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    Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

    By Tom Regan

    Tottenham Hotspur cemented their place in the Premier League’s top four following a 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.
    With Mousa Dembele out with a groin problem, Mauricio Pochettino kept faith with youth as Tom Carroll started alongside Eric Dier. Three other changes saw Kyle Walker and Ben Davies return to the defence, and Christian Eriksen started on the right of a midfield three.

    Roberto Martinez left Gerard Deulofeu on the bench, presumably with one eye on Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final against Man City. Phi Jagielka also made the bench for the first time since a 2-1 loss to Arsenal on October 24th.
    Spurs dominated the early exchanges. Walker’s cross was taken off Dele Alli’s foot on three minutes, and after Walker’s effort was blocked, Alli fed Carroll, whose attempt on goal went horribly wide.

    On eight minutes, the north Londoners were wondering how they had not taken the lead. Carroll fed Harry Kane, and from the right of centre, Harry smashed a low effort which somehow rebounded off the inside of Tim Howard’s right post and ran safely across goal. I am still scratching my head as to how the ball did not go in.
    Eriksen was guilty of bottling out of a challenge which led to the Toffees taking the lead totally against the run of play. The Dane lost out in his challenge far too easily, and the ball was crossed deep from the left. Romelu Lukaku nodded down to Aaron Lennon, and the former Lilywhite scored with a beautiful strike that left Hugo Lloris with no chance.

    Tottenham continued to plug away, and were ruing their luck again seven minutes later. Eriksen took a corner on the right, and passed inside to Davies who was lingering outside the Everton penalty area. The Welsh international hammered a fine shot which cannoned off the bar with Howard beaten.
    Seamus Coleman was booked by referee Michael Oliver for a deliberate handball as Lamela was breaking forward. Coleman then turned provider as he broke forward and crossed deep to the back post but Arouna Kone headed wide.

    Spurs got their deserved equaliser moments before half time following Toby Alderweireld’s sublime long pass. Alli controlled the ball and fired in superbly for his fifth of the campaign. It was a stunning finish from the youngster who is drawing more accolades with every passing game. To think this guy was playing in League One last season is unfathomable.
    On 52 minutes, Davies broke well down the left, crossing well where Alli chested for Kane, whose shot went over the target. Eriksen tested Howard following Carroll’s pass, but the American saved comfortably.

    Martinez made a double change with Deulofeu replacing Lennon and Muhamed Besic replacing Kone. The Toffees looked more dangerous with Deulofeu’s presence, and the game started to open out. It was end to end football, but without any major threat on goal by either side.
    Lamela and Carroll both saw yellow as the north Londoners were starting to feel the pressure of a resurgent home side. Son Heung-min came on for Eriksen and was instantly involved as he exchanged with Alli, before Dele hit a shot that was held by Howard.

    Everton were given a good opportunity following a free kick after Jan Vertonghen needlessly fouled Lukaku just shy of the half-way line. The attack ended with a blistering shot from Besic, which Lloris excellently tipped over the bar. From the corner, Ramiro Funes Mori’s effort drifted wide across the goal.
    Shots were blocked at both ends, and Lloris had to save from Ross Barkley, but the Lilywhites hung on to secure a well fought point.

    A Spurs team of the past may have lost this game, but this is a new Spurs, a more mentally tough outfit. The point ensured that Mauricio Pochettino’s side secured their place in the top four, and they are yet to lose a game that Alli has scored in.
    Tottenham should be proud of their first half performance, undoubtedly one of their best this campaign. They went into the interval level pegging but were unfortunate not to have had a two goal cushion.

    Leicester City are our next opponents when they come to White Hart Lane on Sunday for an FA Cup tie, and we host them three days later in N17 for a Premier League encounter.
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    Item Reviewed: Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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