Sam Allardyce praised Everton’s “resilience and character” to claim a “big battling point” in a 1-1 draw at in-form Swansea.
In a lively encounter at the Liberty Stadium, the Blues took a 43rd-minute lead when Lukasz Fabianski’s save from Idrissa Gana Gueye’s shot saw the ball hit Swans defender Kyle Naughton and cross the line.
The hosts piled on the pressure after the break, which the Toffees withstood for large periods, only to be denied a second straight away win when Jordan Ayew finished past Jordan Pickford at the far post.
Everton had chances to leave south Wales with all three points, though, Seamus Coleman volleying a close-range effort against the crossbar from Theo Walcott’s cross.
And despite being denied as they pushed for a winner, Allardyce was happy with the Toffees’ display against a Swansea side which went into the game boasting a four-match winning run at the Liberty Stadium.
“It’s a big battling point for us,” said the Everton manager, whose side are now just one point off eighth-placed Leicester City. “We faced opponents who are the in-form team at home. They’ve beaten Arsenal, Liverpool, Burnley and West Ham in their past four home league games. We always knew this was going to be a difficult game and it was.
“One of the important things was the resilience of our team which was very good. Getting the first goal was very important as well just before half-time. Then there’s the backs-against-the-wall period for us in the second half and they managed to score in the end. But then we recovered from that where some of our chances came, particularly Seamus Coleman, who could have won it for us. But I’m pleased with the point.
“I said to the players that we know we could have played better, particularly in possession, but it’s a big point against a Swansea team who are very good at home at this moment in time.”
Coleman so nearly won it for the Blues with 15 minutes to go when he burst into the box and saw his volley from Walcott’s cross hit the bar.
But Allardyce praised the way Everton responded so soon after Swansea had levelled.
“Everybody did their job in terms of keeping Swansea out,” he added. “The turnaround for us came when we overcame their pressure and then started to break out and Seamus Coleman nearly won it.
“Theo’s put a cross in and Seamus gets all the way up from right-back and hits the bar. But everybody’s worked really hard today.
“Perhaps in possession we weren’t as good as we want to be but this is an away fixure in the Premier League – they are all very tough – and Swansea have proven to be tough in recent matches. We’ve got a point off them so I’m pleased with that.”