SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER, 2019
EVERTON 1(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0)
Tosun, 90 (+7)
Referee:- Martin Atkinson
Assistants:- Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup
Fourth official:- David Coote
VAR:- Anthony Taylor
Assistant VAR:- Adam Nunn.
Everton (4-4-1-1):- Pickford; Sidibe, Holgate, Mina, Digne (Capt.); Walcott (sub Tosun, 68), Davies (sub Calvert-Lewin, 83), Delph, Gomes (sub Sigurdsson, 84); Iwobi; Richarlison
Subs not used:- Lossl; Keane, Coleman; Kean
Booked:- Walcott (foul on Davies)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Gazzaniga; Aurier (sub Foyth, 88), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies (Capt.); Sissoko, Ndombele (sub Lo Celso, 73); Son, Eriksen (sub Sessegnon, 90 (+12)), Dele; Lucas Moura
Subs not used:- Vorm; Dier; Winks; Parrott
Booked:- Eriksen (foul on Iwobi), Ndombele (foul on Sidibe)
Sent off:- Son (79) – “endangered the safety of a player” (Overturned on appeal by The Premier League)
“We want our football back”
That was the chant of Spurs fans after one of several protracted VAR incidents at this game. The particular review was a mystery to those in the ground and followed an alleged handball by Dele Alli after an Everton corner, Eventually the review decided there was no penalty but the continuing frustration of VAR is destroying the game for us fans.
The post-match headlines have of course been over the horrific injury suffered by Everton’s Andre Gomes when he was fouled by Son Heung-min after 79 minutes. Son’s challenge was from behind but it was low and in the view of most observers did not warrant Martin Atkinson’s red card. The referee initially held a yellow card and it is not clear whether he changed his mind after seeing the nature of the injury, or whether VAR had an influence. Mauricio Pochettino said after the game “Judge the action, not the injury”. I understand that Gomes’ injury (a severely dislocated and fractured ankle) was caused as he twisted his ankle and fell after the challenge. Gomes then collided with Serge Aurier, who was the subject of Everton boos when he was subsequently substituted by Juan Foyth.
All players and most especially Son and Aurier were distraught at the plight of Gomes, who received lengthy treatment and was stretchered off and taken straight to hospital where he will have surgery today. Everybody wishes him a full recovery. Everton players consoled each other and Spurs players on the pitch, and to his great credit, Everton substitute Seamus Coleman visited the Spurs dressing room after the game to console Son. Clearly those in the know, and in the midst of the action (the incident did take place in front of the technical area) do not cast blame upon any individual.
The game was preceded by an immaculate ceremony and silence in advance of Remembrance Day, commemorating the Fallen.
Football correspondent Ally Gold had tweeted in the early hours to pass on news that Harry Kane had apparently not travelled with the squad. This proved to be correct. Harry’s absence was due to illness and not injury and we must hope that he and other absentees such as Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela can travel to Belgrade tomorrow (Tuesday) for the difficult game in Belgrade. Sadly, Lucas Moura was somewhat ineffective. Christian Eriksen remains a shell of his former self, and again gave ammunition to the growing army of Spurs “haters”.
Spurs lined up with Sissoko and Ndombele as a defensive midfield pairing, often seen to be switching sides. Everton kicked off and featured two former Arsenal men, Theo Walcott and Iwobi, both of whom were greeted accordingly by the travelling fans. Everton seemed to play a high defensive line which restricted a lot of the play to the middle third of the pitch. Occasionally, a game of football broke out, but excitement was a rare commodity.
Alderweireld sent a long ball to Ben Davies (wearing the captain’s armband) who was in advanced position. Davies passed inside to Eriksen, whose attempted pass went to Everton feet. This drew the first jeers from away fans towards the player allegedly valued by Daniel Levy in the summer at well lover £100 million. He’s worth a fraction of such a figure.
There was a 12th minute applause around the ground for Jamie Myers a 12 year old Evertonian who tragically died recently.
