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Instant Reaction: Besic the bright spot as Everton frustrate

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The Blues turned in an improved performance, but were unable to break down a stubborn Swansea

Clive Brunskill

Frustration. It's a familiar feeling for Evertonians, and it's one we'll all be suffering with again tonight after the Toffees dropped more points at home against a stubborn Swansea City side.

0-0 is obviously an improvement on the 3-0 League Cup debacle a few weeks ago, but this is yet another game that Everton really should have won, and didn't. The difference this week is that the problems stemmed from the Blues' inability to create any clear-cut chances, rather than ineptitude in defence.

They were certainly dominant - even before Jonjo Shelvey got himself sent off after a second booking - but Everton didn't really test Lukas Fabianski during the game at Goodison Park this afternoon, and that's disappointing. The absence of Romelu Lukaku - frequently criticised this season but still the side's most reliable source of goals - until late in the game probably had a lot to do with it.

Samuel Eto'o was unable to replicate his superb chemistry with Steven Naismith against the Swans either, which didn't help. Ross Barkley, meanwhile, showed sputtering glimpses of brilliance both early and late in the game, but went missing for much of the second half, admittedly not helped by his stationing on the left-hand side of midfield.

There were plusses: Muhamed Besic had his best game by far for Everton, keeping the midfield ticking after Antolin Alcaraz's injury had forced Gareth Barry to centre back, and his partnership with the once again excellent James McCarthy looked particularly promising. It was a good defensive performance too, with Barry fitting in admirably and Tim Howard reliable on the rare occasions he was called upon.

But ultimately it was the same old Everton: turning in an improved overall performance this week, but also a more disappointing result. Thursday's game at Lille could potentially clinch the Blues' qualification from their Europa League ‘group of death'. Let's hope they remember how to shoot by then.