this season (P4 W1 D1 L2), compared to a 50% win rate when he has been involved (P26 W13 D5 L8).
Brighton’s next game is on Tuesday, 20 April against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (20:00 BST), while Everton host Tottenham on Friday (20:00 BST).
Brighton & Hove Albion
- 5DunkBooked at 52mins
- 15ModerSubstituted forBurnat 87′minutes
- 9MaupaySubstituted forJahanbakhshat 87′minutes
- 10Mac Allister
- 13MinaSubstituted forIwobiat 58′minutes
- 5KeaneBooked at 82mins
- 26DaviesSubstituted forBroadheadat 88′minutes
- 4HolgateBooked at 90mins
- 10G Sigurdsson
- 31Neves VirgÃnia
Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Everton 0.
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Everton 0.
Attempt blocked. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Pascal GroÃ (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Mason Holgate (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Pascal GroÃ (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mason Holgate (Everton).
Attempt missed. Alex Iwobi (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by SÃ©amus Coleman.
Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Pascal GroÃ.
Substitution, Everton. Nathan Broadhead replaces Tom Davies.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Dan Burn replaces Jakub Moder.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaces Neal Maupay.
Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Mason Holgate.
Attempt blocked. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Michael Keane (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Danny Welbeck (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Michael Keane (Everton).
Attempt missed. Tom Davies (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James RodrÃguez.
Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).