Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Spurs v Everton, 05.09.2000
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Spurs v Everton, 5th September 2000

FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
TUESDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER, 2000
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (1) EVERTON 2 (2)

Spurs scorers:-
Rebrov 2 (1 pen), 45,62
Ferdinand, 64

Everton scorers:-
Jeffers, 25
Nyarko, 41

Referee:- Barry Knight

Attendance:- 36,010

Teams:-
Spurs (4-4-2):- Sullivan; Carr, Perry, Campbell (Capt.), Thatcher (sub Taricco, 37); Anderton (sub Clemence, 17), Freund, Sherwood, Leonhardsen; Rebrov, Ferdinand (sub Iversen, 89)

Subs not used:- Walker; Young

Booked:- Rebrov (foul)

Everton (4-4-2):- Gerrard; Watson, Weir, Unsworth, S. Hughes (sub Cleland, 75); Alexandersson, Nyarko, Gascoigne (sub Moore, 81), Gravesen; Jeffers, M. Hughes (sub Cadamarteri, 81)

Subs not used:- Simonsen (GK); Gemmill

Booked:- Unsworth, Alexandersson

For a team allegedly decimated by injury, Everton overawed a nave and lackadaisical Tottenham defence for much of the first half. If it hadn't been for a glaring miss by Francis Jeffers, and some salvage work from the defence when Alexandersson was allowed through a failed offside trap, then the home side, inspired by Sergei Rebrov and Stephen Carr, would have left themselves far too much to do. As it was, a timely goal just before the interval, and a fighting display after the tea break once again meant that Spurs came back from behind against one of the few sides to dread their visits to White Hart Lane, as they have yet to win there in the Premiership.

11 million pound signing Sergei Rebrov capped a fine personal display with two goals, and Les Ferdinand, allowed his first start this campaign, scored his second of the season to seal the points. Both Darren Anderton and Ben Thatcher were substituted through injury in the first half. Anderton has a groin strain, and Thatcher a chest injury, which was restricting his breathing. Some fans will think he was removed due to his glaring error (an underhit back pass) that led to Jeffers scoring the first goal, but Sol Campbell could be clearly seen signalling for the change on Thatcher's behalf. Taricco, when he came on, had a fine game, leading many successful attacks with his ball play down the left, and may have earnt his place back for the short term at least.

Right from the start, Spurs should have taken the lead as shots were whizzing to and fro across Gerrard's goalmouth. It was Anderton who had the last crack, but his effort was wide. After 4 minutes, a Mark Hughes effort was deflected for a corner, taken by Gazza (given another rousing reception by the home crowd). Hughes headed goalward, but Sullivan was equal to the attempt. Jeffers' great chance came following a clever back-heel from Mark Hughes, which left the defence stranded. Jeffers only had Sullivan to beat but pushed his shot to the left of Sullivan's goal.

Everton took the lead after 25 minutes, when Thatcher woefully underhit his easy back-pass to Sullivan, and the prowling Jeffers pounced gratefully on the chance. This defensive error made me angrier than I have been since Steve McNamanan beat Ian Walker with the assistance of a bobble a few years ago. Steffen Freund tried to equalise with a shot held by Gerrard at the second attempt, even though it was none too powerful.

Alexandersson had a powerful shot rise just above the woodwork, as he was presented with the ball by Thatcher after a Gascoigne corner, and then before we knew it, Spurs were two behind as Nyarko was allowed the freedom of the left side of midfield to allow himself a right foot shot to the bottom right corner. Spurs at least gave themselves a fighting chance after Campbell prodded a Clemence free kick against the post. Perry tried to reach the rebound, but it was Sergei Rebrov who gratefully swept the ball into the net.

The whole team had played poorly in that first half, but I have to say that Sol Campbell was as guilty as anybody of poor passing, and being found statue like in the face of swift passing an moving by the opposition.

The attitude changed in the second half, and several attacks came down the right, as Sherwood combined with Carr and the forwards. Rebrov showed many classy touches, and sometimes his colleagues failed to read his game. The equaliser came as the Spurs pressure mounted and the Everton defence crumbled, despite Walter Smith's switching of Graveson to the defence, allowing ex-Arsenal player Stephen Hughes to move forward from his makeshift left back covering position.

Stephen Hughes was penalised for impeding Carr's progress down the right. The free kick led to a corner by Clemence, and Sol Campbell's header was saved at point blank range by Gerrard. The ball bounced up and Graveson was the guilty party as he deliberately handled the ball. No Everton players argued with the decision, but successfully sheltered the miscreant who was not identified by the referee or his assistant. Graveson was therefore lucky to stay on the field, but Rebrov was cool as he stroked the penalty home.

Within 2 minutes, Spurs had the lead. A cross from Carr reached Clemence on the left of the area. He returned the ball, and Les Ferdinand was on hand to apply the finishing touch, only to disappear under the celebrating team! Some smooth one touch passing by Spurs down the right flank eventually led to a good lay-off by Ferdinand for Rebrov, but the Ukrainian's curled shot was wide.

In truth, Sullivan was not really troubled in the second period, but there was some pressure on the defence as Walter Smith put the fresh legs of Cadamarteri and poacher Joe-Max Moore on to try and salvage some return. After the shocking start, I did not expect to be going home happy tonight!

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