BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 29TH AUGUST, 2015
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) EVERTON 0(0)
Referee:- Mike Jones
Assistants:- A. Garratt & M. Scholes
Fourth official:- C. Breakspear
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Bentaleb; Dembele (sub Alli, 53), Mason (sub Pritchard, 85), Chadli; Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Trippier, Davies; Lamela, Carroll
Booked:- Alli (not moving for free kick), Bentaleb (foul on Kone), Dier (foul on Barkley), Chadli (Dissent)
Everton (4-2-3-1):- Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka (Capt.), Oviedo; McCarthy, Barry; Kone (sub Deulofeu, 84), Barkley, Cleverley (sub Mirallas, 45); Lukaku (sub Naismith, 69)
Subs not used:- Robles; Browning, Pennington; Besic
Booked:- Barry (foul on Kane)
Spurs stirred, but Everton were not shaken
Both teams were keen to win this game to re-launch their season, but neither could find the fire power to bother the scorers. Possession over the whole game was 50/50, but until the latter stages, I'd say that Spurs looked in control, whereas I always felt Everton might catch us out, especially towards the end of the game.
I was too late to see him, but I understand that latest signing Son Heung-min was introduced before the game, but he took no part as we still await formal International and work permit clearance. Clinton N'Jie is apparently not yet match fit, so we have at least two weeks to wait before seeing these acquisitions.
In the meantime, Mauricio Pochettino is more than happy to put his faith in the young Spurs, with Nabil Bentaleb restored to the starting line-up beside the impressive Eric Dier, whilst Ryan Mason took up the central position in front of these two, with Dembele on the right and Chadli on the left. Harry Kane was well policed by John Stones and Phil Jagielka.
Stones was subject to a "Can't buy you Stones" chant from the visiting fans, especially in the second half, directing plenty of abuse at Jose Mourinho who covets the young England centre-back. Well he might, especially after losing at home to Palace today!
There was a little light rain before and during the game, with fairly high humidity levels.
After two minutes Alderweireld made an excellent tackle on Lukaku in the Spurs box, and Dembele carried the ball into safety. Dembele was once again well involved in early Spurs attacks, finding Chadli after 9 minutes towards the right. The ball was crossed from that side, but way too deep, leading to an Everton throw. Dier then won the ball in the middle, feeding Dembele, who passed forward to Kane. Harry hit a right footed shot wide of Howard's right post.
Bentaleb hit a decent ball over the defence for Mason to chase, but the goalkeeper got there first. A long Spurs ball down the left reached Chadli, who passed inside to Bentaleb. Nabil's shot had Howard beaten, but passed the wrong side of his left post.
Kyle Walker was busy, and did plenty of things right today, but he was prone to the occasional error. The first after 16 minutes gave Cleverley a chance, which Lloris was happy to push over for a corner. Spurs responded to this with a quick attack where Danny Rose advanced to receive the ball on the left, but his cross was cleared.
Harry Kane tried a right footer from 25 yards, having been teed up by Bentaleb, but the shot was way over the target. Kane had his best chance of the game, and probably so far this season when he made a good run to reach a wonderful ball by Mason. Harry was one-on-one against Howard, but the keeper won the battle for the ball.
Dier started a move from the middle, and Mason exchanged passes with Chadli on the left before having a shot saved. Kane had a chase against Stones for the ball, and won near the bye-line. In the follow-up play, Bentaleb's shot was saved. Another move started after a good headed clearance by Walker. Dembele continued the move and Kane won a corner taken by Mason on the right, with Alderweireld's header being pushed over the bar by Howard.
After an Everton free kick taken from the right, Barkley had a shot saved by Lloris. The two number 15s clashed with Eric Dier making a great tackle on Cleverley on the right side of the Spurs area. Unfortunately, Cleverley required lengthy treatment before being stretchered off, and was replaced by Mirallas. Jan Vertonghen made another good tackle on Coleman, as he entered the Spurs area.
Spurs started the second half at a higher tempo, and were well on top for quite a while. Dembele fed Chadli, who found room for a right footed shot, saved by Howard. Dembele got to the left of the area, and might have let the ball run out for a corner, but he passed inside and Kane had a shot blocked. When the ball came back to him, Harry headed it to Chadli, who fired wide.
Dembele suffered an injury at the start of this move, and with ten men, Danny Rose raced for a Mason ball, before messing up his final effort. Dembele was replaced by Dele Alli, who continues to exude confidence, and not a little audacity, with a flicked pass here and there.
Alli gave Mason a chance which was blocked, and then Dele's follow-up effort was saved. Alli took an early booking though, and was subsequently offered advice by referee Mike Jones, who was rarely on Spurs' side today. Tim Howard made another save from an Alli shot after good work with Harry Kane.
Mr. Jones had words with Dier and Lukaku as they grappled whilst waiting for a free kick taken by Barkley from the right.
The atmosphere was building as the home crowd urged their team on to success, but ultimately, that was to no avail. Bentaleb did well to carry the ball out of his own half, passing to Kane, who had another shot blocked. Harry Kane had a shot blocked after a pass from Chadli, and when Kane returned the compliment, Chadli fired way too high.
Vertonghen made a valiant solo run from half-way, making room for a shot which skimmed the bar. However, Everton then had perhaps their most dangerous moment. Kone was on the right and passed inside to Barkley, who spread the play to left back Oviedo. Kone made it into the area to meet Oviedo's cross, and headed just wide at the back post.
Barkley hit a dangerous free kick from deep on the right, which won a corner. In the following play, substitute Naismith went down in the box, but the referee was giving nothing. Initially, Naismith didn't seem to make much fuss, but after the next Spurs attack, he did tackle the referee. That next Spurs attack was a well worked move featuring Mason, Alli and Kane, who did hit the net, but had already been flagged offside.
Kane made it to a long clearance by Lloris, and passed to Mason on the right. Danny Rose advanced again to shoot, but skied his effort. Everton seemed to have the better of the latter stages, with Mr. Jones awarding several free kicks in dangerous areas for Spurs to defend.
Considering all the chances, I would argue that Spurs deserved to win, but now we have to wait for a trip to Sunderland after the International break to see if they can get that first win.
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