Tottenham scored early and late as they salvaged a point against Everton at White Hart Lane. The early strike came from Emmanuel Adebayor who put Spurs ahead after 33 seconds and Gylfi Sigurdssn’s late equaliser came with four minutes to play against a determined and well organised Everton team. The visitors recovered from their terrible start by equalising from a corner after 15 minutes and went ahead with an exciting goal early in the second half.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Everton 2
Scorers: Adebayor, Sigurdsson Jagielka, Mirallas
Team: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen; Sigurdsson, Parker (Carroll), Dembele (Huddlestone), Holtby; Dempsey, Adebayor Subs: (unused) Friedel, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, CeballosTottenham’s team included six players who hadn’t started the Europa League match against FC Basel. Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker made up the defence with Jan Vertonghen moving across to left back. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey replaced Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale with Emmanuel Adebayor as the lone striker. Tom Carroll was on the bench along with the Under-21 striker/midfield player, Cristian Ceballos.
Tottenham had the perfect start when Jan Vertonghen put in a cross from the left and Adebayor got between the two central defenders to put the ball past Tim Howard, the ball going between the goalkeeper’s legs. Everton were unsettled and Spurs kept up the pressure as they pressed them back on the edge of their own area. The visitors looked to play long passes over the Spurs defence but Lloris was out quickly to collect the ball. The first moment of danger for Spurs came after ten minutes when Dawson gave the ball away but Osman’s shot went wide.
Everton’s response was quick – Dawson cleared a dangerous cross for a corner after 15 minutes. Baines’ corner found Jagielka at the back post, out-jumping Vertonghen who was falling backwards. The Everton captain’s downward header beat Loris at his post.
Both teams worked hard without troubling the goalkeepers. Tottenham regularly shot from distance as Everton got back quickly but they either went past or were collected comfortably by Howard. Everton threatened with quick breaks running directly quickly at the home defence.
The second half started like the first with an early Spurs attack as Scott Parker found Adebayor in the area but Everton cleared the danger. Spurs were struggling to get past Everton’s well organsised defensive set-up with two lines of four constantly barring the way. Walker and Adebayor tried to work a move on the right with the ball falling to Dempsey but he shot over from the edge of the area. Adebayor who was more involved than in many recent games went on a run but couldn’t get in his shot.
Everton responded and Mirallas troubled Spurs on the left but Gibson’s shot went wide. The pressure remained on Tottenham and again when Mirallas picked up the ball after Spurs had given it away in midfield, he ran at the defenders. He took it on himself into the area to shoot low across goal and past a diving Lloris.
Mousa Dembele produced a quick response from Spurs with a shot that was deflected but Howard saved low and deflected the ball onto the bar and it was cleared as Dempsey closed in. Spurs continued to search for an equaliser with shots coming in from distance as Everton had set up their defensive play to deny Spurs space wide or behind their back line. To Tottenham’s credit they kept plugging away as Everton pulled all eleven players back.Chances were rare and efforts on goal mostly long range efforts. Tottenham replaced Dembele with Tom Huddlestone but it looked as if it was going to be a pointless afternoon for Spurs. With four minutes to go they created an equaliser. Walker went past Baines and pulled the ball back to Adebayor on the edge of the area. His shot hit the post and rebounded to Sigurdsson who scored.
With two minutes remaining Spurs almost ruined their hard work when a mistake by Dawson allowed Anichebe in on goal but Lloris rescued the situation diving low at his feet to save. Neither side could manage a late dramatic winner so both were disappointed with only a point. It was a fair result but one which damages both teams aspirations for the end of the season.
Tottenham earned a point with Thursday’s evening goalscorers against FC Basel again providing the goals. They drop to fourth, level on points with Chelsea who defeated Sunderland while Arsenal are only two points behind. Both teams have a match in hand but hopefully Everton will prove as tenacious and awkward opponents when they visit the Emirates on Tuesday week.