Roberto Martinez bemoaned his “pedestrian” players after Everton FC drew a blank against Swansea City – as unlucky Antolin Alcaraz faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Blues were held to a frustrating goalless draw despite the Swans being reduced to 10 men by the 72nd-minute dismissal of Jonjo Shelvey.
Substitute Romelu Lukaku was inches away from prodding home the winner in injury time but Martinez admits his side were below their best.
“It was a frustrating game for us,” said the Blues boss. “We were a bit pedestrian with the way we moved the ball.
“We weren’t quick enough. We didn’t have our usual tempo.
“We can score goals when we get behind teams in numbers but we didn’t have that.
“Sometimes we didn’t make the right calls. Sometimes we didn’t get the fortune. But we weren’t at our very best.”
Alcaraz was forced off during the first half after suffering a shoulder injury in a strong aerial challenge with Swansea striker Wilfried Bony.
And Martinez revealed the Paraguayan, whose time at Everton has been hampered by injury, will join fellow centre-back John Stones in the treatment room for a significant period.
“Antolin has damaged the joint in his shoulder,” he said. “We will assess it overnight but he will be out for a long spell.
“It’s a shame as he had to work really hard to get back to fitness and fought hard for his place.
“Sylvain Distin has been working really well, he did well in the Europa League. Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway can also play centre-back, so we have some options.”
Alcaraz had earlier been fortunate not to concede a penalty when clearly handing a shot from Shelvey.
And Martinez said: “Maybe they should have had the penalty, scored early and it opened the game up.
“It was a bad game from an attacking point of view.
“Before the red card, Swansea had no corners or shots on target. It was less open than I expected. Everything was a counter-attacking action.
“We had to work really hard to stop Swansea but in terms of the way they were trying to run the clock down, they were very focused on defending well and did it extremely well.
“But it was a good clean sheet. We are building up and don’t look too far away.”
Swansea City goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski punches the ball clear during the Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Swansea boss Garry Monk was adamant Alcaraz should have been penalised.
“I didn’t know you were allowed to play with two goalkeepers, to be honest with you,” he said.
“I thought it was a great save by Alcaraz, a very strong wrist. I’ll have to show it to my goalkeepers.
“It’s a clear penalty. He basically saved the ball. It was quite strange. All the players saw it but the referee didn’t.”
Of the game, Monk added: “I thought the red card might cost us, but I thought we were brilliant defensively.
“I said to the boys they would probably never earn a harder point again.
“I don’t have any objections with the red card particularly. Jonjo needs to learn he can’t kick the ball away, it was very disappointing.”