Everton inch further clear of trouble but cannot break through at Watford
The game at Vicarage Road ended goalless.
Everton put further distance between themselves and the bottom three but could only play out a lacklustre goalless draw at already-relegated Watford.
Frank Lampard’s side went into the match having taken 10 points from five matches which had lifted them out of the relegation zone and up to 16th, one point ahead of Burnley and Leeds.
Sunday’s victory at Leicester was Everton’s first on the road in the Premier League since August but they were unable to follow it up with a second as the Hornets recorded their first post-pandemic clean sheet at Vicarage Road.
The Toffees struggled despite coming up against a depleted Watford side, with seven changes to the starting line-up from the 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace which confirmed their relegation.
Roy Hodgson’s men had energy at the outset, forcing Everton to take risks in giving the ball back to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The Hornets, who had named Rob Edwards as their new boss for next season earlier in the day, had an opportunity in the eighth minute with a clever passing move, but Samuel Kalu was unable to control the shot and Pickford was able to make the save.
Everton looked to attack down the right-hand side especially, but chances were hard to come by. Alex Iwobi found Anthony Gordon on the half-hour, but he was unable to direct his shot goalwards.
Watford had an opportunity just before half-time with a free-kick from outside the box but Kalu’s curled effort was just over the crossbar.
Ben Foster was called upon to make his first save of the match early in the second half as he kept out a deflected Richarlison shot that was heading into the back of the net, but the Hornets keeper managed to palm the ball behind.
Everton looked to be getting closer and almost took the lead in the 62nd minute when they won the ball back in midfield and Iwobi found Demarai Gray but his shot across goal was inches wide of the far post.
Michael Keane sent a header straight at Foster as Everton edged closer to a breakthrough, but they were unable to find the back of the net and a game lacking in quality finished goalless.
LATEST | Spanish cops also arrest Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh’s son Jack in huge blow to Kinahan network
LATEST | Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou agrees deal to join Tottenham – reports
EXCLUSIVE | Prison staff fear for mental health of killer who ‘constantly’ covers himself in faeces
'madness' | Viral video shows crowds gathering as drunken teen girls brawl at popular pier
Signed off | Welfare payment: Families to get €100 child benefit bonus this month
LATEST | Soil from Portugal reservoir compared to samples from prime Madeleine McCann suspect’s van
flight risk | Travel ban for Tallaght man (27) charged over €180,000 drugs seizure
Threat to kill | Dublin man pleads guilty after threatening to petrol bomb garda’s house
Abuse Claims | MI5 agent obstructed paedo probe into notorious Kincora boys’ home, court told
devastating | Jury sworn in for trial of man accused of murdering Fermanagh family of four in house fire