Jacob Steinberg’s match report
FULL TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Everton
And that’s that! Spurs were magnificent today. Harry Kane scored two, becoming Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League era. Christian Eriksen finished off a team move of picture-book prettiness. And Son Heung-min was simply sensational. Everton were thoroughly outplayed. Their only consolation is that Spurs did a number like this on Liverpool as well. It’s not much, granted, but it’s something.
90 min +1: Rooney brings down Lamela from behind. It’s a daft challenge, he’s already on a yellow. But Everton’s day doesn’t get any worse, as the referee takes no action.
90 min: There will be two added minutes.
89 min: A bit of space for Rooney down the right. He’s got Calvert-Lewin free in the centre, but can’t find him for a consolation. It’s been that sort of second half for Everton.
87 min: Eriksen is replaced by Lamela. “As Sam Allardyce himself suspected, the decision to start the freshly-signed Turkish striker didn’t work out,” writes Peter Oh. “Too much Tosun? I’ll show myself out now.”
86 min: Spurs entertain themselves with a little bit of keepball. Alli nearly bursts down the left but Jagielka comes across to batter clear.
84 min: Aurier ambles down the right and crosses deep for Son, who stuns the ball and looks for the top right from the left of the Everton D. It’s miles wide right. Son’s been sensational tonight, he’s earned the right to get something wrong.
82 min: Sissoko comes on for Dembele.
GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Everton (Eriksen 81)
This is a magnificent goal! Kane passes down the left for Aurier, who guides the ball inside for Son. The striker hooks a pass further inside for Alli, on the edge of the D. Alli plays a first-time backflick to Eriksen to his left. Eriksen smashes an unstoppable shot past helpless Pickford. You’ll do well to see a better team goal all season!
Updated at 7.19pm GMT
80 min: Son turns on the jets to power down the inside-left channel. He looks to have the better of Holgate, but the Everton defender sticks out a leg to block his shot. Corner, which Pickford claims with a saucy juggle.
79 min: No tension at Wembley. Everyone just going through the motions.
Updated at 7.13pm GMT
77 min: Not quite sure how Spurs haven’t scored a fourth goal here. Wanyama, from the right, finds Alli in the middle. Alli slips the ball to the left for Son, who makes space with a drop of the shoulder and is one on one with Pickford. Son shoots. Pickford saves. Alli latches onto the rebound, and surely must slot home from the penalty spot. But his snapshot is weak and straight at the keeper, who nevertheless handles brilliantly to save the day for the second time in a split second.
75 min: Rooney loses a footrace down the middle with Vertonghen. As the big defender turns and sails away, a frustrated, frowning Rooney clips his ankle. He goes in the book.
74 min: Wanyama comes on for Dier.
73 min: More space for the excellent Aurier down the right. He fires a mid-height cross into the box. Alli shapes to Zidane one into the net, but Gueye gets in the road. Spurs are knocking it around very confidently right now.
72 min: Schneiderlin comes on for McCarthy.
71 min: Lennon glides in from the right and finds Rooney, who immediately wedges a delightful pass down the middle for Calvert-Lewin. But the young striker can’t control as he bursts into the box, and the danger is gone.
70 min: A hot-faced, agitated McCarthy bowls Alli to the ground near the right-hand corner flag. Free kick. Davies curls it in. Pickford punches clear with purpose. Spurs come back at Everton, Dier swishing a pass wide right for Aurier, who meets it first time and smashes a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. Pickford gathers. There’s a testimonial atmosphere at Wembley right now.
68 min: Some lovely crisp triangles in the middle of the park by the hosts. Suddenly the superb Son flicks a pass down the middle and is this close to releasing Kane on goal for his hat-trick.
66 min: But Everton need to be wary. Spurs snap back into life, Son breaking down the right but finding neither Dier nor Kane with a final pass. The visitors were very light at the back there, and got away with over-committing.
65 min: Spurs have both feet up on the desk right now, the metaphorical cigar on. It’s allowing Everton some precious possession, not that they’re doing very much with it.
63 min: Rooney goes on a wander down the right and is upended by Dembele, who really has been trying it on this evening. Still no yellow card. Another cheeky foul might finally push the referee too far.
61 min: Everton, collectively, look somewhat shellshocked. Tosun is replaced by Calvert-Lewin.
