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Spurs v Everton, 05.03.17


Spurs scorers:-
Kane, 20, 56
Alli, 90(+2)

Everton scorers:-
Lukaku, 81
Valencia, 90(+3)


Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- S. Burt & C. Hatzidakis
Fourth official:- N. Swarbrick

Spurs (3 -4-2-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele (sub Winks, 78), Davies; Eriksen (sub Sissoko, 87), Alli; Kane (sub Janssen, 90)

Subs not used:- Vorm; Trippier, Wimmer; Son

Booked:- Dembele (foul on Coleman/dissent)

Everton (4-2-3-1):- Robles; Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines; Schneiderlin, Barry (Capt.) (sub McCarthy, 64); Gueye (sub Valencia, 81), Barkley, Davies ( sub Mirallas, 64); Lukaku (Armband to Baines)

Subs not used:- Stekelenburg; Jagielka, Holgate; Lookman

Booked:- Gueye (foul on Davies), Williams (foul on Janssen)

Honours to Kane and Spurs

Harry Kane won the battle of the strikers 2-1, and Spurs won the game 3-2 to secure second place on the Premier League at least until Man City play a mid-week game at home to Stoke on Wednesday. The score line does not tell a true story about the game, as Spurs had been 2-0 and 3-1 up, with a lapse in concentration after their third goal giving Everton a consolation second goal. There was never going to be time for the "Toffees" to equalise, and many of their fans will have missed Enner Valencia's late, late goal as they swarmed to the exits after Dele Alli had put Spurs 3-1 up in the second of four minutes added time.

Harry Kane scored a brace and Romelu Lukaku replied with one goal to give Harry the lead in the Premier League goalscorers' race with Arsenal's Sanchez missing out yesterday. Spurs deserved at least a two goal winning margin as this was a fine performance all round, although Ronald Koeman's team put up a better fight in the second half, after Spurs had dominated the first.

Mauricio Pochettino was able to field an unchanged line-up from that which started last week against Stoke, sticking to the 3-4-3 formation. Everton have been in fine form recently, and they too have a settled side. Koeman played Schneiderlin and Barry in front of the back four, with Ross Barkley perhaps playing just in front of youngster Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye. Gueye played towards the right with Lukaku the lone striker for the visiting side.

As always it was a full house for the partly demolished White Hart Lane stadium, and both sets of fans were in fine voice throughout.

From the start, Everton seemed to be trying to slow the game down, taking their time over throw-ins and goal kicks. Leighton Baines broke up a typical marauding attack by Kyle Walker, and at the other end Toby Alderweireld did the same against Lukaku.

Eriksen had an early free kick blocked. Everton's players always seemed to know where to find Lukaku, and he always offered an outlet for them. Vertonghen made a great tackle to deprive the Everton striker of the ball after a good ball by Ashley Williams. Jan also cleared and made a number of contributions that brought the old "Super Jan" chants to the fore. Vertonghen seemed determined to end a near on four year drought since he last scored a Premier League goal, getting forward several times.

Referee Michael Oliver seemed to take the easy option after Kyle Walker had been sent away by an Alderweireld long ball, coming inside song the goal-line when he went down under Baines' challenge. A corner was given.

For Everton, Tom Davies made a break and Vertonghen again came to the rescue. Both Davies and possible Spurs target Ross Barkley were never far from Lukaku.

Dele Alli was fouled out on the left side, and Eriksen's free kick was cleared. Spurs then went ahead with a great goal by Harry Kane. Ben Davies had passed inside from the left and Harry received facing the left wing, but turned and created space for himself hitting a great shot from more than 20 yards beating Robles to his right. Harry scores few goals from outside the box, but he showed last week and today that he can do that too!

Within a minute of scoring both Kane and Eriksen had chances which were either saved, blocked or wide. The final effort was that of Eriksen which passed wide. Kane had another chance from close range after Walker's cross, but goalkeeper Robles won this contest. More good play by Alli, Walker and Kane gave Eriksen another chance, but this too went wide.

