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Venue: Goodison Park
Premier League
Sunday 7 November 2021; 2:00pm
0 0
Half Time: 0 - 0 
Holgate sent off 82'
Fixture 11
Referee: Chris Kavanagh

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  Allan (Holgate 82' sent off)
  Delph booked (T. Davies 60')
  Gray (Gbamin 90'+3)
  Richarlison booked
  Subs not used
  Calvert-Lewin (injured)

Doucoure (injured)

  Gbamin (injured)
  Gomes (injured)
  Mina (injured)
  Gibson (loan)
  Kean (loan)
  Nkounkou (loan)
  Broadhead (loan)

  Romero booked
  B. Davies
  Reguilon booked (Doherty 71')
  Skipp booked
  Moura (Lo Celso 71')
  Son (Ndombele 85' booked)
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores

Match Report

Everton produced the fire but didn't quite have the quality to break down an obdurate Spurs defence as it ended honours even following a fractious but goalless affair at Goodison Park.

The Blues thought they had a 63rd-minute penalty when Richarlison appeared to be tripped by Hugo Lloris but referee Chris Kavanagh reversed his decision to award a spot-kick before Demarai Gray narrowly missed the best chance of the game with eight minutes to go.

In the end, Tottenham came closest to grabbing the points before Mason Holgate was sent off in stoppage time for catching Pierre-Emile Højbjerg when Giovanni Lo Celso struck the post but a fourth straight defeat would have been very harsh on Rafael Benitez's men.

The Spaniard had recalled Anthony Gordon to the starting XI at the expense of Alex Iwobi and welcomed Lucas Digne back to the left side of defence, dropping Holgate to the substitutes' bench and moving Ben Godfrey back to the centre.

Having taken so much criticism for their performances against Watford in their previous home game and again at Wolves last Monday, Everton needed to show their fans that they have the spirit and determination to fight for the shirt and they delivered in spades this afternoon.

It helped them establish the upper hand for the opening quarter of an hour against a Spurs outfit that has been under similar pressure for their own form in recent weeks but who were looking to impress new manager Antonio Conte.

Godfrey tested Lloris with a low drive after a smart interception in the sixth minute and Michael Keane couldn't divert a back-post header on goal from a free-kick a minute later while Digne's lovely volleyed delivery across the face of goal found no takers in the middle.

Tottenham didn't really threaten Jordan Pickford's goal until mid-way through the second half when Emerson Royal's header went over the crossbar and their next opening wouldn't arrive until the stroke of half-time when Sergio Reguilon arrived to meet Harry Kane's cross but could only despatch it into the Gwladys Street end.

In between, Gray had seen a shot deflected behind but Everton in a first half that yielded few genuine opportunities for either team.

The second half was five minutes old when Gordon's chance for glory arrived from a Gray centre from the left flank but the teenager couldn't keep his volley down. At the other other end, Reguilon turned inside Gordon and curled an effort searching for the top corner but Godfrey got a head on it to divert it behind and Ben Davies sliced a fizzing drive wide a few minutes after that.

After Benitez had replaced the impressive Delph with Tom Davies on the hour mark, Everton almost made the breakthrough. A flighted ball forward was flicked on by Gordon into the Spurs penalty area and Richarlison appeared to toe it past Lloris before going down under the French keeper's challenge.

Kavanagh pointed to the spot but after advice from Video Assistant Referee, Jon Moss, the on-field official reviewed the incident himself on the pitch-side monitor and, presumably determining that Lloris had also got a hand to the ball, overturned the penalty to a chorus of boos from the home faithful and angry protests from the Everton players.

Tom Davies had one shot deflected behind and another saved by Lloris before Gray himself saw a shot blocked as the Toffees tried to capitalise on an increasingly raucous atmosphere but their best chance fell to the former Bayer Leverkusen winger.

Digne and Davies exchanged passes in a neat one-two and the French full-back delivered a crisp low cross but Gray's attempt to steer it into the far corner with his instep lacked purchase and it skidded wide.

That almost proved to be a costly miss when Holgate, on as an 82-minute sub for Allan, lost the ball in midfield, Højbjerg picked out Lo Celso and the Argentine lined up a shot from 25 yards that smacked off Pickford's right-hand post and back into play.

Holgate's cameo got worse four minutes later. Clearing the ball outside his own box, the defender planted his studs into the back of Hojbjerg's thigh and was shown a straight red after another visit to the monitor from Kavanagh.

Thankfully, his sending off came too late to unduly damage Everton's cause and the contest ended 0-0 shortly afterwards.

The draw arrests the Blues' three-match losing streak but extends their winless run to seven games and it means the club will go into the final international break of the year sitting in the bottom half of the table.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

A strange game in which neither team really tried all that hard to score came to life near the end when Everton were awarded but then denied a penalty by VAR, Spurs hit the post, and Holgate was sent off for clearing the ball, then striking a Spurs player with his follow-through.

The spine of the side is still out: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucouré are all missing.

But the dreadfully limited Tom Davies, the dreadfully crocked Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and the dreadfully ineffective Alex Iwobi are only named on the bench, along with the dreadfully unfit Rondon.

