Bellew spirit sadly lacking at the Lane

By Michael Kenrick 05/03/2017  224 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Some magic needed from the Everton youngster who starts agaiin.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 2 Everton

Ronald Koeman brought back Gareth Barry to take on Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday's early afternoon game. Romelu Lukaku was supported by Ross Barkley and Tom Davies in attack, with Ademola Lookman on the bench.

Proceedings commenced in bright sunshine, with the home side kicking off but Everton getting forward early, the ball evading Davies. Things were rather scrappy in midfield, Barry clipping Dele Alli's ankle for a threatening free-kick that Eriksen powered off the Blue wall.

Baines and Walker had a fine tussle, Walker throwing himself down but only getting a corner. Spurs were a little more aggressive into the ball than Everton, Barry needing to block a shot from Ben Davies.

Tom Davies had a chance to run onto a nice pass but Eric Dier was live to it. Everton, however, were looking better and moving the ball quicker through the tight midfield but Barkley's turn was blocked. Robles launched a massive hoof for Lukaku to chase that bounced on the Spurs 18-yard line.

Schneiderlin gave away a needless free-kick for minor pressure on Alli but Barkley headed the danger away. Out of nothing, though, a rocket from Kane opened the scoring, the ball somehow evading Robles completely despite him having it seemingly well covered.

Kane then powered in and almost got a second as Everton could not contain him, the Blues rocking back on that shocker of a give-up goal. Barkley tried to set up Lukaku but Baines could not wrap his foot around the shot and Spurs attacked again down their right, this time Robles gathering Kane's narrow-angle shot.

Eriksen got free but hooked his shot wide as the game became more open. But the Blues were rattled and Funes Mori was lucky not to get a yellow card, the ball fired in well by Eriksen, Kane claiming a drag by Williams. Everton were all at sea as Wanyama hit the post but Kane was offside as the rain swept in. Gana was called for a foul on Ben Davies and he saw yellow after a series of Everton players had not been punished.

The Blues were given zero time on the ball, every contact a challenge, but Tom Davies got them forward and Barkley's cross was palmed away by Lloris. Davies was brilliant dispossessing Spurs and breaking up another attack but Spurs were in buoyant mood. Finally, Everton strung a few passes together and finally got a foul called in their favour. Barkley, however, was hesitant each time he needed to be decisive, as Lukaku almost got his foot to a good ball in over the top from Barry.

Everton won a corner that Barkley drove in low and Funes Mori got a clip on it but it was defended away. Everton were able to take the bite out of Spurs play, slowing things down in the 5 minutes before half-time, Tom Davies called for a very marginal offside decision.

No changes at the break, his Everton side with a daunting task to turn things around... not with the pointless hoof that started the second half, conceded possession and saw Spurs attacking. Coleman and Ben Davies collided heavily and Spurs rough stuff on Barkley was spotted by Michael Oliver. But Everton still struggled to play their passing game against the close attention. But Lukaku back heel got Gana overlapping and he put in a good cross that Barkley could not get good contact on.

Off a Spurs corner, Alli got a header on target but it was saved by Robles. But Everton could not break out and Vertonghen ran in, Robles well-positioned to bat it behind. More pressure, Wanyama heading over. Tom Davies failed to release Lukaku. A really stupid bit of defending gifted Kane his second, Robles rolling the ball to Schneiderlin who was immediately pressed and the rest was pathetically predictable.

If the task had seemed difficult, it was now impossible, two soft goals given up far too easily. Lukaku did cross in well to Barkley but he needed too much time and was closed down.

Barry overhit his cross after some better Blues play but Koeman decided on a double switch, Mirallas and McCarthy in for Davies and Barry. Vertonghen ran in again and needed a good block from Funes Mori. Mirallas got the ball but could not dig out the shot. They won a free-kick wide right but Vertonghen headed away Barkley's effort. Coleman overlapped well but his cross was horribly overhit.

Another good run by Coleman ended up with a foul and a yellow card for Dembele. Barkley cut the ball back behind Mirallas and he was immediately closed down. At the other end, Kane was keen to get his third successive hat-trick off a series of Spurs corners.

Everton's first decent chance came when the ball was finally played to Lukaku's feet, Vertonghen slipped and the big man did brilliantly to draw Lloris and fire past him into the corner. At the other end, Kane got free again and tried to chip it past Robles, who was not having that. But Everton were finally showing some intent to get forward, Barkley weaving and twisting before firing in a good cross to win a corner, but Lloris punched it clear and Everton were on the back foot again.

A bouncing ball almost saw Lukaku force the ball beyond the advancing Lloris, but he had no luck with the rebound as Kane went off. Williams was fooled by Janssen, giving away a free-kick that was cheekily buried by Alli running through everyone. Game over.

Or not. A brilliant free-kick was swept home by Valencia but it would make no real difference. A very poor result for Everton, ending their unbeaten streak and showing they are sadly no match for the top sides just yet.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, B Davies, Wanyama, Dembele [Y:76'] (78' Winks), Eriksen (87' Sissoko), Dele, Kane (90' Janssen).
Subs not Used: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Son.

Everton: Robles, Coleman, Williams [Y: 90+4'], Funes Mori, Baines, Gana [Y:29'] (82' Valencia), Schneiderlin, Barry (64' McCarthy), Barkley, Lukaku, T Davies (64' Mirallas).
Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Jagielka, Holgate, Lookman.

Referee: Michael Oliver


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