After a foul on Kane, an Eriksen free kick beat all, including the keeper, but passed wide of the target. How Spurs were only one up, I really don't know. Vertonghen got forward again and passed inside to Victor Wanyama who hit a shot that I think was deflected before perhaps hitting the post and being cleared. Kane tried to follow up, but Everton cleared again. I understand Kane had been flagged offside anyway.

Gueye got the first booking of the game from a restrained referee Michael Oliver, for stopping Ben Davies unfairly in his tracks. Everton had occasional forays that threatened Spurs, and Lloris had to punch clear a cross by Barkley. Gareth Barry tried to tee up Lukaku, but his ball was just too far in front of the Everton striker.

Ben Davies crossed deep from the left and Eriksen met the ball with a header at the back post, but headed wide back across the goal.

Four minutes into the second half Victor Wanyama went down and required treatment, but made a full recovery and played a full part in the rest of the game. Ben Davies won a corner on the left and received a short ball from Eriksen before a cross which was met by Dele Alli and held by Robles.

Another powerful run by Vertonghen and a 1-2 exchange with Davies gave the centre back a shot which Robles saved, at the expense of a corner. Vertonghen was to the fore at the other end making a great saving tackle and clearance when Lukaku was threatening to break. To be honest, despite Kane's two goals and even a slip by Vertonghen for Lukaku's goal, I was tempted to make Jan my man of the match.

Spurs went 2-0 up in the 56th minute, and whilst Harry Kane gets the credit, the goal had everything to do with Kyle Walker's determination down the right where he chased a ball, and managed to send a cross after which goalkeeper Robles passed short to his defence, who more or less gifted the ball to Kane. Harry had space and time on the left to place his shot left of the keeper. Everton had a steep hill to climb to get back into the game.

However, Koeman's side gave it their all, and Eric Dier made a good clearance at the back post from Barkley after Lukaku had crossed the ball from the right. Koeman made a double substitution, replacing Davies and Barry with Mirallas and McCarthy.

Mousa Dembele and Harry Kane combined to open a space for Jan Vertonghen whose shot was blocked. A Mirallas shot was blocked by Dier and cleared by Lloris. Another useful Everton move led to a shot by Barkley which Lloris held.

Eriksen sent a ball to Davies whose deep cross was met by Dele Alli, but the offside flag had already been raised before the ball was put in the Everton net in the following play.

The game started to get feisty in some quarters with Dele Alli and Seamus Coleman having a running battle. Coleman never saw yellow, but the referee did have words with him at one stage. Dembele got the only Spurs booking when charging Coleman down on the edge of the Spurs area. The card may have been more for Mousa kicking the ball away than for the challenge. He was soon replaced by Winks.

Everton got a goal back when Lukaku received a ball from Mirallas, and Vertonghen unfortunately slipped when trying to challenge. That left the Everton man with a one-on-one chance against Lloris, and he fired across Lloris's right hand. The goal made for an interesting last 8 minutes, plus added time.

The Everton defence failed to deal with a Kyle Walker ball, and Harry Kane was one-on-one with Robles. Robles came off best. At the other end, a Lukaku shot from the left of goal was held by Lloris. An Everton corner was punched clear by Lloris.

Sissoko replaced the tiring Eriksen, but now it was Spurs trying to slow down the game. In a somewhat frenetic four minutes of added time, Harry Kane was replaced by Janssen, who did well winning a free kick against the clearly irritated Ashley Williams. Harry Winks took the free kick and Dele Alli made it 3-1 with a delightful and delicate shot beyond Robles.

Alli celebrated his goal flamboyantly, and Spurs lost their concentration, allowing Everton to immediately strike back through Enner Valencia, who converted Barkley's cross.

Everton's second goal was nothing more than a consolation though, and Spurs secured second place, at least until Wednesday when Manchester City play at home against Stoke City. We are four points ahead of fourth placed Liverpool and six points ahead of Arsenal. I am not sure when I was last able to write that!l

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