West Brom defender Joleon Lescott disputed the decision that led to Kevin Mirallas’ missed penalty in the 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
The Baggies centre-back was adjudged to have handled in the area, just a minute before half-time, but Mirallas dragged the resulting spot-kick wide of the post.
Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Muhamed Besic all had shots deflected behind as Everton were denied a first win in eight matches, while the draw meant that West Brom edged further away from the drop-zone.
Lescott, a former Toffees player, felt his team-mates produced a resolute display on his old pitch, but questioned why referee Michael Oliver had pointed to the spot.
“We knew we had to be patient, Everton play patient football themselves,” he told Sky Sports. “We knew we had a game plan to be hard to beat and I think after the first 20 minutes we were that.
“Unfortunately we gave a penalty away and as I say grateful for us that we didn’t concede.”
Asked if he handled intentionally, Lescott said: “I don’t think so. I’m going to say that, but I don’t feel my hand moved towards the ball. They’ve made a decision, but thankfully it didn’t cost us the match.”
Victor Anichebe, another ex-Evertonian, admitted that new manager Tony Pulis has added some defensive steel to the side.
“Yeah I’m happy with the result,” he said. “It was a tough result.
“When I was at Everton you always hear how other teams say how hard it is to come to Goodison and it was the same today, was a really difficult game, but we were patient.
“The manager has come in, got us defending as a team, and I think you saw that today and hopefully we can build on that.”
This view was echoed by Lescott, who revealed how Pulis has set a clean sheet target for the remainder of the season.
“I think you can see in our performances, we’re a bit more resilient,” he said.
“He has emphasised how important clean sheets are and how many he wants between now and the end of the season. We’ve kept three in his first three games, it’s a good start.”