Top four secured with Everton draw
Spurs 2-2 Everton
Sun 12 May 2019, 16:58|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Premier League campaign ended with a 2-2 draw against Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon as we rubber-stamped our place in next season’s Champions League with a fourth-placed finish.
We made the perfect start when Eric Dier drilled home from close range after just three minutes and held the lead until the 69th minute when Theo Walcott beat Hugo Lloris with a curling effort from inside the area.
The visitors then took the lead three minutes later when Cenk Tosun bundled the ball over the line following a scramble in the six-yard box, but parity was restored soon after thanks to Christian Eriksen’s excellent 25-yard free-kick. Victory would have seen us climb up to third as Chelsea only drew at Leicester City, but the point guarantees fourth spot and a fourth-successive campaign in the Champions League.
Any worries of our eight-goal advantage on fifth-placed Arsenal being wiped out were extinguished just three minutes after kick-off. Erik Lamela sent his corner into a dangerous area, no-one got a clean head on the ball and it dropped just outside the six-yard box where Dier smashed it past Jordan Pickford. The game became quite open after that early goal, with chances falling at both ends. Michael Keane found himself unmarked in the box on 10 minutes but headed straight at Lloris, Dele fired over from the edge of the box at the other end and there were further half chances before Lloris was called into action again.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross was cleared by Kyle Walker-Peters but only as far as Bernard, whose shot was creeping in before our skipper dived to tip it away and then gather the loose ball. Our former midfielder was involved again shortly before the interval, Sigurdsson’s 25-yard drive bouncing just in front of Lloris but it was well saved by the French international.
We held onto our narrow advantage until half-time, but it was the visitors with a good opportunity to level just before the hour mark, Tosun slipping a pass in to Bernard bursting into the area but, stretching for the ball, he sliced wide of goal. At the other end, Fernando Llorente headed a corner straight at Pickford before the Toffees drew level on 69 minutes when Sigurdsson laid the ball off to Walcott down the right channel inside the area and he curled a low effort past Lloris.
And just three minutes later Everton were in front courtesy of a scrappy equaliser. Sigurdsson’s corner was met by Keane, Lloris made a smart save on his goal-line to keep the ball out and did so again from substitute Ademola Lookman, but in the melee that followed, Tosun scrambled the ball over the line. We weren’t behind for long though! Andre Gomes fouled Lamela 25 yards from goal just left of centre and up stepped Eriksen to curl a beauty of a free-kick over the wall and in off Pickford’s far post. Neither side created a clear chance to win the game and we had to settle for a final day draw to conclude our Premier League campaign – but there’s still one more big game to go. Madrid, here we come!
Eriksen was always going to take the 75th-minute free-kick awarded to us even if his radar has been slightly off at times this season. But it was back on target on this occasion, as he struck a superb 25-yard effort up and over the wall, past Pickford and into the net to get us back in the game and ensure we ended with a point.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw, Mauricio Pochettino told us: "Our ambition was unbelievable and the effort amazing today to achieve the top four. We are so happy. I want to congratulate the players, they are superheroes, the staff, the fans, I say ‘thank-you’ for their support. It has been an amazing season, exciting, what we’ve achieved is amazing, to be in the top four four times in a row and in the final of the Champions League, what more can we do?"
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 2-2 Everton
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker-Peters, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele (Wanyama 46), Lucas, Lamela (Skipp 77), Llorente (Janssen 77). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Trippier, Aurier, Marsh.
Everton (4-3-3): Pickford, Zouma, Keane, Mina, Digne, Schneiderlin, Gueye (Gomes 65), Bernard (Lookman 65), Walcott, Tosun, Sigurdsson (c). Substitutes (not used): Stekelenburg, Baines, Jagielka, Davies, Kenny.
Goals: Spurs – Dier 3, Eriksen 75; Everton – Walcott 69, Tosun 72.
Yellow cards: Everton – Schneiderlin, Digne.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Sunny intervals, gentle breeze, 16 degrees.