Updated at 6.50pm GMT
GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Everton (Kane 59)
Another tap-in from six yards for Harry Kane, this one legit. Dier curls a ball in from the right. Kane connects with the side of his left foot, but mishits. No matter, the ball loops over Pickford, spreadeagled at Kane’s feet, and almost apologetically nestles into the empty net.
Updated at 6.53pm GMT
58 min: Son drops a shoulder on the edge of the Everton area and pearls a shot off the bottom of the left-hand post. The rebound evades Alli, who was free in the area. Everton are in danger of falling apart here.
57 min: Aaron Lennon comes on for Bolasie. He receives a warm ovation from both sets of fans, having played at White Hart Lane for a decade. A lovely moment.
55 min: Kane advances on the Everton area with productive intent. He’s got Alli to one side, Son his other, but has a dig from 25 yards instead. Pickford does very well to parry the ball away from danger.
53 min: Spurs should be three up. The effervescent Son slips a pass down the inside-left channel to release Alli into the area. Alli is being pressured from behind by Kenny, who refuses to give up, but nevertheless should dink the ball over the advancing Pickford. Instead he slams it into the side netting. Credit Kenny there for some never-say-die hassling.
52 min: Holgate sticks his elbow into Vertonghen’s mush as the pair contest a high ball in the middle of the park. He’s very lucky to escape punishment there, the referee giving Spurs a free kick but doing nothing else.
50 min: That goal’s put a glide in Tottenham’s collective stride. Son dances into the area down the left, and very nearly sashays his way brilliantly though a couple of half-arsed Everton challenges. He’s defeated by sheer numbers. But Son looks super-sharp right now.
GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Everton (Kane 47)
It’s all a bit scrappy. Some head tennis in the midfield. Completed passes at a premium. And then Son tears away from Kenny down the left. He makes it into the area unchallenged, and sends a shot-cum-cross fizzing across Pickford and towards the bottom right. Kane, in the middle, slams a sidefoot into the net. It’s given as a goal, but Kane was a couple of inches offside there. Tight, but it shouldn’t have stood.
Updated at 6.36pm GMT
And we’re off again! No half-time changes. Spurs get the ball rolling for the second half. And here’s Everton fan Myles Gordon: “I’ll have to agree that it was somewhat Martina’s fault for the goal but geez he has no help down the right and is being terribly isolated. Our shape was dreadful and I feel for Martina because he has been an easy target whole season.”
Half-time reading: “Football has drawn its strength and its fascination not from its precision, but from moments of ragged, oddly shaped, endlessly evasive beauty.” Our man Barney Ronay, on the money as ever. Agree, disagree, enjoy.
HALF TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Everton
And that’s your lot for the first half. Spurs deserve their lead on the balance of play, but Everton have had their moments too, with their new boy Cenk Tosun putting himself about in the no-nonsense style. It promises to be a very interesting second half!
45 min: Alli contests a 50-50 down the left wing with Jagielka. The Everton man clatters Alli to the floor, and that’s the first booking of the match.
43 min: … Rooney heads confidently clear.
42 min: Son slips a pass down the left for Davies, who can’t get his cross past Kenny. But it’s a corner. From which …
40 min: Tosun looks very lively indeed. He tears down the left and pulls a ball back for Rooney, but the pass isn’t accurate and trundles behind England’s record scorer. Sigurdsson tries to recycle the ball, and the move ends with McCarthy hoicking a weak shot over the bar, and wide, from the edge of the area. But Everton are at least asking questions.
Updated at 6.23pm GMT
38 min: Gueye, quarterbacking from deep, pings a fine ball down the left wing to release Bolasie into acres. But Bolasie has gone too early, unnecessarily so, and the flag goes up for offside. It’s not as though Everton are looking toothless up front: as at Anfield in the cup, their quick breaks carry a real whiff of danger. But it’s just not quite clicking properly yet.
36 min: More time for Aurier down the right. He slips a pass down the wing for Kane, who should pick up possession just inside the Everton area but is snoozing a bit, allowing the alert Holgate to nip away with the ball. Kane, frustrated with his laziness, picks up the pace and slams hard and late into the escaping Holgate. He earns a talking-to from the referee, but there’s no booking.
34 min: Spurs have taken their foot off the gas a little since the goal. Everton are enjoying an extended period of possession in the middle of the park, albeit without threatening to advance any further. A decent response to falling behind, small acorns and all that.
Updated at 6.09pm GMT
32 min: A free kick for Everton in Spurs territory as Dier fouls McCarthy. Sigurdsson takes, and sends it straight down Lloris’s throat. But Everton come again, Bolasie drawing a couple of white shirts down the right and slipping in Kenny on the overlap. Kenny crosses for Tosun, who heads harmlessly over. Nice move, though.
