Everton battled to a point against a resurgent Swansea City in a lively contest at the Liberty Stadium.
A Kyle Naughton own goal two minutes before the break put the Blues ahead, before Jordan Ayew levelled on 71 minutes.
Sam Allardyce’s men had chances to leave south Wales with their second successive away victory - Seamus Coleman smashing a volley against the crossbar with the score at 1-1 – but it was honours even as the Toffees closed the gap to one point on eighth-placed Leicester City.
The Toffees lined up at the Liberty Stadium with just one change to the side that earned a point against Liverpool seven days earlier. Idrissa Gana Gueye had made his comeback from a hamstring injury as a second-half substitute in the Merseyside derby, and he was promoted into the starting XI at the expense of Tom Davies in central midfield.
Swansea approached the game three points above the drop zone but still very much embroiled in a battle to preserve their top-flight status. The home fans created plenty of noise from the outset which encouraged the Welsh club to start on the front foot. Everton’s defenders had to be vigilant, keeping their shape and battling to block several early attempts.
Jordan Pickford saved watchfully when a low attempt from 18 yards out by Ki Sung-Yueng was hit in his direction. The same Swansea player then had another attempt from an almost identical position, which he this time ballooned into the Everton fans congregated behind the goal.
Everton’s first attempt arrived on 20 minutes when a half-cleared corner was thrashed dangerously through the six-yard box by Cenk Tosun. From that, Swansea embarked on a rapid counter-attack which culminated in Leighton Baines denying a certain goal when he somehow deflected a shot from Jordan Ayew narrowly wide of the post. And then from the following corner, Tosun produced a goalline clearance from Ferderico Fernandez’s towering header.
Swansea continued to push forward and Pickford positioned himself well to get down and stop another dangerous effort, this time from the other Ayew brother, Andre, who had engineered an opening for himself 12 yards out in the centre of goal.
Despite the hosts’ pressure, Everton remained resilient, a base which allowed them to get the breakthrough two minutes before the break through Naughton’s own goal.
Fabianski produced two close-range saves in the space of just a few seconds to thwart Yannick Bolasie and Gana, but as the ball ricocheted back off Naughton, goalline technology determined that it crossed the line before Alfie Mawson booted clear.
Referee Lee Mason checked his watch and correctly signalled the goal - replays later showed that the ball was a good yard over the line before the clearance had been made.
Up until that point, Everton had steadily grown into the contest - Michael Keane had gone close moments earlier with a looping header which landed on the roof of the net.
A minute after the restart, Pickford showcased his agility to acrobatically clutch hold of a well-directed header from Tom Carroll which was destined for the far corner before the goalkeeper’s intervention.
As Swansea pushed on in search of a leveller, the impressive Pickford again delivered when called upon, this time standing tall at his near post to redirect the ball behind for a corner.
The second half was much more open and there were chances for Everton to extend their lead, too. From a right-winged Theo Walcott cross, a good opening fell the way of Gana just before the hour mark, but the Senegalese midfielder couldn’t get enough contact on his header to trouble Fabianski.
Swansea struck an equaliser in the 71st minute through Jordan Ayew. The striker was picked out on the left-hand side of the area and he took a touch before hitting an inch-perfect shot back across goal that was just past Pickford’s outstretched dive.
Everton then nearly re-established their lead through Coleman who made a burst forward from right-back, stuck out a boot six yards out to connect with Tosun’s cross, only to see his finish rebound back off the crossbar.
The Blues went close again with two minutes left when Baines whipped in a free-kick from the left which was inches away from the head of substitute Ramiro Funes Mori, making his first appearance since last March after a serious knee injury. And that was to be the last chance in a lively encounter at the Liberty Stadium as Everton left with a hard-earned point.