Defensive miscues lead to 2-2 draw at Everton for Tottenham

Despite holding a 2-1 advantage for a good chunk of today's match at Goodison Park, Tottenham couldn't hold on for a win after a late stoppage time goal from Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite led to a draw between the two clubs.
Everton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Everton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Richarlison continued his excellent goal-scoring ways of late against former club Everton, scoring a brace in the fourth and 41st minutes to give Spurs a 2-1 lead they would hold for much of the second half. Unfortunately for the Lilywhites, stoppage time would be their undoing, as yet another set-piece goal from Everton ultimately led to a 2-2 draw.

Spurs have struggled more on the defensive side as of late, even with the return of Micky Van de Ven and the signing of Radu Dragusin from Genoa last month. They've only kept a clean sheet in one of their previous 14 matches and have had a tough time against set pieces, particularly corner kicks. Everton and their manager, Sean Dyche, took advantage, leading to goals from Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

During the halftime and post-game commentary, former U.S National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard remarked how much trouble Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario is having with set pieces, saying the young Italian needs to be more aggressive and come off his line to make saves. After watching Everton's goals and the last few against Vicario, criticism is warranted. It's also worth keeping an eye on Vicario's health, as he picked up a potential knock on the Branthwaite goal.

Despite their 17th place in the table, Everton never gave up in front of a loud and raucous Goodison crowd, continuing to press Spurs' defense. Although Postecoglou's squad led in total possession for the game (56.6% to 43.4%), as the match progressed, it felt as if Everton were likely to tie it up more and more. Once the game-tying goal came in stoppage time, it felt like Spurs were tapped, even with a few minutes left in the match.

To maintain their fourth place standing in the table and move closer to the top, Tottenham must win these games. It's always a more significant blow when you lead a match for so long, only to bottle it at the death. This team is young, and manager Ange Postecoglou has done a tremendous job during his first season in charge. Today's game is a reality check for what the club needs to improve. Let's hope Spurs come out stronger at Brighton next weekend as they continue to try and make their way up the table toward rivals Arsenal, who sit two points above the Lilywhites in third place.