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John Ellis's view on Everton v Spurs, 23.12.18

Thanks to John Ellis for this view on yesterday's game

Everton 2-6 (six!) Tottenham Hotspur

Scintillating Spurs glitter, dazzle and sparkle!

The magic of Christmas shone through for Spurs fans at Goodison Park. The team filled their stockings with goals, goals and more goals...sprinkled in stardust in a quite sensational performance. Jingle bells could even be heard!

The champagne football flowed across the Goodison turf and incredibly the scoreline flattered Everton. At 2-6 a Spurs fan said to me you are always balanced in your reports but can you big the players in your report.

I will however try to remain balanced and write that today Spurs were simply outstanding. The first time passing and movement was of the highest order. Perversely only their shooting and final ball were a little wayward at times otherwise the scoreline could genuinely have been ten goals plus.

The game didn’t quite start that way though.

Sanchez back in the side looked hesitant in giving away possession twice in quick succession. There was an audibly more positive atmosphere amongst the home fans than in recent years. In the tenth minute Everton created a clear opening but the header was put wide. A couple of minutes later and Kane was through, lobbed the keeper but agonisingly was wide of the post. This was followed by a mazy run to the byline by Son who found Trippier whose shot was well saved by Pickford.

Spurs were now on top. A Dele flick almost put Kane in and then Kane did get through but a last ditch tackle prevented him getting his shot in. Kane fired a free kick wide as Spurs continued to take the game to the home side.

The writers curse... Everton broke down the left and the cross was turned in by Walcott of all people... Tottenham responded with a powerful forward run by Winks from which Kane fizzed a long range shot just over.

Everton replied down the Spurs left. The header left Lloris stranded for a second goal... but phew the referee blew for an infringement. An inch perfect long range Hoddle-esque pass from Alderweireld found Davies whose cross couldn’t be turned in by Son.

That all changed in the 27th minute. The travelling fans bemoaned a ball forward to Son which was overplayed and went through to Pickford who had come out of his box to collect. Son didn’t give it up though... the keeper's propensity for overplaying had clearly been picked up by the Spurs coaching staff and he tangled with a defender. The ball broke loose for Son who might have had an empty net to aim at but he was a long way out and very wide.... it mattered not to a man in top form and he buried with aplomb to put Spurs level at 1-1!

Kane had yet another good chance but shot across the goal wide... the shots were mounting for Kane. Surely one would go in soon! Son then broke clear down the left and brought another save from Pickford. The ball broke and the rebound was measuredly tucked home beyond the despairing defenders on the line by Dele. Everton 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur!!!

Some turnaround but the scoreline reflected the balance of play and probably flattered the home side. The quality of Spurs attacking play was a joy to behold. Son was brought down for what the home fans felt was a contentious free kick. Their mood wasnt about to improve ...Trippier stepped up and bent a fantastic free kick round the wall which hit the inside of the post and there was Kane on hand to make it 1-3! The scoreline gave a better reflection of Spurs dominance.

In first half added time, Dele was adjudged offside. The whistle went and having been booked for a similar offence on Wednesday proceeded to do exactly the same again and bury the ball into the net. Fortunately a more lenient referee today but Dele...there was absolutely no need.

Lamela came on for Dele at half time. Hopefully precautionary with the busy holiday period ahead.

Second Half

Kane broke down the right and crossed, the defender cleared his lines with a diving header.... or so he thought! There was Eriksen on the run to hit a powerful long range drive low into the net for a stunning goal to make it 1-4! Spurs were on fire!

Everton fans streamed out of the stadium with 40+ minutes remaining with the song “you should have gone Christmas shopping” ringing in their ears. Everton hit back quickly through a goal by Sigurdsson across the goal which Lloris could arguably have done better on.

In the 62nd minute Lamela played a lovely wonderful one two, ran at the heart of the Toffees defence to slip in Son to finish “sweetly”. Spurs were now rampant! Everton 2-5 Tottenham Hotspur

More home fans left and to think before the match I was a little concerned as to how long it would take to exit the Stanley Park car park! In the 74th minute a quite wonderful move involving many players and even more passes released Son whose cross was met first time by Kane to steer goal number six into the back of the Everton net! It was now well and truly party time in the Spurs away end. The away fans also let Sky Sports know their feelings towards them.

There was a feeling throughout that Spurs might score every time they attacked. The Everton manager Marco Silva must be sick of the sight of Spurs. As Hull manager he was on the end of an even bigger 1-7 thrashing. This was an incredibly open game and it felt as if Pochettino had looked at the two line ups and thought attack attack attack as we have the greater firepower which is exactly how it turned out.

Another word for Oliver Skipp who came on as a substitute and again didn’t put a foot wrong. And what about Sissoko - what a match he had again. The real magic of Christmas though came from the front four of Eriksen, Dele, Son and Kane. They were superb and looked as lethal as any attack anywhere in the world. Harry Winks showed positivity and intent in all he did and thankfully has now fully recovered from the serious injury he sustained at Burnley some 18 months ago.

Alderweireld started many attacks with pinpoint passing. Davies had an excellent unsung hero game at left back whilst Trippier on another day could have had a couple of goals from the right back position. Spurs are now well and truly in the title race but the front runners are relentless and as good as Spurs are playing, there is little room for manoeuvre and any slips ups could soon put paid to those hopes.

Having won nine out of eleven away games and having only played seven at “home”, Spurs have had an incredible start to the season. Long may it continue!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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