Everton matches have come with a promise of goals but, as Goodison welcomed its most illustrious visitor of the season, both paying public and the special guest departed disappointed. Vicente del Bosque was on a scouting visit to watch Michu but it was an equally unrewarding occasion for Swansea's prolific Spaniard and Everton's consistent scorers.
Spain's World Cup-winning coach witnessed a spectacle of Everton superiority without an end product. Michu, with an isolated opportunity, came closest but he was denied an eighth goal in 10 games, in the process ensuring that Everton kept a clean sheet for the first time since September.
Their goal was only threatened when Michu was sent galloping clear by Ki Sung-yeung. With his loping gait and seeming nonchalance, there is an air of Dimitar Berbatov about Swansea's top scorer and the finish was straight from the Bulgarian's handbook, a languid chip that Tim Howard just managed to deflect on to the bar. "That is really classy," Michael Laudrup said. Before and afterwards, however, Michu was quiet.
Del Bosque's detour to Merseyside could have been avoided had he consulted the Swansea manager. "If Del Bosque had called me before, I could have told him it wasn't the best game to see Michu," added Laudrup, unapologetic about his the defensive approach that left his top scorer marginalised.
"It has been a great week," said the Swansea manager, whose side held Arsenal in the FA Cup and defeated Chelsea in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final. "Three very difficult games and three great performances."
Their second consecutive shutout meant that, for the first time in 20 games, Everton failed to score. "We are a bit frustrated," David Moyes said. "We had three or four good opportunities but I couldn't say I thought anyone missed a sitter."
The chances were shared around the side. At full stretch, Nikica Jelavic mistimed a volley that rolled wide. Victor Anichebe was denied by the agility and excellence of Michel Vorm, who also thwarted Phil Neville. Leon Osman headed wide, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka over.
If Everton's aerial menace made it a novel experience for Del Bosque, it was a game of sterile domination, the accusation levelled at Spain before their Euro 2012 4-0 final win over Italy. For Everton, whose season has been littered with draws, the scoreline was unusual but the outcome all too familiar. Moyes said: "It could quite easily cost us if we don't turn these into wins."