30 min: Dembele comes through the back of Rooney in the midfield. He’ll be testing the referee’s patience soon.
28 min: Aurier has Martina’s number, and he very nearly gets clear again when Eriksen flips the ball past the full back’s helper Sigurdsson. Everton just about get away with this one, but Aurier has the run of this flank.
GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Everton (Son 26)
A goal had been coming. And here it is. Aurier has enjoyed a lot of the ball out on the right. He’s given more space now. Far too much. He strides into the area and takes a shot. It’s an appalling effort, dragged across the face of goal, but Martina’s playing Son onside, and the Spurs striker turns the shot into the net at the far post!
Updated at 6.05pm GMT
25 min: Alli finds Kane on the edge of the Everton D. Kane turns on a sixpence and looks to thread a shot into the bottom left. It’s a fine effort from a tight spot, but Pickford reads it well and gathers. No goals yet, but it’s not for the want of trying.
23 min: Spurs respond with some shooting practice. Kane, Aurier and then Kane again. Three low fizzers, Pickford dealing with the two Kane efforts, Aurier finding his attempt blocked. Both teams are in a progressive mood tonight!
22 min: … Everton score a goal that’s disallowed! Sigurdsson curls into the box. Tosun, level with the right-hand post, 12 yards out, flicks into the mixer. Rooney, six yards out, flicks it over Lloris and into the net! But he’s rightly flagged for offside.
Updated at 5.56pm GMT
21 min: Sigurdsson takes. Alli heads clear. Gueye lashes goalwards, but the shot’s deflected out for a throw on the right. That field position leads to another corner. From which …
20 min: Everton looked dangerous on the break last weekend at Anfield, and they’re looking dangerous on the rare occasion they flood upfield today. Sigurdsson drills a pass up the left wing to set Rooney scampering. Rooney lays off to Tosun, who is clattered by Sanchez. A free kick, which leads to Everton winning a corner out on the left.
18 min: Dembele is rather fortunate to escape a booking for a cynical tug on Rooney in the midfield. The Spurs man was possibly helped by Rooney opting not to make a meal of the challenge.
17 min: Dembele waits awhile in the centre circle, eventually picking a pass forward for Eriksen, who immediately shuttles it on down the inside-left channel for Alli. He very nearly breaks clear into the area, but there’s not quite enough juice on Eriksen’s pass, and Everton mop up.
15 min: Eriksen whips a high ball into the area at pace. Son, running into the thicket of players from deep, flicks a fine header towards the right-hand corner. It’s only just over the bar. So close to the opener! And Everton respond wonderfully, a long ball down the middle flicked on by a Tosun high-kick, Rooney latching onto it and flashing a low shot wide of the right-hand post from the edge of the area. Good end-to-end fun.
Updated at 6.10pm GMT
14 min: After a lull, Spurs suddenly spring into life. Alli slips a pass down the inside-right channel for Kane, who reaches the byline. Alli, Son and Eriksen all hover by the near post, while Kane chips a cross to the far post. Then there’s another phase of attack, Alli dribbling down the left and finding himself upended by Gueye, just to the left of the Everton area. This is a free kick in a very dangerous position.
11 min: Kane turns a first-time pass down the inside-left channel to set up a one-versus-one race between Alli and Holgate. For a while, it looks as though Alli will win that battle and break clear on goal, but the defender battles back brilliantly, moving up a gear and staying strong to make off with the ball and snuff out the danger.
10 min: Spurs stroke it around the middle a while more. They’ve enjoyed 59% possession so far.
8 min: Everton toy with the idea of launching their first attack, Rooney spraying a fine pass wide right for Kenny. But the young full back hesitates and the chance to break is gone. Ah but this is a little better, Gueye guiding a fine pass down the inside-left channel for the new boy Tosun. For a second it looks like the striker will break clear of Sanchez and head into the box, but a heavy touch allows the defender back into the footrace, and the Everton man clanks into his opponent. Foul. Better from Everton, though.
7 min: It’s attack versus defence at the moment. Dier looks to make ground down the right but he’s denied by Rooney. Then Eriksen tries to get something going down the same flank, but runs the ball out of play. Spurs are seriously winning the possession and territorial battles, though Pickford’s yet to get his hands warm.
