In the first minute Everton whack a high ball up to Lukaku. Surely not a sign of things to come? Baines vs. Townsend should be interesting.
Sandro’s strong shot from distance brings a save from Howard pushing it round the post for a corner. Nothing comes of it as usual for Spurs in recent games. Spurs maintain pressure. 25 yarder from Townsend flies 6ft wide.Nice to see Spurs bench wearing poppies.
6 mins. Aaron Lennon cuts in and crosses from right. Soft header by Soldado past post.
11 mins. All Spurs so far. Moves just breaking down at final ball as we reach their area.
13 mins. Townsend shot deflected over for corner. More of the same through to 20th minute. Spurs have had 6 attempts on goal. Our crosses are tending to sweep over high and beyond centre forward position. Vertonghen playing as attacking left back with panache. Clambered over from behind but no penalty given. We are doing everything right but for final ball and finishing. I think Defoe would have scored by now.
27 mins. We lose possession on edge of their area and they immediately launch it route 1 to Lukaku as in the first minute.
28 mins. No-one closes Osman down who places a long range shot over the bar.
36 mins. Becoming a bit more end to end. Everton getting a bit more into it. They have tried to build a few moves through the middle. A couple of thankfully lame crosses. They get a free kick 30 yards out near right touchline. Two Everton players fall over each other trying to head it. Goal kick.
42 mins. Sandro falls over and handles as he slides in to tackle. Free kick edge of area; Mirallas shoots. Off the wall for a corner. Another half chance for Soldado, spins on it and balloons it over bar. Spurs dominated the whole half. 10 attempts, 4 on target. 58% possession.
Half time 0 – 0
Everton start the second half a little stronger, Baines getting forward down the left.
60-67 mins. Dembele sent on for Paulinho. Shortly afterwards Ross Barclay comes on for Everton to replace Osman. Shortly afterwards Barclay has a dipping shot that just clears the bar. Vertonghen then stabs out a foot from behind to block a shot at source with Everton fans baying for a penalty. Paulinho then booked for a foot-up block and in the ensuing hiatus AVB sends on Sigurdsson for Lennon.
Soldado whacks his elbow into the Everton defenders chest as they go up or a header. If it had been higher and connected with his face it would have been dangerous. As it is the defender pauses for a moment, thinks about it and then goes down clutching his chest like a felled tree in a forest. Sorry mate if it had been instant we may all have been convinced. Reacting like you had just suffered the 5 finger death punch from Kill Bill Vol II doesn’t cut the mustard. That reminds me, I must dig the DVDs out. Fantastic films.
79 mins. Lloris goes down and stays down in a collision with Lukaku. A nasty whack to the head from Lukaku’s thigh snaps it right back. Ouch. Lukaku is booked. Whilst Lloris is down for a few minutes and the stretcher comes on, part of the crowd chant the “referee’s a w*nker” which continues to be broadcast loud and clear by Sky.
“W*nker is clearly not a word they think they need to worry about before the watershed. There was plenty of opportunity for the producer to fade the mics down. At first I’m not sure if it’s Tottenham fans who are frustrated at the ref for not sending off Lukaku, or Everton fans who think he should book Lloris for faking it.
It becomes clear it’s the Everton fans when having been helped off and with Brad Friedel just about to step on the pitch, Lloris runs back on and insists on continuing. With apparent head injuries, I don’t think players should be given the option to do so. They can sometimes be too brave for their own good. The same thing happened with Townsend last week. If we are not careful we could end up with a tragedy on the pitch. The memories of Fabrice Muamba and my own undiagnosed brain tumour bursting are far too vivid for me.
The match goes a bit flat.
85 mins. Jelavic on for Lukaku. Walker blocks an attempted Baines cross off for a corner which is hacked away. Lloris pulls off a good save. Everton get another corner on the left. Fly kicked away. Everton are the team pushing now. Consistently overwhelming us down the left.
We have a couple more chances at 94 mins, one cross just flashing past Vertonghen’s nose a yard out. Then Sigurdsson flashes a low shot across goal past the far post. Finally a Townsend special just held on to by Tim Howard who these days bears more than a passing resemblance to Matt Lucas’s baggage handler in “Come Fly With Me”.
Full time. 0-0.For me our men of the match are Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson. It was a fair result overall. We are 4th on goal difference. What I like to call equal 2nd on 20 points, five behind Arsenal and just about clinging on to their coat tails. Still not quite cooking with gas.