Spurs 3-2 Everton - match in focus
Sun 05 March 2017, 15:56|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane scored twice and Dele Alli tucked home a stoppage time goal as we edged a highly-entertaining and competitive clash with Everton at the Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The win – a club record ninth consecutive in the Premier League – saw us reduce Chelsea’s lead at the top to seven points, but we were pushed all the way by the Toffees who put us under real pressure in the closing stages.
Kane’s opener was quite simply a bolt out of the blue. After an even first 20 minutes where space was at a premium, the striker picked up possession midway inside the Everton half, advanced towards goal and hit a 30-yard screamer past Joel Robles in the Toffees' net.
That put Kane up outright as the top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals and his 19th arrived after the interval to double our lead. Mousa Dembele robbed Morgan Schneiderlin high up the pitch, Dele touched the ball in to Kane and he raced through on goal before sliding a shot under Robles.
We were in control at that stage but Everton came back into the contest and were rewarded for their efforts 10 minutes from time when Romelu Lukaku - also chasing the Goldon Boot - took full advantage of a slip from Jan Vertonghen and beat Hugo Lloris from just inside the area.
It was fairly frantic for the closing minutes as we worked hard to preserve our one-goal lead, but the points seemed secure when substitute Harry Winks delivered a sublime free-kick which Dele neatly converted to make it 3-1.
However, there was still time for Everton substitute Enner Valencia to poke home from close range to set up a few more nervy seconds, but we held firm for another vital home win.
Mauricio Pochettino had injury concerns over Toby Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Kane during the week but was delighted to be able to name all three in an unchanged side to the one that beat Stoke City at the Lane last weekend. That meant a 200th Spurs appearance for goalkeeper Lloris. Our seven substitutes remained the same as last week too.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Everton – Harry Kane – 20mins
As expected, it was a really tight and competitive opening to the game, with little room to manoeuvre for both sides. We had early shouts for a penalty when Kyle Walker went down under Leighton Baines’ challenge, but to be fair to the Everton full-back he did get a touch on the ball and a corner was given. Superb last-ditch tackles from Eric Dier and Vertonghen denied shooting opportunities for Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye respectively, before we opened the scoring out of nothing on 20 minutes. There seemed little danger when Kane picked up the ball 40 yards from goal, but he moved forward 10 yards and unleashed a rocket which flew past Robles.
Save: Robles denies Kane a quick second – 21mins
The goal gave us a real lift, the momentum of the game was suddenly all in our favour and we had a five-minute spell of solid pressure. Just a minute after the opener, Kane and Christian Eriksen played a one-two inside the area, Kane cut inside Ashley Williams eight yards out, only for Robles to block his shot with Eriksen then lashing over the bar. The goalkeeper was there again moments later to block Kane’s close-range effort from Walker’s cross, Eriksen’s teasing centre then just evaded Dembele and Kane, before Victor Wanyama’s precise shot deflected onto the post, Kane and Dele flagged off-side as they went for the rebound.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 Everton – Harry Kane – 56mins
Having enjoyed the better of a very good first half, we were excellent at the start of the second period as we pushed Everton back. Robles saved comfortably from Dele’s header on 53 minutes and seconds later, Vertonghen played a one-two with Ben Davies on half-way and surged forward, feinting past Williams and bursting into the area before driving left-footed and forcing Robles into a good stop at his near post. Then came the second goal, created from good pressure high up the pitch. Robles rolled the ball out to Schneiderlin, Dembele was quickly in his face allowing Dele to sweep the ball off to Kane who strode into the area and slid under the keeper and into the net.
Above: Ben Davies holds off Morgan Schneiderlin.
Goal: Spurs 2-1 Everton – Romelu Lukaku – 80mins
Needing a goal to get back into the contest, the visitors started to enjoy more possession after our second goal, without really causing us too many problems. But, after Vertonghen’s right-footed effort was blocked and Ross Barkley’s shot looped up to Lloris at the other end, they pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining. Lukaku turned on a pass 30 yards out and, as Vertonghen slipped, he was through on goal, slotting the ball into the far corner for 2-1.
Goal: Spurs 3-1 Everton – Dele Alli – 90+2mins
Moments after Lukaku’s strike, Kane found himself in on goal with just Robles to beat again, but this time he was thwarted and we had to deal with some intense pressure as Everton searched for the equaliser. But we regained our two-goal lead in stoppage time when substitute Winks delivered a clever free-kick which Dele flicked past Robles.
Goal: Spurs 3-2 Everton – Enner Valencia – 90+3mins
Everton refused to lie down and grabbed another goal a minute later when Barkley’s free-kick from wide on the right was touched in at the back post by substitute Valencia. But we were able to hold out for the final seconds, much to the delight of players and fans alike.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was a very good win, a fantastic performance. Okay, in the end we’re a little disappointed to concede the last goal - the first can happen, the second, when the game was over after Dele scored, I’m a little disappointed with because we showed a lack of concentration and that can’t happen again, but without that we played very well. We played a fantastic first half and in the second half we always dominated the game, played with good quality and a high tempo. I’m very pleased for everyone and we have to keep going."
Harry Kane said
"I feel good! The most important thing is winning and we did that. It was probably a bit nervy at the end when it shouldn’t have been but we got the three points in the end and that’s all that matters. It would have been nice to get the hat-trick - I had a chance afterwards to make it 3-1 where I tried to chip the keeper, I probably should have just had an early shot so I’m a little bit disappointed but of course I’m happy with the win and the two goals."
Spurs (3-4-2-1): Lloris (c), Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Walker, Dembele (Winks 78), Wanyama, Davies, Eriksen (Sissoko 87), Dele, Kane (Janssen 90). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Son.
Everton (4-3-2-1): Robles, Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry (c, McCarthy 64), Gueye (Valencia 81), Schneiderlin, Barkley, Davies (Mirallas 64), Lukaku. Substitutes (not used): Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Holgate, Lookman.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 20, 56, Dele 90+2; Everton – Lukaku 80, Valencia 90+3.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Dembele; Everton – Gueye, Williams.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
We play our third successive Sunday home game at the Lane next weekend as we return to FA Cup action. League One Millwall are our quarter-final opponents as they look to add another Premier League scalp this season, having already beaten Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City at The New Den en route to the last eight. Kick-off is at 2pm.