Lucas Digne returns at left-back. Digne missed the trip to Wolves with a muscle complaint.

Richarlison starts again as the lone striker despite limited success against Wolves. Anthony Gordon starts after the teenager was dropped in favour of Alex Iwobi.

Jarrad Baranthwaite returns to the bench where thankfully there is only one goalkeeper named!

Tottenham Hotspur arrive with a new manager in Antonio Conte and an ominously good record against Everton at Goodison Park in recent years (except for that 5-4 FA Cup game).

The Spurs kicked the game off. Delph hopefully showed the fire in his belly with an early foul on Kane. Gordon delivered a tasty early cross but no-one on the inside and Coleman gave the ball away and Spurs surged forward at pace with Allan visibly hanging back from attacking the ball.

Everton tried building slow but is was broken down, however, the ball fell for Godfrey who had the first shot of the game, not testing Lloris at all. But at least Everton were getting possession of the ball.

Gray won an early free-kick that eventually fund Keane at the far post but he could not do anything meaningful with it. Godfrey sort of kicked Son on the ground but it wasn't as vindictive as it sounds.

Little in the way of any pattern from the first 10 minutes but Everton had had more of the play, with Spurs yet to mount an attack. Regulon was shown an early yellow card for his foul on Townsend.

Gray and Allan tried to play through the middle but Richarlison was hemmed in by a crowd of Spurs defenders. Everton had more play around the Spurs area, another good cross, this from Digne, again with no receivers.

And Spurs broke fast with Moura, Keane to the rescue. Spurs tried again and it was a little worrying to watch them penetrate but again Keane cleared.

A free-kick won by Richarlison was driven over everyone by Townsend. Spurs came a little closer, Royal heading a cross over when he could have tested Pickford.

Much better pressing, especially by Coleman produced a turnover; Allan was then in cleanly to deny Moura. But Godfrey spoilt it with an over-hit crossfield ball. Royal crashed into Digne.

Delph showed some decent bite on Moura and got the ball, but was booked nevertheless, for a sideways tackle. Another ball, this one from Keane was again overhit for Gray. Delp ran into a block by Højbjerg and was unhappy.

Allan did play in a cross for Richarlison but there was very little he could do with it. Townsend tried to find the Brazilian with a ball in to his feet but it just wasn't happening for him.

A decent forward move starring Godron, looked as though it would produce a shot on goal but it didn't; however, an Everton corner came from it... but not much more.

Damarai Gray danced into the SPurs area but was denied a penalty when he went spralling. Richarlison caught Romero but no card. Delph broke up the play well but Gray's cross only forced Gordon very wide before the move broke down.

Richarlison went down after trying to tackle Royal from behind, but recovered after treatment, to help out in defence, thwarting Royal again. Spurs seemed strangely lethargic with the ball, where they saving themselves for a second-half onslaught?

Kane got a great cross over to the far post but Reguilon could not keep the half-volley down and the half ended goalless, which was about right for a strangely low-key affair.

The activities resumed with no changes. Gray crossed deep, a difficult one for Gordon to volley over the Gwaldys Street goal.

Spurs showed a little more invention, a dangerous cross snapped up by Pickford, before Godfrey blocked a fierce shot away for a Spurs corner that was cleared.

But Spurs were getting more men forward, while Benitz planned to bring on Davies in place of Delph, who had played well. Ben Davies sliced a distant shot wide of the Everton goal.

Gordon played a lovely pass out to Gray but his touch let him down and he lost the ball and any advantage.

A ball forward saw Goron bundled over, but the ball went loose for Lloris and Richarlison to challenge, initially a penalty, but a long VAR interrogation led to Kavanagh reversing his decision, Lloris patting the ball obliquely just before he brings down Richarlison.

The crowd were very unhappy and finally found their voice, getting behind every challenge. A Dier corner was me t with a great cheer but was disappointingly over-hit. Richarlison wanted handball, then another penalty, but only got a yellow card, along with Romero for his feint head-butt.

A thrilling attack saw Gray swing and miss at Gordon's cross, then Davies follow through with a dreadful mis-hit that bobbled into Lloris's hands.

The game at least was a lot more competitive now, but the ball was not running well for Everton, their attacks lacking any cohesion. But at least the crowd were now engaged.

A half-chance fell to Gordon who tried his acrobatic first-time strike but it was blocked. A ball over the top looked to fall nicely for Richarlison but he could not manufacture anything from it.

The game became more stretched into the final stages, with Spurs looking like they might make a more purposeful attack in between the largely incoherent forward moves by Everton.

Digne created a great move, his cross touched by Gray just wide of the far post. Holgate then replaced Allan. All he seemed to do was give away the ball in midfield, Le Celso taking the tried one forward and smashing a goal-worthy strike against the post with Pickford beaten.

Holgate gave the ball away again and Le Celso delivered a goal-worthy strike that smacked off Pickford's post.

Holgate cleared a ball but followed through on Højbjerg and after a slo-mo VAR review, Kavanagh changed his mind and showed Holgate a red card.

