Toffees stick close to Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur were unbeaten in their last twelve Premier League meetings with Everton, winning each of the last four matches in a row and the Toffees had not won away against Spurs in the league since November 2008, drawing three and losing six games in the process. After Lucas Digne conceded a corner in the third minute, the Lilywhites got the early breakthrough, from an Erik Lamela corner, as the ball flicked past the head of Fernando Llorente and then bobbled off Yerry Mina, before Eric Dier poked the ball into the bottom right corner. Following a foul by Dier on Cenk Tosun, from a free kick by the Toffees captain, Gylfi Sigurdsson in the tenth minute, a header by Michael Keane went straight into the clutches of Hugo Lloris. Three minutes later, Dele Alli combined with Lamela, before chipping the ball narrowly over the top. In the nineteenth minute, through an assist by Tosun, a right footed shot by Theo Walcott in the centre of the box was saved by Lloris. On the half hour mark, following a cross by Tosun and a miss placed header from Kyle Walker-Peters, it took a near post stop by Lloris to keep out Bernard’s strike. In the thirty fourth minute through Lamela’s back heel, Alli drove the ball wide of the left post. After an infringement by Bernard on Lamela, from Lucas Digne’s free kick, the ball spun out to the left off Keane’s header, in the thirty seventh minute. The Toffees reacted again from Walcott’s assist, as a curling strike by Sigurdsson, was caught by Lloris, a minute later. Before the re-start for the second half, Victor Wanyama replaced Alli. Cutting in from the right Walker-Peters put a dangerous ball into the area which was just past the reach of Llorente, on forty six minutes. There was soon a brief delay in the match due to a pitch invader. In the fifty fourth minute, from Lucas Moura’s link up play, a dipping shot by Christian Eriksen edged over to the right through a deflection off Keane. On fifty nine minutes, Bernard miscued his effort, after being put through by Tosun, following a Walcott headed pass. In the sixty fifth minute, from an Eriksen corner, a cushioned header by Llorente, was stopped by Jordan Pickford. The Toffees then made a double change of Andre Gomes for Idrissa Gueye and Ademola Lookman for Bernard. But on sixty nine minutes, Everton equalised as Lookman started the move, before a ball across by Sigurdsson, was despatched by Walcott with a low drive into the bottom left corner. Morgan Schneiderlin got cautioned for a foul on Moussa Sissoko, before the Toffees marked an inspired comeback, after Wanyama conceded a corner, which was taken by Sigurdsson, and a downward header by Keane ricocheted off Lloris, before Lookman forced the ball against Loris from very close range, as the rebound went to Tosun, who scrambled the ball over the line, in the seventy second minute. But the Everton lead was short lived as within two minutes Gomes caught Lamela, and then like an arrow, Eriksen fired a free kick over the wall, into the bottom right corner. Spurs soon switched Llorente with Vincent Janssen and Lamela with Oliver Skipp. In the eighty second minute, Lookman found Digne, whose cross was headed down by Tosun into Lloris, on the goal line. Digne got a yellow card for a late challenge on Walker-Peters, before the end of season encounter finished in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, which secured Champions League football for Spurs with a fourth place finish in the league table.