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Swans hold firm at Goodison
Published : 12 Jan 2013 17:47:23Rss feed
Vincente del Bosque got no goals from Michu but saw an accomplished defensive showing from Chico Flores as Swansea claimed a creditable goalless draw at Everton.
The Spain manager, at Goodison Park to run the rule over Swansea's quartet of Spaniards, saw two sides cancel each other out in a tight Barclays Premier League battle. The in-form Michu went the closest of two hard-working sides to scoring when he forced Tim Howard to tip a shot onto the bar in the first half.
Everton had the better of the second period but Flores and partner Ashley Williams were solid and while Marouane Fellaini forced a late save from Michel Vorm, referee Phil Dowd had spotted an infringement.
Fellaini had the first chance for Everton inside the opening minute but his 20-yard shot was easily claimed by Vorm, who needed to be alert after a poor backpass from Ben Davies allowed Nikica Jelavic in but the goalkeeper blocked and then cleared as Victor Anichebe threatened.
Jelavic got behind the Swansea defence as Steven Pienaar clipped in an inviting cross but he failed to make firm contact and volleyed narrowly wide. Swansea had their first serious opportunity when Pablo Hernandez launched a counter-attack but his ball inside for Nathan Dyer was too strong and Tim Howard gathered.
Anichebe went close when he reacted quickly after Fellaini headed on a Phil Jagielka ball but Vorm palmed away his header. Michu was inches away from giving Swansea the lead as he delicately attempted to chip Howard from close range. Howard backtracked and managed to palm the Spaniard's fine effort onto the bar.
Leighton Baines flighted a free-kick into the Swansea area but Leon Osman headed a glorious chance wide. Everton made a positive start to the second period as Phil Neville took up an attack from Seamus Coleman and forced Vorm to save a low shot.
That yielded the first of three corners in quick succession for the Toffees. The first two came to little but Sylvain Distin met Baines' cross from the third with a firm header but could not keep it on target.
The hosts appealed for a penalty when Jelavic went down in a challenge from Williams as the ball was lobbed in but referee Dowd was not interested. Jelavic set up Fellaini when he nodded the ball on inside the box but the Belgian was unable to get the ball from under his feet and Williams cleared.
Baines presented Jagielka with a fine chance from a corner 16 minutes from time but the centre-back headed over. Everton sent on Steven Naismith in a late attacking change but were unable to break through with Fellaini heading at Vorm but being penalised for a push and Jelavic shooting over.
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