PICTURES

Football: Arsenal benefit as Spurs and Everton keep each other in check

LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur and Everton prevented each other from climbing to second place in the Premier League table after an open-ended 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Tottenham had the better of the first half, with Everton creating more clear-cut chances in the second, while each team had a penalty claim rejected either side of half-time.

A head injury to Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who managed to complete the game, yielded nine minutes of stoppage time, but neither side was able to land a knockout punch.

The point was enough to take Tottenham into the top four, level on points with Chelsea and Liverpool and five points below leaders Arsenal, while Everton remain in seventh place, albeit only a point behind Spurs.

Bidding for a third consecutive league victory, Tottenham attacked the game vigorously on a bright autumnal afternoon in Liverpool and held their hosts on the back foot for much of the first half.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard had to save from Sandro, Kyle Walker and Lewis Holtby, while marauding left-back Jan Vertonghen had a strong penalty appeal turned down after being clipped by Seamus Coleman.

The home side began to enjoy more success in the second period, however, with Vlad Chiriches producing a superb last-ditch tackle to thwart Kevin Mirallas and substitute Ross Barkley shooting narrowly over.

In a reversal of the first-half penalty incident, Coleman was then brought to his knees by Vertonghen as he shaped to shoot inside the Spurs box, but again referee Kevin Friend remained unmoved.

Howard parried a Gylfi Sigurdsson drive at the other end, before Spurs goalkeeper Lloris took a heavy blow to the head after sliding out to deny Romelu Lukaku.

Despite appearing dazed, the France international refused to be substituted and he proved his reflexes had not been dulled by racing from his line to thwart Gerard Deulofeu in the 87th minute.

The Premier League will witness the first all-Welsh fixture in the history of the English top flight later on Sunday, when Cardiff City host local rivals Swansea City.

Swansea, the reigning League Cup holders, have had a two-year head-start on their south Wales counterparts in the top tier, but Cardiff will move above them if they win at the Cardiff City Stadium.