Premier League • England

Toothless Everton give hope to relegation rivals after drawing blank in Watford stalemate

Seamus Coleman, Ken Sema Watford-v Everton

Everton squandered the chance to give themselves some breathing space in the relegation battle after being held to a frustrating goalless draw at Watford in the Premier League.

The visitors were slightly the better side at Vicarage Road but failed to take the limited number of chances they created in what was a disappointing game.

Outgoing Watford manager Roy Hodgson made seven changes from his side’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Samuel Kalu, Christian Kabasele, Dan Gosling, Ken Sema, Adam Masina, Joao Pedro and Jeremy Ngakia all came into the starting XI.

Everton manager Frank Lampard made one change, with Michael Keane taking the place of the injured Yerry Mina.

A dull opening period failed to produce a single effort on target. The biggest surprise was a lack of urgency in a visiting side that are still battling relegation.

Everton did up the tempo at the start of second-half. However, it was the home side who went close when Moussa Sissoko flicked a free-kick wide.

Foster to the rescue for Watford

It took until the 53rd minute before the first effort on target when Richarlison turned Sissoko on the edge of the box. He then poked an effort towards goal and a heavy deflection off Christian Kabasele forced Ben Foster into a brilliant stop from close range.

Lampard’s men went close again when Alex Iwobi slid the ball through to Demarai Gray in the box. However, the winger could only poke his effort wide of the far post.

Everton introduced Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the final 15 minutes to try and snatch a late winner.

Anthony Gordon was the next to try his luck but his long-range strike was comfortably held by Foster.

Vitalii Mykolenko also tested Foster in a grandstand finish from the visitors but they failed to find the breakthrough.

The result leaves Lampard’s men two points clear off the dropzone with three games to go.