Eriksen and Son advanced in tandem after 16 minutes, but when Son returned the ball to Eriksen, our playmaker was too slow and the ball was too easily taken off his feet. Following a cross by Serge Aurier which was palmed away by Pickford, Everton attacked through Gomes, who passed forward to Richarlison. Spurs cleared and Gazzaniga had not been tested. Eriksen did send a ball forward to Son, but the Everton defence dealt with that as well as we had against Richarlison. Gomes had a header go too high over the goal after Walcott got to the bye-line on the right and crossed. Soon after that Walcott was booked for a foul on Ben Davies, but the Spurs free kick came to nought. Eriksen was booked soon after for a foul on Iwobi.
After 32 minutes Digne passed inside to Richarlison whose shot was easily picked up by Gazzaniga. Digne took a couple of throw-ins (close to being foul throws I’d say too) before Iwobi passed inside to Richarlison who fired well over the target.
Spurs kicked off the second half and within five minutes of the re-start Dele Ali sent Son away down the left-hand side. Son got inside the area and went down when Yerry Mina fell and collided with “Sonny”. There were not one, but two delaying reviews of this incident which ultimately was deemed not to be a penalty. Spurs had a free kick taken out on the right by Eriksen and the ball was sent into the dangerous territory within Pickford’s 6-yard area. Both Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies dived desperately to try and make contact. Davies did succeed, but could not hit the target.
Richarlison went down too easily in front of the Gwladys Street End under Sanchez’s challenge and wanted a penalty, but Mr Atkinson was not interested. I’m not even sure if this incident was reviewed, but of course the home fans were screaming for a penalty. They did soon see Richarlison have a good left foot shot well saved by Gazzaniga in the middle of his goal after the ball was fed from the left-hand side.
Dele hit a good ball forward for Lucas Moura, but the forward could not quite reach the ball which ran to Pickford’s arms. In the 73rd minute Iwobi inexplicably sent a pass back into his half directly to the feet of Son, who fed Dele. Dele got to the edge of the box, turning to his right before planting a well-placed shot into the net to the right of Pickford. How Dele and his fans enjoyed that goal!
Everton’s Tom Davies hit a ball to Walcott who was towards the right of the Spurs area. Walcott tried pass inside which was diverted by Ben Davies wide of the post. This was Walcott’s last action as he was replaced by Tosun. This corner preceded those lengthy deliberations over the alleged handball by Dele when he climbed to challenge Mina. The delay was a full three minutes.
Ndombele was replaced by Lo Celso who had another decent cameo. Perhaps he will get a start soon! Ndombele had another reasonable game with some nice touches, but also the occasional error. I am not currently seeing a 350-£60 million player here, but in today’s climate, what do you get for this sort of money?
Spurs were now desperately defending their lead, and it was this situation which led to “Sonny”’s challenge upon Gomes as he advanced down the left side around the half-way line. The lengthy treatment required coupled with VAR led to a full 12 minutes of added time, during which the ten men ultimately succumbed to an equaliser. Like you, I’ve now seen the TV replay (up the point where sensitivity stopped the replay) and Son’s challenge was low. Gomes’ injury was caused by the awkward nature of his fall, with his ankle then being grotesquely twisted, and before colliding with Aurier. Calvert-Lewin had already replaced Tom Davies before the unfortunate Gomes was formally replaced by Sigurdsson. Everton were now going all out for the equaliser.
Sigurdsson crossed from the right and Calvert-Lewin headed over at the back post. The equaliser came in the seventh minute of added time when Tosun rose to head home Digne’s cross. There was time for one more VAR review over an alleged foul by Sanchez upon Richarlison, who once again had gone to ground too easily.
The last time these two teams met with both placed in the bottom half was a full 15 years ago when Spurs lost 3-1. This point was therefore an improvement. Spurs remain in 11th place, and face tough opponents Sheffield United next week at home. Everton find themselves only one place, but three points above the bottom three.
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