Although a draw is less desirable than a victory, Everton can rest easy with their 0-0 result against Ligue 1 squad Lille, as Roberto Martinez’s side remains unbeaten and at the top of Group H in the Champions League group stage.
Lille had the better start to the match, which was Tim Howard’s first clean sheet in Europa League play this season.
Sebastien Corchia ripped a strike that nicked Phil Jagielka in the early stages, and midfielder Florent Balmont strove for a dangerous cross, but Simon Kjaer and Marko Basa couldn’t convert the endeavor.
In the end, both squads didn’t find a great deal of scoring chances, though they had a couple excellent opportunities each. Nineteen-year-old Divock Origi, actually on lean from Liverpool, zipped a shot from outside the box to nearly break the scoreline for the Great Danes.
Then, about ten minuets later in the 65th minute, Romelu Lukaku put Aiden McGeady through, and a one-on-one encounter with goalie Vincent Enyeama failed, as the Nigerian netminder managed to tip away the quickly-tapped effort before it was cleared.
Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o utilized smart combination play with Steven Pienaar, and then couldn’t corral the ball to threaten Lille in front of the net.
Ronny Rodelin missed what would have been a highlight reel goal, and Idrissa Gueye whipped around and sent his try inches away from the iron.
Everton lead Wolfsburg by a point, and Lille sit in the group’s third spot, boasting three points.
What they said post-game (BBC Sport)
Everton boss Roberto Martinez: “I was pleased in terms of players [six changes] coming in and performing to a high standard, but I think the pitch didn’t help either side – I think with a better pitch, we would have seen a lot more brilliant attacking football from both. I think all-in-all a draw was a fair result.”
Lille manager René Girard: “We are satisfied to have been able to compete with Everton. Once again we lacked a goal to get a win, but I was really satisfied with the football we produced.”