Gbamin on, Spurs free-kick and then corner defended away, then a corner at the other end, won by Davies, but defended away by Romero. The game had become increasingly intense, Davies throwing himself to defend the ball at the very end before Kavanagh finally blew the whistle.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan (82' Holgate [Y-R:90']), Delph [Y:26'] (60' Davies), Towsend, Gordon, Gray (90+3' Gbamin), Richarlison
Subs not Used: Begovic, Kenny, Iwobi, Tosun, Branthwaite, Rondon.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Davies, Royal, Reguilon [Y:12'] (71' Doherty), Skipp [Y9-+5'], Højbjerg, Moura (71' Le Celso), Son (84' Ndombele [Y:87']), Kane.
Subs not Used: Gollini, Alli, Bergwijn, Tanganga, Winks, Sanchez.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Jarred Gillett

Attendance: 39,059

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton host Tottenham this weekend with the pressure mounting on Rafael Benitez and a team struggling to cope with injuries in key areas of the team.

The Blues come into a fixture they haven't won in almost a decade — last season's 1-0 in North London ended an unwanted sequence home and away but an Everton side hasn't beaten Spurs at Goodison Park in the Premier League since Nikica Jelavic was scoring one-touch goals — on a run of three straight defeats and just one win in six.

The club have fallen away from the top four berth they occupied in mid-September and will kick off on Sunday sitting in 11th place as Benitez finds the task of replacing Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and Abdoulaye Doucouré a particularly vexing one given the crippling lack of depth in his squad.

Mina's towering presence and assured demeanour at the back has been sorely missed, as has the height and running of Calvert-Lewin at the top end of the pitch but the notion that Doucouré almost covers two roles in the middle isn't hyperbole. The Frenchman's absence has been acutely felt in recent games.

If Tom Davies proved singularly unable to deputise for him alongside Allan against Watford, Jean-Philippe Gbamin was worse at Wolves on Monday night, the Ivorian lasting just 45 minutes before being hooked in favour of Fabian Delph.

The veteran midfielder was well short of match fitness but brought a competence and confidence to central midfield that had hitherto been lacking and, while it wasn't enough to haul Everton back to parity at Molineux, it was enough to make him the undisputed choice to start against Spurs, fitness permitting.

It remains to be seen if that is enough. Benitez's insistence on only deploying a midfield two in Doucouré's absence has been criticised as naïve in some quarters and there's an argument to be made that against a superior Spurs midfield, an extra body in there to provide cover for a shaky central defence would be wise. On recent evidence, you imagine that would have to be Davies but, again, there is merit in the idea of moving Mason Holgate into defensive midfield now that Lucas Digne is available to return at left-back, even if it's an unlikely move for the manager.

Digne missed the trip to Wolves with a muscle complaint but is in line to return and that will, in all likelihood, see Ben Godfrey drop out of the starting XI. The England U21 international played as an emergency left-back on Monday and again looked ill-suited to the role but he has struggled in general so far this term, a combination of a Covid-19 infection and the general malaise in the team holding back from showing anything close to the form he showed last season under Carlo Ancelotti.

In the attacking areas of the pitch, Richarlison is likely to start again as the lone striker despite that formation reaping few dividends against Wolves so the biggest question will be around Anthony Gordon and whether Benitez will continue to overlook his impressive recent form.

The teenager was one of the stand-out performers at Old Trafford as Everton earned a draw against Manchester United but was dropped in favour of Alex Iwobi in the next game against West Ham. He started against Watford but was substituted after an hour, a decision that was roundly booed by the Goodison crowd, before being dropped once more but then stepping off the bench to almost engineer an equaliser at Wolves. If that recent pattern holds, Gordon will get the nod against Spurs. Iwobi may have scored the goal that gave the Blues hope on Monday but he remains frustratingly inconsistent.

Tottenham, of course, travel with a new manager in charge and the potential bounce that that can provide, especially when that man is renowned motivator Antonio Conte. Spurs tempted the fiery Italian to their club at the second attempt this week after dumping Nuno Espirito Santo less than three months into the season.

Conte has already overseen one win since taking the helm, that a Europa League victory over Vitesse Arnhem and, while he has complained about the fact that he will have just one day to prepare for his side's trip to Goodison, he will surely have some effect on a side that failed to find its footing again after making a strong start to the Premier League campaign under Nuno.

While Everton's poor results have largely been down to injury, Spurs have just been under-performing to a significant degree. Only Bryan Gil and Ryan Sessegnon will be missing for Conte this weekend, meaning that he will have a strong squad from which to choose.

For Everton, the focus must now be on keeping things compact and disciplined at the back, particularly at set-pieces. On the basis of the season so far, Benitez will likely instruct his charges to cede the bulk of possession, a strategy that places a huge emphasis on chance creation and conversion, something that has been missing in recent weeks.

With a coherent defensive posture, there is enough talent in the Everton ranks to get something from this match but a strong start will be key to massage the unease among the home faithful and try to establish an early advantage to defend and build on.

Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday 7 November 2021
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Jon Moss
Last Time: Everton 2 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Allan, Delph, Towsend, Gordon, Gray, Richarlison

Lyndon Lloyd

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