Swansea City stretched their unbeaten run to three Premier League games as they held Crystal Palace to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.
Under the guidance of caretaker manager Alan Curtis, Swansea have dragged themselves out of the bottom three in recent weeks, and the point at Palace on Monday sees them move two clear of the drop zone heading into 2016.
A dour opening 45 minutes failed to produce a real clear-cut chance for either side, Palace the more dominant but poor in attack, much like the visitors.
Inspired by the words of manager Alan Pardew at the break, Palace set about Swansea with renewed vigour in the second half and Brede Hangeland was denied by a fine Lukasz Fabianski save.
Swansea’s quality at the back was not replicated in attack, though, as only Modou Barrow was able to test Wayne Hennessey for the visitors.
The point means Palace – who saw Patrick Bamford waste a glorious late chance – are six games without a defeat, although a second successive outing without scoring will give Pardew reasons to be concerned.
Palace – who made four changes from their Boxing Day draw with AFC Bournemouth as they went in in search of a third successive home league win – began proceedings on the front foot, taking the game to Swansea with Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon leading the charge.
It took 19 minutes for either goalkeeper to be troubled, though, as the Palace duo combined before Zaha’s whipped effort was punched clear by the under pressure Fabianski.
Swansea – who made a record eight changes for a Premier League match this season – were limited to rare counter attacks that Palace’s resolute defence dealt with easily.
Palace continued to lack quality in the final third before the break, but the opening minutes of the second half saw that change as Hangeland brought a superb save out of Fabianski from a Yohan Cabaye free-kick.
Barrow produced a rare moment of quality in the final third for the visitors as the game drifted past the hour mark, his long-range effort tipped over by Hennessey.
Substitute Bamford should have won the game for Palace with 17 minutes to play when the ball ricocheted its way through to him, but, after jinking away from Ashley Williams, his shot was straight at Fabianski.
A late counter attack from the hosts saw Pape Souare released inside the Swansea penalty area and his pull back evaded Fabianski, but Williams made a superb interception to secure a point for the visitors.
Key Opta stats:
– Palace mustered just two shots on target in this game, Swansea had three.
– The Swans have conceded only three goals in their last nine league games against Crystal Palace.
– Crystal Palace have failed to win their final league game in each of the last four years, with three of those being draws.
– Swansea have won just one of their last 11 Premier League trips to London (W1 D4 L6).