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Everton v Spurs, 16.04.21

PREMIER LEAGUE
FRIDAY 16TH APRIL, 2021
(8pm)
EVERTON 2(1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1)

Everton scorer:-
Sigurdsson 31 (pen), 62

Spurs scorer:- Kane 27,68

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official:- Craig Pawson
VAR:- Andre Marriner
Assistant VAR:- Sian Massey-Ellis.

Teams:-
Everton (3-4-1-2):- Pickford; Godfrey, Keane, Holgate; Iwobi (sub Coleman, 61), Allan, Davies (sub King, 84), Digne; Sigurdsson (Capt.); Rodriguez, Richarlison
(Note – Coleman took the captain’s armband when he came on)
Subs not used:- Joao Virginia (GK), Olsen (GK); Nkounkou, John, Welch; Broadhead, Price

Booked:- Davies (foul on Ndombele)

Spurs (3-4-1-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Alderweireld, Rodon, Dier; Aurier, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Reguilon (sub Lucas Moura, 64); Ndombele (sub Lamela, 64); Son, Kane (sub Dele, 90+3)

Subs not used:- Hart; Sanchez, Tanganga; Winks, Lo Celso; Bale

Booked:- Hojbjerg (foul on Sigurdsson)

Thanks for the point Harry!

Spurs have Harry Kane to thank for two goals that put him clear seventh in the all-time list of Premier League scorers which also gave us a point. In truth we didn't deserve any more than that and this is a result which does neither team a favour with regards to their hopes of qualifying for Europe next season. An additional worry for Spurs is the fact that Kane hobbled off at the very end of the game after suffering a knock when defending an added time Everton corner. We now have to wait and see if our talisman will be fit for our one (slim) chance of glory in next week's Carabao Cup Final.

There were one or two surprises in Jose Mourinho’s selection. Firstly he chose to play a back three (perhaps he had anticipated a similar move by Ancelotti) which included Toby Alderweireld, making his first club appearance since 14th March at Arsenal. Joe Rodon was in the middle of the three with Eric Dier to his left. Aurier and Reguilon were wing-backs with Sissoko and Hojbjerg inside them. Tanguy Ndombele’s role was primarily behind Son and Kane. Ancelotti has plenty of injury problems and his absentees included Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but he still fielded a decent team, but his bench was low on experience.

The game was preceded by a period of silence for the Duke of Edinburgh, whose funeral is taking place tomorrow (Saturday).

Spurs kicked off and played towards the Gwladys Street End. For a change they ventured into opposition territory early with Son having a shot blocked and then a free kick taken from the right by Reguilon pushed wide of Pickford’s right post. Richarlison offered a ball to Sigurdsson at the other end and “Siggy” tried a long shot which passed over the target. Aurier made two mistakes in the early exchanges and after the second of these Hojbjerg was exposed and fouled Sigurdsson, attracting an early booking. Ndombele was seeing the ball quite a bit, but his clever attempts to twist and turn his way to an advantageous position were getting him nowhere. Sometimes a simple pass is preferable!

Ndombele went down dramatically when challenged by Godfrey, but whilst play was stopped for him to recover, there had been no foul. Davies was soon booked for what was a definite foul on Ndombele. Referee Michael Oliver had allowed a passage of play to continue in Spurs favour, but he was clearly not going to hesitate to show his cards. As it happened, the players got the message and generally tackled diligently, or perhaps not enough – especially on the Spurs side, as they too often allowed Everton space and time on the ball.

Rodriguez threaded a good ball to Richarlison who had a good chance with a right footed shot. Lloris dived and saved to his left, and the ball was cleared. At the other end Ndombele had a shot blocked after a Kane header. Ndombele then found his way to the left where he crossed with his right foot. Keane got a touch with his poor attempt to head clear and the ball reached Harry Kane, who very happily accepted the gift of a left-footed goal inside Pickford’s right post.

Sadly, Everton were level all too quickly. Rodriguez was running from right to left inside the Spurs area with Reguilon close behind him making a little contact for what was probably a soft penalty. Sigurdsson’s shot from the spot was anything but soft, as Hugo (as is too often the case) dived the wrong way. Everton had a free kick in a dangerous position after a foul by Alderweireld upon Richarlison, but Sigurdsson’s effort was blocked by the wall.

Harry Kane tried an audacious 40-yarder but his attempt [passed wide of Pickford’s left post. Rodriguez had a 25-yard shot held by Lloris before Iwobi had a shot that rebounded clear off Sigurdsson. Everton were looking dangerous at this time and after a clever exchange between Sigurdsson and Rodriguez, the Columbian had a left foot shot well saved by Hugo. Richarlison had a shot well blocked by Joe Rodon after another Sigurdsson pass. This led to a corner taken from the right by Rodriguez and headed goalward by Richarlison , but held by Lloris.

There were three minutes of added time. A Rodriguez free kick from the left reached Godfrey beyond the back post, but his attempt was wide. Richarlison went down inside the area, but there was no foul. Having had few efforts on goal themselves, Spurs could surely be thankful to be level at the interval.

There were no changes and Everton had two early corners. From the second of these Richarlison’s header was way over the target. Spurs showed signs of at least trying to match Everton’s aggression in the middle and tried to get forward more. Eric Dier was moving up and combined with Harry Kane down the left channel, before lifting a cross which at least won us a corner. Dier started another good move down that left side, passing inside to Kane who fed the ball to Son towards the left of the area. Son’s right-footed shot was smothered by Pickford at his right post, conceding a corner. That was Son’s best moment of the game. He, and Spurs did more chasing, but they were often not controlling or passing the ball properly.

Ndombele had a shot blocked by Digne, after receiving from Kane to his left, winning a corner. Son took the kick and Alderweireld’s near post header hit the outside of the post as it went out of play. Richarlison had the ball in the net at the other end but he had clearly been offside when receiving a lofted ball over the defence.

Iwobi was replaced by Coleman, who had an immediate impact. He advanced down the right flank with the Spurs defence trailing, crossing into the area where Sigurdsson scored confidently and cleverly placing his side-footed (left foot) shot inside Hugo’s right post.

Mourinho respond ed quickly, sending on Lamela and Lucas Moura for the disappointed Ndombele and Reguilon. It wasn’t long before Spurs were on level terms, and again the goal was really thanks to a gift by the central defence. Lamela had crossed from deep on the right and both Holgate and Keane failed with their attempts to head clear. The ball fell nicely for Harry, who this time scored with his right foot. That was Premier League goal number 164 for “One of our own”.

Lucas Moura found Son with a pass from the left but “Sonny”’s shot was blocked. A second ball by Lucas was a lifted cross which reached Kane, whose header scraped the outside of Pickford’s left post. Hojbjerg found Lamela in a central position in the Everton half and Erik advanced on a run, but skied his shot. Son passed inside to Kane, whose shot on goal was half-blocked and picked up by Pickford with Hojbjerg trying to make ground to reach what he had hoped would be a loose ball.

Spurs might have snatched a win during this spell, but as the game closed out Everton came closer. Tom Davies was replaced by Josh King and after a poor ball inside his own half by Dier, King got on the end of a move (Rodriguez had been a provider) and had a shot well saved by Lloris before Richarlison’s follow-up missed the target. After Kane had left the field there was time for one more Sigurdsson-Rodriguez exchange with the latter hitting the final shot wide.

The result leaves Spurs one point ahead of Everton in seventh place, but “The Toffees” have a game in hand.

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