Southampton’s hopes of a European spot suffered a setback as they were held to a draw at Everton.
The visitors went close when a Shane Long header and a Dusan Tadic left-foot shot came off the woodwork.
However, centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori gave the home side the lead against the run of play with a deflected shot off Ryan Bertrand.
Southampton equalised when Sadio Mane swept in a shot and had to settle for a point despite plenty of pressure.
How did Everton warm up for a big week?
The dissent has been growing when it comes to Everton manager Roberto Martinez and the smattering of boos at full-time will have reminded him off that.
His side play Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Wednesday before a trip to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United – two games which will either help his cause or add to the pressure on him.
Against Southampton, injury concerns and a suspension for midfielder James McCarthy saw him make six changes from a draw against Crystal Palace and his side spent most of the game fending off the south-coast side.
Striker Romelu Lukaku was not risked off the bench, although right-back Seamus Coleman having to go off injured with a hamstring problem will be a worry.
“It will be hard to see him being involved this week as that sort of injury takes longer than a week,” said Martinez.
Martinez gave teenagers Callum Connolly and Tom Davies their debuts for the club and, despite his squad being stretched, the Blues earned a hard-fought point.
And, even though the draw did bring an end to a run of three successive home league defeats, Everton remain without a win in their past six top-flight games.
Can Saints make a late surge for the top four?
Before the match, Southampton manager Ronaldo Koeman had not ruled out the chance of his side finishing in the top four and possibly qualifying for the Champions League.
However, those hopes appear all but over as Saints are six points off fourth-placed Manchester City having played two games more going into their last four matches.
They had a chance to win at Goodison Park in the league for the first time since 1997 but failed to capitalise on Everton’s personnel problems.
Southampton spent more than twice as long as Everton in the opposition third but failed to make the most of their pressure.
“If you look at the away goals that is the problem,” said Koeman. “We have scored 14 goals away and that is not good enough.”
Man of the match – Ramiro Funes Mori
‘I accept the unrest’
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “When you have to make five or six changes to our starting line-up, we look disjointed, rusty, and needed to find our normal rhythm. We overcame that lack of quality with incredible fight to get a positive result.
“Looking at our results at home, they are not anywhere near what is expected. We need to turn that around starting with understanding that the responsibility of being at Everton is to win games on a consistent basis. We haven’t been producing the results and I accept the unrest.”
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “I’m really disappointed because it was a big opportunity to win the game, right from the start. We had a lot of space to play but in the final part it wasn’t good enough.
“At least we had a good reaction to going behind. We got one point but at this final part of the season it is not enough. We want to fight for Europe and it is not a step forward.”
The stats you need to know
- Southampton have gone eight league games without a clean sheet, after a run of six consecutively.
- Sadio Mane scored for only the second time in his past 23 Premier League appearances for Southampton.
- The Toffees have won just one of their past 10 Premier League games at Goodison Park (W1 D3 L6).
- Everton have won just 17 points at home this season in the Premier League – their previous worst tally in a single season was 25 in 1996-97, which they can no longer reach this season.
- Callum Connolly (18 years, six months and 24 days) is the youngest player to make their Premier League debut for Everton since Ross Barkley (17 years, eight months and 15 days) in August 2011.
Everton will make the short trip across Stanley Park to play Liverpool on Wednesday, while Southampton’s next game is a trip to relegated Aston Villa on 23 April.