Match: Sunday 9th February 2014.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: White Hart Lane.
Result: Tottenham 1-0 Everton.
Tottenham goal: Emmanuel Adebayor 65′.
What a win! An incredible result in a crucial game for the Champions League places, Everton are a superbly compact and organised team that make it very difficult for their opponents and coming into the game I would have taken any win, for in the big games it’s not about how you play, it’s all about the final result and the team that brings home 3 points, that was us. In the first half we were very lucky not to be behind, we were sloppy on the ball, and didn’t press Everton high enough, letting them create too many chances, while not creating enough goal scoring opportunities ourselves, frustrating, but relieved that it was still 0-0. In the second half we improved, we found more space in midfield and tried to create more chances, our passing was still sloppy and we made quite a few, let’s say, ‘unforced errors’. It got to the hour mark and we still hadn’t had a shot on target, incredible really at home, but if anyone was to get a chance and score it was Emmanuel Adebayor, a quickly thought out free kick from Kyle Walker was expertly controlled by the Togolese striker with his chest, used his strength to hold off Jagielka who was very tight, then rifled it into the near post for 1-0, a great goal! As time went on it was really really nervy, in the stadium and shown through the players, a couple of decisions went against us, Everton got few free kicks and came close a few times, but also we got a few decisions that went our way, Etienne Capoue sliding in on Coleman, in the box for what probably should have been a penalty, but luck was on our side and we held on for a great 3 points.
Difficult to pick a man of the match, there were quite a few good performances, but I’ll give it to Jan Vertonghen in defence, an incredibly composed and solid performance, in which he helped us out on numerous occasions with last ditch blocks, perfectly timed tackles but also setting up attacks and bringing the ball out of defence in tight situations. A defensive master class, world class. Mousa Dembele, Vertonghen’s Belgian compatriot also put in a top class display, his ability on the ball is second to none, gliding past players and making us tick in the middle of the park. Mousa had some difficult moments in which he didn’t find the right pass or got caught in possession, but other than that I thought he was very good. The man of the moment, Emmanuel Adebayor got the winner, but that wasn’t his only contribution to the team, he worked so, so hard, harrying the Everton players, tracking back making tackles in midfield, and holding the ball up well getting Paulinho, Dembele and Lennon more and more into the game, he was outstanding. Deserved his goal, his 7th of the season in just 11 games. Another world class performer was Hugo Lloris, he kept us in the game, especially in the first half, some amazing saves and he took control of his box as usual, using his safe hands to grasp crosses, he was outstanding. Disappointing performance from Aaron Lennon, very quiet, needed much more from him offensively and defensively. He’s been poor for a few games and needs to up his game dramatically, that’s if his spot isn’t taken by Townsend or Lamela soon. It was great to get to say goodbye to Jermain Defoe in his last Premier League home game, sadly he couldn’t get his goal, but the applause after was heart warming and emotional. Goodbye to a Spurs legend, but we’ll see you against Dnipro again at the Lane!
A great win! Our next game is a toughy, on Wednesday 13th February we face Newcastle at St James’ Park, another big game, but one in which we have to be expected to win with the Geordie’s poor form. Let’s give it a big push for the top four! COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Everton at the Lane:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 7
Dawson – 5.5
Vertonghen – 9 – Man of the Match.
Rose – 7
Lennon – 5
Paulinho – 7
Dembele – 8.5
Bentaleb – 7.5
Eriksen – 5.5
Adebayor – 8.5
Capoue – N/A
Defoe – N/A
Townsend – 6
Tim Sherwood’s post match press conference:
Match highlights of our 1-0 win over Everton: