FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 2ND OCTOBER, 2004
EVERTON 0 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)
Referee:- Graham Poll
Everton (4-3-2-1):- Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs (Capt.), Pistone (sub McFadden 76); Cahill (sub Watson, 62), Carsley (sub Ferguson, 57), Kilbane; Osman, Gravesen; Bent
Subs not used:- Wright; Yobo
Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson ; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman (sub Gardner, 68); Davies, Redknapp (Capt.), Mendes, Atouba; Defoe (sub Ziegler, 79), Keane
Subs not used:- Keller; Brown; Silva
Booked:- Redknapp, Defoe
Spurs fans need their oxygen masks again, as The King and Mr. Cool (otherwise known as Ledley King and Noureddine Naybet), ably assisted by Robinson, Pamarot and Edman ensured that the "Mourinho Bus" stole away from Goodison Park with all three points, to lift Spurs back up the table.
Spurs - a soft touch at most grounds in recent years - are suddenly attracting headlines for their resilience, having conceded only three goals in 8 Premiership games. We have even won 8 of our 13 points away from home! That's almost a season's worth already, compared to the last two years!
Today, Spurs have attracted some headlines for the wrong reasons. Jamie Redknapp will probably need armour fro protection from the blue half of Liverpool, after his high tackle which led to Tim Cahill hobbling off. Jermain Defoe was also "enemy of the people" for his two-footed lunge at David Weir's feet. Both fouls were punished by yellow, not red, as the home fans demanded. For the record, I don't think either challenge was malicious. Defoe was over -exuberant. Redknapp made an error of judgement for which he has apologised, and, as it is his fifth booking, he will have to sit out Spurs next game at Portsmouth on October 18th.
It was soon evident why Everton have made such a good start to the season. They play the game at such high tempo that even the ball boys seem to be part of the plan, with a spare ball always available for immediate resumption rather than a delay whenever the ball went out of play. Everton's packed midfield swamped and stormed Spurs, who were on the back foot and could have been two or three goals down in the first half hour. As anticipated, Marcus Bent was the main striker, but he was ably supported by Leon Osman, and Cahill. Kilbane gave Pamarot a rough ride in the first half, whilst Gravesen and Carsley were capable directors of the show.
Spurs rarely got a foot on the ball, and gave Defoe and Keane scant service. Atouba's touch was poor and even Mendes struggled at times to pass cleanly. The first scare for Spurs came after just 3 minutes. Bent got around Ledley King on the right side of the box, and then went down as Edman tried to withdraw his outstretched leg. Luckily for Spurs, Graham "No Pen" Poll was in charge, and he waved the Everton appeals away.
Around the quarter-hour mark, Cahill made a great header following Gravesen's throw. Robinson dived to his left, but he wasn't quite going to make it, as the ball hit the outside of the post. Then Robinson made great ground from left to right across his area, as this time Cahill was the provider for Osman's header. "England's Number One" spread himself superbly to save at close range. After 25 minutes, Kilbane got round Pamarot and hit a great low shot across Naybet and Robinson, missing the post by about two feet.
Spurs had survived. and all they had to show for their efforts were a couple of half-chances for Defoe, firing one shot high, when Keane desperately wanted a threaded ball to his feet. Defoe had a good penalty shout after 38 minutes, doing well to stay on his feet as he entered the box, but then going to the floor due to Pistone's tackle. "No Pen" was in charge, and gave an offside against Davies as his shot was parried by Martyn.
There was sustained ironic cheering by the Spurs fans, as Poll actually gave us a free kick as injury time approached. Redknapp nearly made a mess of the kick, but did get the ball to Keane, whose short cross was headed wide by Atouba. After 8 gritty second-half minutes, Spurs won a corner through Atouba and Davies, who returned Keane's short corner for Robbie to send a ball towards the back of the area, where Noe Pamarot rose and put great power into a header back across the goal, beyond Martyn, into the net! Thereafter, Noe was greeted by Spurs fans with the "Defoe" chant - "Pamarot - he's a Yiddo!".
Whilst he might have over-committed once or twice during the game, Pamarot is another big, powerful man, with pace, who made plenty of excellent and vital clearances, as Spurs held out for the remaining 40 minutes of the game. Osman saw his shot rebound off the post, with Robinson beaten, but the insertion of Ferguson for Carsley weakened rather than strengthened the Blues' cause, as balls aimed for his head became fodder for King and Naybet.
Ultimately, Jacques Santini brought on Gardner for the mildly concussed Edman, and when Reto Ziegler was given ten minutes in place of Defoe, he took up the left midfield, whilst Atouba fell back as part of a 5-man defence. Ziegler came through this tough baptism well, proving able to hold and carry the ball, drawing a late challenge from Gravesen, who also saw yellow.
The only real threat for Spurs came when McFadden took the ball round Pamarot near the half-way line, but was thwarted by Robinson's well-timed advance to the edge of his area. Two minutes into injury time Robbie Keane had a great chance to make it 2-0, but fired over the middle of goal, having deceived the central defence, and having only Martyn to beat.
After the break for International Fixtures, Spurs have 4 "winnable" Premiership games, before the November test against a team in red. Hopefully we will be able to welcome back Sean Davis for the first of these games at Portsmouth.
· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.
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