Tim Cahill's second-half goal helped Everton hold Middlesbrough to a draw during a stormy tie at The Riverside.
Middlesbrough had taken the lead after 26 minutes when Boudewijn Zenden eluded Tony Hibbert to chip the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.
But Cahill levelled in the 76th minute, blasting the ball in from eight yards after a nod-on from Duncan Ferguson.
The match was later marred by a goalmouth scuffle but neither side was able to break the deadlock in the end.
Both managers had plenty of selection headaches ahead of the game as they sought to plug gaps left by missing or injured players.
With Thomas Gravesen's £2.5m departure to Real Madrid last week, Everton boss David Moyes was forced to call upon defender Joseph Yobo to fill the Dane's holding role in the five-man midfield.
Boro counterpart Steve McClaren was without several players through injury and the suspended Ray Parlour, so he recalled skipper Gareth Southgate, Szilard Nemeth and Bolo Zenden.
Everton did all the early running, mainly thanks to some positive work on the right from Marcus Bent, and nearly went ahead in the 20th minute.
Lee Carsley latched onto a perfect cross from Kevin Kilbane and scraped the top of the crossbar.
But six minutes later a goal came at the other end as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sent a hopeful pass into the box and Zenden sneaked round his marker Hibbert to collect the ball and chip keeper Richard Wright.
Everton continued to surge forward but found themselves caught out at the back on several occasions.
Four minutes before the break Zenden could have doubled Middlesbrough's lead when his shot from inside the box had to be frantically blocked by defenders.
But just before the break Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer did well to keep out a volleyed shot from Bent.
Zenden again came close early in the second half, shooting just wide of the right post from six yards after a Boro free-kick.
In the 57th minute the Dutch star forced a great stop by Wright and Hasselbaink also had to be denied five minutes later.
Some renewed pressure from Everton saw Cahill's header go over the bar and the Australian was unlucky not to equalise moments later when his shot hit the post.
The introduction of substitute Ferguson proved to be the impetus Everton needed as Cahill finally pulled one back with 14 minutes left.
Ferguson headed on a cross to the feet of Cahill, who blasted it into the net.
But tensions were clearly running high, as moments later, a rash Ferguson challenge on Schwarzer after he dropped the ball resulted in a 16-man melee in the back of the Boro goal.
In the dying minutes, Everton desperately searched for a winner but were unable to unlock the Boro defence for a second time and had to settle for a point.
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Reiziger, Ehiogu (Cooper 17),Southgate, Queudrue, Nemeth (Morrison 59), Doriva, Zenden, Downing, Job, Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: Nash, McMahon, Graham.
Goals: Zenden 26.
Everton: Wright, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Yobo (Ferguson 74), Carsley, Cahill (Naysmith 86), Kilbane, Beattie (McFadden 89), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Chadwick, Turner.
Booked: Hibbert, Beattie.
Goals: Cahill 76.
Ref: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).