Football: Swansea equal best EPL points tally after draw with Everton

LONDON (Reuters) - Swansea City equalled their highest-ever points tally in a Premier League season following a 1-1 draw with Everton in the early game at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Swansea stayed eighth in the table on 47 points, matching their biggest haul with six matches still to play. Everton are 12th on 38.

On-loan midfielder Aaron Lennon fired Everton into a deserved 41st-minute lead and looked lively throughout for the in-form visitors.

Jonjo Shelvey, who had a spectacular effort ruled out following a foul in the build-up in the first half, equalised with a 69th-minute penalty after Seamus Coleman handled the ball.

"You want to show progression as a club, as a team, as players and as a manager. That's what we focused on this season which is a really great achievement," Swansea manager Garry Monk told the BBC.

"We've shown great character and belief in the way that we've gone about our job this season. We want to beat it though and we've got six opportunities to beat it. Considering everything this season I think we've done excellent."

Everton have struggled this season - after finishing fifth with a club-record 72 Premier League points last campaign - but arrived in south Wales on the back of three successive victories.

Manager Roberto Martinez returned to Swansea - the club he captained during a three-year spell as player before returning as manager from 2007 to 2009 - and spoke highly of his former club.

"I had an incredible relationship with (Swansea)," said the Spaniard, a former team-mate of Monk's. "I had the honour to captain the club and to be a manager and start a way of playing I am very proud of. It is good to see Swansea doing so well and enjoying such a successful period."

In-form Arsenal could cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the table to four points when they travel to Burnley later on Saturday. Tottenham Hotspur host Aston Villa and Southampton play struggling Hull City.