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Goalless draw at Goodison - match report and reaction

Everton 0-0 Spurs

Sun 07 November 2021, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte’s first Premier League game in charge of Spurs ended in our first league draw of the season as we were held in a lively goalless encounter against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.

The big moment in the game came in the 64th minute as Richarlison raced onto a ball over the top while Hugo Lloris rushed out to deny him and, as the two players came together, the Everton forward went down and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the penalty spot. But after VAR suggested the referee watch the incident again on the pitchside monitor, Kavanagh reversed his decision after seeing Lloris get a big enough touch on the ball and we escaped unscathed.

The intensity lifted inside the stadium but clear-cut chances didn’t follow until the 87th minute when we went so close, substitute Giovani Lo Celso curling a left-footed shot past Jordan Pickford but it struck the far upright.

Everton defender Mason Holgate was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for his tackle on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but we couldn’t take advantage and had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Chances scarce but plenty of drama

It was an unusual game in some ways, played with a good tempo throughout and plenty of intensity in the match, but chances were at a premium and there were only two shots on target across the 90 minutes, both for the home side. On too many occasions, the final ball was lacking or a touch of composure in front of goal was needed at both ends of the pitch.

The first chance came in the fifth minute and it fell to Everton, Allan intercepting Hojbjerg’s pass and his low shot from 25 was saved low down by Lloris. Michael Keane then headed Fabian Delph’s deep cross wide from the angle before our wing-backs combined in the 22nd minute, Sergio Reguilon sending over a cross to the far post which Emerson Royal headed over.

We had a number of attacks which just needed a more clinical pass to open up the Toffees’ defence but we did go close just on the stroke of half-time. Heung-Min Son picked up the ball in central midfield and pushed it out wide to Harry Kane down the right flank, he looked up and spotted Reguilon free at the far post, sending over a cross which the Spaniard fired over on the stretch.

Into the second half and Anthony Gordon volleyed well over from the edge of the area while at the other end, Reguilon cut inside and hit a right-foot shot which Ben Godfrey headed away in front of goal, 10 yards out, before Ben Davies rifled well wide from 25 yards.

When Lloris slid out to challenge Richarlison in the game’s big moment, it did look like he had touched the ball but it all happened so quickly and referee Kavanagh thought differently, so a closer inspection was needed and fortunately it went our way as the penalty decision was overturned.

Everton had a few moments of danger in the last 15 minutes – Cristian Romero blocked a Richarlison shot, Tom Davies bobbled an effort through to Lloris and they had a good sight of goal on 81 minutes but Demarai Gray side-footed Lucas Digne’s low cross wide of the far post when he probably should have done better.

But the best chance of the game was still to come. Only three minutes were left when Hojbjerg superbly won the ball high up the pitch to set us on the counter, Oliver Skipp burst forward and played it out to Lo Celso who came inside off the right and hit a shot which beat Pickford but struck the post.

Holgate had only been on the pitch 10 minutes when he saw red, his high tackle on Hojbjerg getting checked pitchside by the referee, who had initially given the defender a yellow card, but that proved to be the last of the drama.

The draw stats

Goalless draws are not something we have experienced much lately – and yet this fixture is no stranger to a draw.

Sunday’s game was the 23rd time this fixture has ended in a draw in the Premier League era – only Liverpool v Everton has seen more draws (24). Arsenal v Spurs and Chelsea v Manchester United have also ended in a draw on 23 occasions.

But we had gone 38 matches without a goalless draw prior to this match. Our last one came at Stamford Bridge on 29 November last year.

Team news saw Antonio Conte name an unchanged team from Thursday evening's win against Vitesse in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'I have seen the right will'

Antonio told Spurs TV afterwards: "Goodison Park is always a dangerous place for the team that comes here to play against Everton and today, I must be happy. I have seen the right will, the right will to play a game and where the spirit on the pitch was very high, the atmosphere was very high. I have seen many, many tactical situations that we tried in only three days (preparation). For sure, we have a great space for improvement, but you have the heart, or not. You have the passion, or not. Today, I understood that these players, when there is a situation where you have to fight, they are ready to fight, and this is very good.

"Honestly, usually, I’m not happy with a draw but I know this is a big challenge for me and for us to try together to build something important. We needed to have a start, and this is a good start – a win against Vitesse, we are in the competition with the possibility go through, and to be an important team in the competition – and after this draw, we must be closer to fourth."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Everton 0-0 Spurs

Everton (4-4-2): Pickford, Coleman (c), Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Gordon, Delph (Davies 60), Allan (Holgate 82), Townsend, Richarlison, Gray (Gbamin 90+3). Substitutes (not used): Begovic, Kenny, Iwobi, Tosun, Branthwaite, Rondon.

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Dier, Davies, Royal, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Reguilon (Doherty 71), Lucas (Lo Celso 71), Son (Ndombele 85), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Tanganga, Sanchez, Winks, Dele, Bergwijn.

Match data

Yellow cards: Everton – Delph, Richarlison; Spurs – Reguilon, Romero, Ndombele, Skipp.

Red card: Everton - Holgate.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Venue: Goodison Park.

Weather: Light cloud, fresh breeze, 11 degrees.

Attendance: 39,059.