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Spurs v Everton, 13.09.20

PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2020
(4.30pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) EVERTON 1(0)

Scorer:- Calvert-Lewin, 55

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Martin Atkinson
Assistants:- Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Andre Marriner
Assistant VAR:- Scott Ledger.

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Doherty (sub Ndombele, 76), Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Winks (sub Bergwijn, 60); Lucas Moura, Dele (sub Sissoko, 46), Son; Kane

Subs not used:- Hart; Aurier, Sanchez; Lamela

Booked:- Hojbjerg (foul on Richarlison)

Everton (4-3-3):- Pickford; Coleman (Capt.), Mina, Keane, Digne; Doucoure, Allan, Gomes (sub Sigurdsson, 68); James Rodriguez (sub Davies, 90+2), Calvert-Lewin (sub Kean, 89), Richarlison

Subs not used:- Virginia; Kenny; Walcott, Bernard

No bookings

All Spurs got was nothing Ė deservedly so

Mail on Sunday journalist Oliver Holt wrote a disparaging article on Spurs with reference to the Amazon "All or Nothing" documentary in which he wrote "Instead of closing the gap, it may be that teams like Everton will overtake them." Not many Spurs fans truly believed that Everton would beat them for the first time in 15 games since December 2012, and that they would win at White Hart Lane for the first time in 12 years. Such has been the command of our team over the "Toffees". Not this time. The score was most emphatically Carlo Ancelotti 1 Jose Mourinho 0. Thatís a first too Ė for Ancelotti to beat Mourinho when Jose has been the home manager.

Ancelotti was able to field all three of his high profile singings. These were defensive midfielder Allan, signed from Napoli, the ever-reliable Doucoure, signed from Watford, and not least the impressive James Rodriguez, who didnít put a foot wrong playing on Evertonís right flank. Not so much can be said for Joseís new men who started. Matt Doherty had played two 90 minute games for Ireland over the last week, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had played a game and a bit for Denmark. I wouldnít blame their disappointing debuts so much on the individuals as on Joseís initial selection and tactics. Moussa Sissoko did not start and his drive was badly missed in the first half. Harry Winks was withdrawn from the England squad, but apparently fit to start this game. However Hojbjerg was the least impressive of the two chosen defensive midfielders. Without the injured Lo Celso, Spurs badly missed a playmaker. Not for the first time Harry Kane was deprived of service for much of the game.

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

Spurs kicked off and played towards the North Stand. Son showed early promise with a right-footed shot saved by Pickford after two minutes. Son then ran onto a long ball by Ben Davies, but Pickford got the better of him. Coleman managed to clear from Son after Kane had put him through. That was all in the first five minutes. Thereafter, Everton enjoyed more and more possession and exerted control on the game.

Spurs still have a trait for negativity, passing backwards, and they should have gone one down when Ben Davies over-hit a ball from the Everton half into the Spurs half, giving Alderweireld too much ground to make up. Richarlison was away and passed the advancing Lloris, but skied his shot from the left of the beckoning goal. That was a lucky escape.

A cross by Son midway through the half from deep on the left was just in front of Harry Kaneís outstretched foot at the back post. Winks stole a ball off Allan and fed the ball forward to Kane. Harry passed to Dele on the right of the box, but Deleís attempted pass failed and was cleared. Both Kane and Dele rose to try and reach a cross by Doherty from the right, but the ball reached Son towards the back of the area. Son could not get a shot in and Everton cleared.

Doherty of course was used by Wolves as a wing-back ahead of a back three. Here he was played as an attacking right-back in the same way as Mourinho had used Aurier, but Spursí right flank was sometimes exposed. When Sissoko came on in the second half, he played ahead of Doherty and Spurs just looked cack-handed. Joseís strategy was just not right, either from the start, or as the game progressed.

Another Richarlison shot from the left of goal took a deflection and went for a corner, taken by Digne from the right. This was cleared and Spurs countered with Lucas Moura on the run. He passed to Son to his left. Kane had made a belting run to get in front of Son, who chose to pass to Dele, whose shot did need an excellent save by Pickford. Harry was disappointed not to have been Sonís choice.

Doucoure passed to James Rodriguez to his right. James took a left foot shot which passed just wide of Llorisís right post. Both Allan and Lucas Moura were hobbling after a foul by one Brazilian on another, but they were able to carry on. Son was the dead ball man, and none of his kicks bore any fruit. Doherty got forward to the edge of the Everton box and passed to Kane who lifted a pass for the advancing right back. His shot was saved by Pickford, who is in better form than he showed last season.

Richarlison had another shot saved by Lloris after being fed by James.

On came Sissoko for the second half with Dele the player taken off. Doherty and Sissoko seemed to get in a tangle down the right flank and the strategy just wasnít working. Meanwhile, Everton were dominating possession and forging chances. Calvert-Lewin crossed from the right, but James Rodriguez pulled his shot yards wide. James hit a ball to Richarlison who had the beating of Doherty inside the Spurs area, but headed wide. A Gomes shot was headed over for a corner by Alderweireld.

Thus it came as no surprise when Everton scored. They had a free kick deep on the left. Unlike Son, Digne knew what to do and floated his kick into the danger zone where Calvert-Lewin powered a header home.

Now Winks was taken off for Bergwijn, who seemed to be playing behind but to the left of Kane with Lucas and Son remaining on the flanks. Sissoko reverted to a conventional defensive midfield position, but still sought to drive forward. Pickford easily held a shot by Lucas, whilst Richarlison had another chance hitting a right foot chance wide of the post. Richarlison got the better of Doherty again and fired just wide of Llorisís left-hand post. Lloris then held a shot by Coleman.

Doherty was replaced by Ndombele, but I canít say that Tanguy made an impression. Davies crossed deep from the left and Harry Kaneís header was on target but it was comfortable for Pickford. At the other end Doucoure passed to Calvert-Lewin, whose shot was held by the Spurs captain.

Time was running out and Spurs didnít show the required urgency, even in added time. Hojbjerg got the one yellow card of the game for his foul on Richarlison and I will be looking for a far better performance from him and the rest of the team at Southampton next week. In between we have a trip to Bulgaria in a Europa League qualifying round.

Jose seemed to be making excuses after the game but all Spurs got was nothing and deservedly so.

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