Cardiff were cruelly denied a point by Seamus Coleman's injury-time winner as the Bluebirds slipped further behind in their bid for Premier League survival.

Goalkeeper David Marshall looked to have earned a draw with a string of saves after Juan Cala had equalised Gerard Deulofeu's deflected effort.

But, after another stop to deny Romelu Lukaku's shot, Marshall was beaten by Coleman's miscue.

Cardiff fell to 19th and are now three points from safety.

The result at Goodison Park was harsh on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, and Marshall especially, after the Scot made four crucial saves to keep his side in the game.

Martinez feels for suffering Solskjaer

And with only eight league games left, starting at home to Liverpool next Saturday, they are running out of time to try and maintain their top-flight status.

Cardiff complained they were denied a penalty when substitute Wilfried Zaha fell under a challenge from Sylvain Distin but after their eighth successive league defeat away from home, they were the only team among the bottom five that failed to pick up points.

Prior to this game, Solskjaer said his team needed to emulate Wigan in 2012 when the Latics, then under Everton boss Roberto Martinez, won seven of their last nine games.

After Coleman's sliced winner, though, there must be a sense that fortune is against the Bluebirds as they failed to follow-up an important win over fellow strugglers Fulham last weekend.

Everton, on the other hand, kept up their European challenge with this victory, and moved above Manchester United into sixth place.

Having gained only 11 points from 24 available since the turn of the year, there were question marks over Everton's form coming into this game but they can now look forward to five home matches in their season run-in.

Unlucky and then some

  • Cardiff's last victory over Everton was 1-0 at home in 1956. Their last triumph at Goodison Park was by the same scoreline in 1926.

They now stand two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, although the prospect of a Champions League spot still looks remote as they trail fourth-placed Arsenal by eight points.

Martinez's side were on top for the majority of this encounter as Cardiff were indebted to Marshall for three superb first-half saves to deny Kevin Mirallas, Deulofeu and Lukaku.

But Solskjaer, who had started the game with three centre-backs, switched to a back four after 25 minutes and almost saw his side's fortunes change when Fraizer Campbell could not beat the diving Tim Howard after latching onto a ricochet on the edge of the penalty area.

The tactical change led to a more even midfield battle, and Campbell forced Howard into another save at his near post after the break.

It was a sign of Marshall's excellence that when the opener did arrive, it came through a deflection as Deulofeu received the ball on the left flank, skipped past Gary Medel and beat the Scottish goalkeeper at this near post via Steven Caulker's thigh.

Cardiff deserve more luck - Solskjaer

The Bluebirds' disappointment did not last long, though, as they equalised when Cala steered in Peter Whittingham's set-piece. Everton complained that the free-kick was a soft one after Coleman's foul on Campbell.

Marshall pulled off his best save of the match to deny Lukaku again, before referee Roger East waved away Zaha's penalty appeals after he fell under a challenge from Sylvain Distin.

But Cardiff's frustration was yet to reach its peak as Coleman latched onto Gareth Barry's header to score a hugely fortunate winner from close-range.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez:

"David Marshall in goal was phenomenal, as good an individual performance as you are going to see from a goalkeeper.

"You can say you get a bit lucky when you score the winner so, so late, but it was down to having that control and patience.

"I did think we deserved the three points but I thought Cardiff deserved huge, huge credit."

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "We feel very disappointed not coming away with one, maybe three points.

"It was a stonewall penalty for Wilfried Zaha when he goes through two or three of them at 1-1. I don't know how many times we have to look at us claiming penalties and not getting it.

"The performance was outstanding, a phenomenal effort. They had 'cojones' as you say."

Visit the BBC Sport Facebook page  for a gallery of the best pictures from Saturday's Premier League matches.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 23 Coleman
  • 03 Baines
  • 18 Barry
  • 26 Stones
  • 15 Distin
  • 10 Deulofeu (McGeady - 62' )
  • 16 McCarthy
  • 17 Lukaku
  • 11 Mirallas (Naismith - 62' )
  • 21 Osman Booked (Barkley - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Robles
  • 07 McGeady
  • 14 Naismith
  • 20 Barkley
  • 29 Garbutt
  • 32 Alcaraz
  • 36 Browning

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 35 Fabio (Zaha - 77' )
  • 42 John
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine Booked
  • 27 Torres Ruiz
  • 04 Caulker
  • 16 Noone (Daehli - 62' )
  • 13 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 10 Campbell Booked
  • 08 Medel Booked
  • 18 Mutch (Whittingham - 57' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Whittingham
  • 09 Jones
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 19 Cowie
  • 29 Daehli
  • 32 Lewis
  • 36 Zaha
Ref: Roger East
Att: 38,018

Match Stats

Shots

19 10

On target

6 3

Corners

10 5

Fouls

10 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Everton 2, Cardiff City 1.

