Pienaar sent off, Newcastle held
Everton lost ground on the top three in the Premier League on Sunday after they were held to a 1-1 draw at bottom side Queens Park Rangers.
But David Moyes' side will be thankful for a point after they played the last half-hour with 10 men after the sending off of Steven Pienaar.
The result left them still three points behind Manchester United and Manchester City, with Chelsea four points clear at the top.
There was a sending-off in the day's other match and it cost Newcastle victory at neighbours Sunderland, who fought back for a 1-1 draw with an equalizer five minutes from time.
Fourth-placed Everton began the day hoping to close to within one point of the two teams immediately above them, United and City.
But after Pienaar was sent off for a second booking just after the hour mark, they were under the cosh from QPR and did well to take a point from the match.
Junior Hoilett had given QPR a dream start with a breakaway goal after just two minutes but Everton equalized on 33 minutes when Sylvain Distin's header rebounded off the post, hit goalkeeper Juilo Cesar and rolled over the line.
Phil Jagielka hit the bar with a header before halftime but Everton's momentum was ended when Pienaar was sent off for a second booking.
QPR had chances to pinch a winner and goalkeeper Tim Howard had to save Everton on a number of occasions as the two sides eventually settled for a draw.
At the Stadium of Light, Sunderland snatched a late equalizer to claim a 1-1 draw with 10-man Newcastle in a typically competitive north-east derby.
Yohan Cabaye put Newcastle ahead after just three minutes with a cool finish from the edge of the box but Cheick Tiote was sent off on 25 minutes for a reckless challenge.
Newcastle held out until three minutes from time when a John O'Shea header hit Demba Ba before finding the back of the net.
The result left Newcastle 11th in the Premier League with Sunderland three points and two places below them.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew described his side's efforts in the last half hour as "magnificent".
"It was important to our fans and we showed how important it is to us," he said. "An hour with 10 men, we couldn't hold on to the lead, if we did, it would have been one of the greatest victories here ever.
"We were the better team before the sending off. At first, I didn't think it was that bad, but looking at it again, I can't have too many complaints."
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said it took his side time to get going after losing the early goal.
"They were very strong until the sending off," he said. "I thought we became anxious when they were down to 10 men. In the second half, it was the sheer weight of pressure that led to the goal.
"Newcastle played well with the 10 men. I must admit, slog or not, the noise that erupted from the stadium when we equalized is something that I will not forget."