Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Everton
Brian Jeeves reporting from White Hart Lane
HARRY Kane scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur recorded a club record ninth Premier League home win on the bounce as Everton were beaten by the odd goal in five in an entertaining clash at White Hart Lane.
This fascinating clash brought together an Everton side who had picked up more Premier League points in 2017 than any other side, while Spurs were looking to notch up that coveted club record. The hosts were handed a boost ahead of the game with defenders, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, along with potent frontman Harry Kane, all passed fit after picking up nagging injuries during the 4-0 demolition of Stoke City a week previous.
Considering the good form of both sides, early exchanges were somewhat frantic and scrappy with neither side offering much in the way of a genuine goal threat. Romelu Lukaku was thwarted by a superb challenge by Alderweireld, while Eric Dier produced a similar tackle to deny Tom Davies a sight at goal as Everton started slightly the better.
However, with their first real foray forward, Harry Kane left fly from twenty-five yards, giving Everton goalkeeper, Joel Robles, absolutely no chance as the ball simply fizzed into the net.
Buoyed by the goal Spurs began to attack with greater intent. Kane and Christian Eriksen went close to adding a swift second, with the visitor’s backline at sixes and sevens. Soon after, Victor Wanyama’s deflected strike came back off an upright. Meanwhile, Hugo Lloris was forced to push out Ross Barkley’s troublesome centre as Everton rallied.
Nevertheless, it was the home side who still looked the more likely. Eriksen nodded wide after Ben Davies had wriggled clear and delivered from the flank as Spurs finished the half strongly.
Dele Alli nodded into Robles gloves, while the Everton stopper was forced into a flying save to deny Vertonghen as the home side began the second period where they had left off. But shortly before the hour mark Spurs doubled their advantage. Kane coolly slotted beyond Robles, this after Alli had seized on the keeper’s poor clearance to fashion the opening.
Spurs were now looking comfortable. Vertonghen was again blocked after another marauding dash forward, while Robles used his feet to turn away Eriksen’s angled effort. But with ten minutes remaining, Lukaku took full advantage of an error from Vertonghen to half the deficit with a crisp low strike.
In a nervy finale, Robles saved at the feet of Kane, while former West Ham United man, Enner Valencia, almost profited from some hesitant keeping from Lloris. But in stoppage time Alli got the slightest of touches to Harry Winks’ free-kick to seal the points.
There was still time for Valencia to beat Lloris and set up a grandstand finish. But Spurs held firm to record a club record ninth straight home Premier League victory.
Tottenham Hotspur now turns their attentions to the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final when London rivals Millwall are the visitors to White Hart Lane on Sunday, March 12 (2pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Kyle Walker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Harry Kane (Vincent Janssen 89’), Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele (Harry Winks 77’), Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen (Moussa Sissoko 86’), Ben Davies Subs not used: Michel Vorm (GK), Heung-Min Song, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer
Booked: Mousa Dembele (Foul)
Goals: Harry Kane 20’, 55’, Dele Alli 90+2
Everton: Joel Robles, Morgan Schneiderlin, Leighton Baines, Ashley Williams, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku, Idrissa Gueye (Enner Valencia 80’), Gareth Barry (Capt) (James McCarthy 63’), Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, Tom Davies (Kevin Mirallas 63’) Subs not used: Maarten Stekelenburg (GK), Phil Jagielka, Mason Holgate, Ademola Lookman
Booked: Idrissa Gueye (Foul),
Goals: Romelu Lukaku 80’, Enner Valencia 90+4
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt and Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth Official: Neil Swarbrick
Reaction to follow…..