LIVERPOOL: England Everton were held to a 0-0 home draw by Arsenal on Saturday in a dull Premier League clash, which took a back seat to both clubs naming new managers in a bid to revive their fortunes.
Carlo Ancelotti, named as the new Everton manager barely an hour before the kickoff, got a first glimpse of the Toffees from the directors’ box as did Arsenal’s new head coach Mikel Arteta who was appointed by the Gunners on Friday.
A battle of outgoing caretakers — Everton’s Duncan Ferguson and Arsenal’s Freddie Ljungberg — failed to produce any fireworks with Everton having the upper hand in a tepid first half.
Gylfi Sigurdsson hit the side-netting from a free kick and striker Cenk Tosun could not get any direction on a sharp low cross by Tom Davies as the home side dictated proceedings.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a superb reflex save to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from close range shortly after the break before an almighty goalmouth scramble nearly resulted in an own goal at the other end.
Neither side could find a breakthrough in the closing stages with Arsenal packing their defence to deal with a flurry of Everton crosses into their penalty area.
Arteta is only taking charge after Saturday’s match.
Arsenal — fielding a youthful team in Ljungberg’s last game in interim control — had the better of the opportunities, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang drawing a one-handed save out of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford early in the second half.
Gabriel Martinelli also fired wide after being played through on the left by Lucas Torreira.
Everton’s own caretaker manager, Duncan Ferguson, finishes his short spell in charge unbeaten in league games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal — a solid record of five points from a possible nine that stabilises a team which was in the relegation zone when he replaced the fired Marco Silva.
He also goes out having substituted a substitute for the second straight league game, with Cenk Tosun coming on for the injured Alex Iwobi early on before departing in the final stages for Moise Kean. It was Kean who played just 18 minutes as a sub at Man United last weekend.
Everton 0 Arsenal 0
Aston Villa v Southampton
Bournemouth v Burnley
Brighton v Sheffield United
Manchester City v Leicester
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Norwich v Wolves
Watford v Manchester United (6pm), Tottenham v Chelsea (8.30pm)