90:00 +4:44 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Everton 2, Cardiff City 1.

90:00 +4:16

Offside, Cardiff City. Kévin Théophile-Catherine tries a through ball, but Cala is caught offside.

90:00 +2:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 2, Cardiff City 1. Seamus Coleman (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Gareth Barry with a headed pass.

90:00 +1:56

Attempt blocked. Ross Barkley (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

90:00 +1:07

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Declan John.

90:00 +0:27

Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Mats Daehli.

88:20

Hand ball by Gary Medel (Cardiff City).

84:21

Offside, Everton. Sylvain Distin tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

83:34

Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

83:34

Foul by Steven Caulker (Cardiff City).

82:35

James McCarthy (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:35

Foul by Gary Medel (Cardiff City).

81:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Ross Barkley replaces Leon Osman.

79:56

Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

78:34

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Wilfried Zaha.

78:13

Corner, Everton. Conceded by David Marshall.

78:11

Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Seamus Coleman.

76:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Wilfried Zaha replaces Fabio.

75:53 Booking

Booking Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

72:58

Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leon Osman.

70:05

Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Everton).

70:05

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:29

Attempt missed. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

68:26

Attempt missed. Seamus Coleman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aiden McGeady following a fast break.

67:22 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 1, Cardiff City 1. Cala (Cardiff City) with an attempt from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a set piece situation.

66:29

Foul by Seamus Coleman (Everton).

66:29

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:28

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:28

Foul by Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City).

64:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Steven Naismith replaces Kevin Mirallas.

62:58

Attempt blocked. Aiden McGeady (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Seamus Coleman.

61:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Mats Daehli replaces Craig Noone.

61:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Aiden McGeady replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

58:20 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 1, Cardiff City 0. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner.

58:05

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:05

Foul by Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City).

57:36 Booking

Booking Leon Osman (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

57:35 Booking

Booking Gary Medel (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

57:05

Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).

57:05

Fabio (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Peter Whittingham replaces Jordon Mutch.

52:04

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:04

Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

50:43

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Gareth Barry.

48:43

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:43

Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

48:02

Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordon Mutch with a cross following a corner.

47:32

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Tim Howard.

47:29

Attempt saved. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Fabio.

46:16

Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

45:00

Second Half begins Everton 0, Cardiff City 0.

45:00 +2:45 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Everton 0, Cardiff City 0.

45:00 +0:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

44:39 Booking

Booking Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

44:15

Delay in match Gareth Barry (Everton) because of an injury.

42:07

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

42:07

Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

39:08

Offside, Cardiff City. Craig Noone tries a through ball, but Kim Bo-Kyung is caught offside.

38:13

Foul by Seamus Coleman (Everton).

38:13

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:04

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

34:09

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Cala.

33:36

Corner, Everton. Conceded by David Marshall.

33:34

Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Gerard Deulofeu.

33:21

Attempt blocked. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fraizer Campbell.

32:56

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

32:56

Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:21

Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Everton).

31:21

Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:55

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Fabio.

30:34

Corner, Everton. Conceded by David Marshall.

30:33

Attempt saved. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McCarthy.

30:03

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James McCarthy with a through ball.

28:56

Attempt missed. Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

28:51

Attempt saved. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

28:17

Foul by Gerard Deulofeu (Everton).

28:17

Fabio (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:35

Offside, Cardiff City. Kim Bo-Kyung tries a through ball, but Fabio is caught offside.

27:14

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

26:45

Delay in match Gary Medel (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

26:19

Foul by Gerard Deulofeu (Everton).

26:19

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:08

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Cala.

25:07

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

24:05

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sylvain Distin.

22:31

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Leon Osman.

19:31

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

16:46

Attempt missed. Leighton Baines (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by James McCarthy.

15:51

Attempt missed. Gary Medel (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Fraizer Campbell with a headed pass following a corner.

15:46

Attempt blocked. Cala (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordon Mutch with a cross.

15:19

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Seamus Coleman.

14:17

Foul by Leon Osman (Everton).

14:17

Fabio (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

9:39

Attempt missed. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

8:34

Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:34

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

7:33

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:33

Foul by Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City).

6:44

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

6:44

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:11

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Seamus Coleman.

4:42

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Cala.

2:29

Corner, Everton. Conceded by David Marshall.

2:28

Attempt saved. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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