Antonio Conte’s first game in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur ended goalless against Everton.
Both goalkeepers made a combined one save during the game as the 90 minutes was overshadowed by a penalty which referee Chris Kavanagh gave but then overturned.
The first half was a very gritty affair from both sides and had very little quality.
Ben Godfrey’s long-distance effort in the first five minutes was the only shot that forced a save from either keeper in the first half.
It was easy work for Hugo Lloris.
Halfway through the half Emerson Royal had Spurs’ first opportunity with a back post header which went harmlessly over after a cross from Tottenham’s other wingback Sergio Reguilon.
The Spaniard had the best chance of the half just before the interval as Harry Kane whipped the ball into the box and Reguilon ran onto the cross but fired well over on the stretch.
Everton were quite comfortable and had good control of the midfield thanks to another impressive cameo from Fabian Delph.
Operation Goodison exercise over the tannoy was probably the main highlight of the first 45 minutes which tells you everything you need to know.
The second half followed a similar pattern up until the hour mark when referee Chris Kavanagh awarded Everton a penalty as it seemed that Lloris had brought down Richarlison.
However, after a second viewing via the VAR monitor Kavanagh changed his mind as it was clear that Lloris had got a hand to the ball.
This decision certainly angered the Goodison faithful as the boos roared around the ground.
Everton were on the front foot with the crowd very much behind them, but the lack of quality hindered the Blues as no clear-cut chances were made in that ten-minute spell.
Finally, though a chance fell Everton’s way.
After some lovely link-up play down the left through Lucas Digne and Tom Davies a cross was put in from the Frenchman which found Demarai Gray who attempted to side foot the ball home, but it ended up going wide.
That would be the last chance for Everton in the game as Tottenham with a few minutes left of the 90 came ever so close through Giovani Lo Celso.
Mason Holgate who was brought on in midfield lost the ball which enabled Spurs to counter-attack.
Lo Celso found a bit of space on the edge of the box and hit a ferocious shot which rocketed off the post.
It was so unlucky as it was a brilliantly hit shot and it was realistically the only bit of pure attacking quality either side produced.
Stoppage time had some drama, and it was very unnecessary as Holgate saw red for a reckless challenge on Hoijberg.
His follow through meant that he caught the Danish midfielder high-up with his studs.
Kavanagh yet again had to go to the VAR monitor to make sure, but it was a no-brainer.
The game ended as a goalless stalemate which only epitomises were both sides are at heading into the international break.
A point for Rafa Benitez ends the losing rut and for Antonio Conte it is his first point as Spurs manager.
Improvement is certainly needed.
Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Gordon, Delph (Davies 60), Allan (Holgate 82), Townsend; Gray (Gbamin 90), RicharlisonSpurs XI: Lloris; Dier, Romero, Davies; Emerson, Hoijberg, Skipp, Reguilon (Doherty 71); Moura (Lo Celso 71), Kane, Son (Ndombele 85)