McCarthy sees red as Toffees hold out at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace 0 (0) – (0) 0 Everton
McCarthy sent off 52′
Selhurst Park (Attendance:23,528)
Everton’s winless Premier League run has stretched to five matches after drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Toffees had to pay around 40 minutes of the encounter with 10 men after James McCarthy was sent off for two bookable offences.
But the Blues had the better opportunities before the midfielder’s dismissal, with Seamus Coleman, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley all going close.
Palace piled on the pressure as time wore on, but neither side could strike the killing blow to secure a much needed victory.
Despite both clubs suffering from a lack of confidence, the match began at a frenetic pace, with Everton keeper Joel Robles having to be alert inside the first minute to beat Dwight Gayle to a long ball over the top of the defence.
Robles then saved at his near post from Yannick Bolasie after Jason Puncheon had played him in following Arouna Kone’s loose pass.
Gayle fired narrowly wide after Barkley surrendered possession inside his own half, before the 22-year-old midfielder saw his own effort blocked after a one-two with Lukaku.
Following a fast-paced opening 20 minutes, the Blues began to settle into proceedings and set about creating some meaningful chances.
Coleman drew two fine stops from Eagles custodian Wayne Hennessey within a minute – his second a well placed sidefoot from a deep Leighton Baines cross to the back stick, but the Welsh keeper turned his goal bound effort around the post.
Kone then fizzed a strike over the bar, and Lukaku was thwarted by Hennessey after Barkley’s through ball from a driving run from deep.
Down the other end, Gayle acrobatically shot wide as the chances continued to rain down, while Ramiro Funes Mori flicked a Wilfried Zaha cross over his own crossbar as half-time approached.
The frantic pace of the clash was unabating after the restart too – Barkley thumping the crossbar with a typically robust strike just seconds after Coleman saw appeals for a clear penalty waved away by referee Mike Jones.
And Jones was front and centre on three minutes as he gave McCarthy his marching orders.
Already walking a tightrope after a rash challenge in the first half, the Irishman impeded Bolasie’s clear run down the inside left channel, leaving Jones no choice but to hand the 26-year-old a second yellow card and subsequent red.
For much of the following period, though, it was the 10 men of Everton who were to cause more havoc at the home side’s end than the other way around – John Stones going closest with a powerful header from a Barkley corner.
But the Toffees would begin to tire as the game became stretched, and Palace began to take full advantage of their numerical difference.
Yohan Cabaye drew a routine stop from Robles, Puncheon forced the Spaniard into a sprawling dive to beat away his vicious effort and substitute Emmanuel Adebayor nodded wide as Alan Pardew’s men forced the away side back.
Fellow forward Connor Wickham flashed a header wide before Adebayor too glanced a cross the wrong side of the post, while Funes Mori saw a deflected strike from distance parried by Hennessey in Everton’s only meaningful chance late on.
A point and a clean sheet will have to do, though. A home encounter with Southampton is next on the agenda for Roberto Martinez and his squad.