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Players deserve credit - Andre

Andre Villas-Boas praised the players for the intensity of their performance and rescuing a late point in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Everton.

That was the least the team deserved after dominating for long periods against a typically energetic. well-drilled Everton side that posed a threat on the break as we pushed forward in the second half.

Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring inside a minute from Jan Vertonghen’s cross but the Toffees turned the game around with goals from Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirrallas.

We were camped in Everton’s half for most of the second half without creating many clear-cut chances. Shots came in from distance and Tim Howard did well to turn Mousa Dembele’s deflected effort onto the crossbar.

Our reward arrived three minutes from time as Ade’s shot cannoned off the post into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who slotted home the equaliser. The shot count ended 19-9 in our favour.

“It was a difficult game, full of emotion, with two teams wanting to attack and we did ever so well to level in the end,” said Andre.

“The important thing when you are playing against a team who has the same objectives is not to lose, and we did that, but we wanted to win.

“We started the second half strongly and it was completely against the run of play when they made it 2-1.

“We transferred the same intensity that we showed in the first half and the players didn’t deserve to go behind at that stage. In the end, we did well to come back to 2-2 and salvage a point.

“We came from a Thursday game and the Thursday performance to this performance is a great change, so credit to the lads for the intensity they played this game.

“We recognise in the end that a point is good for us and Champions League qualification is probably going to go right down to the wire with Everton, Arsenal, us and Chelsea all in the mix. We just have to get as many points as possible.”