Updated at 5.53pm GMT
5 min: Aurier again down the right. This time he earns a corner. The ball’s whipped into the mixer, and Kane’s winding back his neck muscles with a view to powering a header goalwards from six yards. But Jagielka gets some last-minute eyebrows in the way, flicking the ball from danger. Wonderful defending.
4 min: Space for Aurier down the right, but Everton hold their shape in the middle and there’s no obvious ball for the full back. The home side are totally on top.
2 min: Son makes good down the left and reaches the byline, but he’s eventually herded away from danger by Kenny. The home side very much on the front foot in these very early stages.
And we’re off! Everton get the ball rolling. It’s passed back to Holgate, who shanks the ball straight out of play. And the Everton defender is soon doing it again as Spurs come at the visitors. Not the most assured start by the young defender, so he’ll be happy to get a very decent tackle in on Alli a few seconds later, as Spurs continue to press. A settler.
The teams are out! Spurs wear their famous lilywhite shirts, Everton their equally storied blue. A lot of energised noise at Wembley. A fine pre-match atmosphere. We’ll be off in a minute!
Mauricio Pochettino talks! But only in a pre-recorded segment on BT Sport in which he says that his players would rather come first than second. Which is all right and proper, but y’know. No hot pre-match chat from the Spurs boss today. Maybe he’s come to the overdue conclusion that the whole process is a complete waste of everyone’s time, which would be fair enough, he’s a smart chap.
Sam Allardyce speaks! “It’s been a really poor 2017 [in terms of Everton’s away form]. Obviously I managed to get the win at Newcastle, and a couple of draws at Liverpool and West Brom, so that hasn’t been too bad. But we’d like to improve on that. Today is a really tough game, Spurs have overcome their fears at Wembley and are playing very well. We will do our very best to get a result, one point would be satisfying, a draw would be very good indeed. Cenk Tosun is a bit of a brave decision by me, throwing him in at the deep end. Hopefully he can impress today; if he doesn’t it’ll be more my fault than his. The Premier League will be much more demanding than he thinks, but he brings us something in terms of attacking prowess, not just in terms of goals, but holding up the ball as well.”
Tottenham’s side for last week’s 3-0 win over Wimbledon in the FA Cup was a much-changed one. So perhaps it’s more relevant to compare tonight’s starting XI to the one sent out against West Ham in the Premier League a couple of Thursdays ago. There’s just the one change: Mousa Dembele takes the place of his near-namesake Moussa Sissoko, who drops to the bench.
Everton however named their first-choice XI at Liverpool in the cup, so let’s compare their team to that. And yes I am making these rules up as I go along. Morgan Schneiderlin and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are benched. Their replacements: Idrissa Gueye and, making his debut for the Toffees, £27m striker Cenk Tosun.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane.
Subs: Trippier, Lamela, Wanyama, Vorm, Sissoko, Llorente, Walker-Peters.
Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina, McCarthy, Gueye, Bolasie, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Tosun.
Subs: Schneiderlin, Williams, Lennon, Niasse, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Robles.
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).
Tottenham Hotspur started the 1958-59 season badly. In relegation bother, they eased manager Jimmy Anderson out of the way and gave the job to Bill Nicholson. The great man’s first match was at home to Everton, and he watched in open-mouthed disbelief as his charges won 10-4, Bobby Smith helping himself to four goals. “It can only get worse,” a deadpan Danny Blanchflower told his new boss upon ambling off the pitch.
Yes, it’s probably fair to say Spurs won’t repeat that scoreline in this fixture today. But it is fair to say that Everton will nevertheless approach this evening’s match with some trepidation. They haven’t won a single match against teams above them in the table this season, and they’re currently on a three-game losing run, Sam Allardyce’s honeymoon bounce (apologies for the mental picture) now a thing of the past. Everton were comprehensively dispatched 3-0 by Spurs at Goodison back in September; they haven’t beaten the north Londonders since December 2012; they haven’t won at Spurs since November 2008. Neither form nor history is on their side.
On the bright side for Everton: they played very well in the second half of their cup defeat at Anfield, while West Ham recently showed that a well-drilled team can pose Spurs a few questions here at Wembley. This will be a big test for the Toffees, in a sticky patch and desperate for a positive result. Spurs meanwhile will be equally desperate for a win that’ll draw them level with Liverpool in the race for fourth spot. It promises to be a fascinating tussle between two of English football’s most famous and glamorous clubs. It’s on!
Kick off: 5.30pm.
Updated at 4.30pm GMT
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