Tottenham Hotspur and Everton both missed the chance to go second in the Premier League by drawing 0-0, while Cardiff City beat Swansea City 1-0 in the first meeting of the south Wales clubs in English soccer’s top flight.
A win for Spurs or Everton at Goodison Park yesterday would have lifted either club ahead of Chelsea and behind Arsenal, which has a five-point lead atop the standings.
“The result is fair,” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas told reporters. “It was very tight. We could have gone second but, considering Everton’s aspirations, it was important to get a point.”
Spurs move up to fourth place while Everton stays seventh. Arsenal leads the league with 25 points through 10 games, followed by Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham with 20, and Manchester City, Southampton and Everton with 19.
Tottenham dominated possession in the first half while creating few clear chances, although Tim Howard saved from Kyle Walker and Lewis Holtby. Jan Vertonghen had appeals for a penalty kick turned down after he tangled with Seamus Coleman.
Everton posed more threat to the visiting team’s goal in the second half. Coleman went to ground in the Tottenham penalty area under challenge by Vertonghen, though referee Kevin Friend once again denied the penalty appeals.
A head injury to Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris led to nine minutes of stoppage time. The Frenchman was knocked unconscious by Romelu Lukaku’s knee, yet insisted on staying on the field even as captain Michael Dawson urged him to leave.
Villas-Boas said it was his own decision to let Lloris continue playing, against medical advice.
“The medical department was giving me signs that the player couldn’t carry on because he couldn’t remember where he was,” Villas-Boas said. “It was my call to delay the substitution. You have to make a decision in situations like this. From my knowledge of football he seemed OK to continue.”
Steven Caulker, who formerly played for Swansea on loan, got Cardiff’s goal in the 62nd minute in the Welsh capital, out-muscling the defense to head in Craig Bellamy’s corner.
Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm was red-carded in stoppage time after bringing down Fraizer Campbell outside the penalty area. Defender Angel Rangel took over in goal and turned the resulting free kick over the crossbar.
The result took Cardiff, which is playing in English soccer’s top division for the first time in 51 years, up to 12th place with 12 points, one more than Swansea.
“We were playing against a really good team here, a team that have been winning well in Europe and are a mid-table Premier League team,” Cardiff coach Malky Mackay said. “For us to come up this year and play to that standard, especially in the second half, I thought we were very dominant.”
Two days ago, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0, Manchester United won 3-1 at Fulham, Manchester City routed Norwich 7-0 and Newcastle upset Chelsea 2-0. Hull defeated Sunderland 1-0, Stoke and Southampton drew 1-1, West Brom beat Crystal Palace 2-0, and West Ham drew 0-0 with Aston Villa.