Everton’s Champions League hopes were dented as they stumbled to a lacklustre 0-0 draw with Brighton.
The Seagulls had the better of the chances in a drab game on the South Coast, as the point moved them seven points clear of Fulham in the final relegation zone.
But the stalemate leaves Everton seven points adrift of West Ham in fourth and despite having a game in hand, a seat at Europe’s top table looks out of reach for Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees.
Neal Maupay twice went close for the hosts and Lewis Dunk saw Robin Olsen tip a header over the bar, with Brighton stopper Robert Sanchez barely troubled by the visitors.
Did you know?
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.
The Seagulls have kept a clean sheet in five of their eight home league matches in 2021 – no side has kept more home shutouts in the competition since the turn of the year.
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).
The Italian has picked up 78 points, 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 league games without Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season, compared to a 50% win rate when he has been involved.
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