Everton’s resurgence under Sam Allardyce has continued after the Toffees repelled a strong Chelsea outfit to hold out for a 0-0 draw.
The hosts were under the cosh for much of the Premier League encounter but, despite Eden Hazard’s mercurial talents, Antonio Conte’s men couldn’t find a way past Jordan Pickford.
Both sides extended their unbeaten domestic runs as a result, and remain ninth and third in the table ahead of Christmas Day.
?Hazard and Pedro fired efforts wide for the visitors, while Gylfi Sigurdsson saw a shot charged down by Cesar Azpilicueta as the sides traded blows in the early exchanges.
Phil Jageilka twice came to Everton’s rescue to clear efforts from Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian off the line in quick succession before the Brazilian curled a free kick over the bar as Chelsea upped the ante.
A rare foray forward from Everton then saw Tom Davies drag a right-foot shot wide of the upright, while Pickford’s flying save denied Pedro from lashing home on the counter.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a glorious chance to pick a teammate out on the stroke of half-time after he robbed Andreas Christensen deep in Chelsea territory, but the striker opted to shoot and saw his effort blocked to the chagrin of Sigurdsson and Idrissa Gueye.
The home faithful had heart palpitations a mere 50 seconds after the restart but Pickford’s sprawling save from Pedro and sub Ashley William’s block on the line from Marcos Alonso kept the scoreline level.
Pickford’s low stop down to his left prevented the impressive Hazard drawing first blood, but that chance aside the game had become a slightly bitty affair with a couple of niggling fouls disrupting the flow.
The crossbar spared William’s blushes 15 minutes from time after the centre-back thundered Victor Moses’ cross towards his own goal before Pickford scooped up Antonio Rudiger’s tame effort from a corner.
Jagielka’s deft touch diverted Cesc Fabregas’ fierce drive wide of the goal as the away team went for the jugular before Pickford held on to Hazard’s deflected dive.
Michael Keane agonisingly nodded over from a Sigurdsson corner as Everton made a late push for the win but neither side can find the vital winner in time added on.