03/02/2024 28comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 2 - 2 Spurs

Everton twice came from behind to cancel out goals by Richarlison, with Jarrad Branthwaite plundering a stoppage-time equaliser just when it looked like the Brazilian had broken the Toffees’ hearts.

The former Blues striker took less than four minutes to score on his first appearance back at his old stomping ground since leaving for North London in a big-money move 18 months ago and then swept home a cracker shortly before half-time to restore the visitors’ lead after Jack Harrison had levelled on the half hour.

The last word belonged to Everton, though, when they forced home a second set-piece goal deep into time added on the salvage an important point in their battle to keep pace with Luton Town’s recent uptick in form.

Arnaut Danjuma joined Amadou Onana, André Gomes and Abdoulaye Doucouré on the sidelines because of the ankle injury he sustained late on at Fulham on Tuesday but Idrissa Gueye returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty to turn in a terrific, high-octane performance in alongside James Garner.

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Neither central midfielder had tracked Richarlison into the box, however, as the first spell of pressure from Spurs yielded the opening goal. Destiny Udogie was given far too much room to advance towards the byline and centre it invitingly for the former Everton striker who turned it past Jordan Pickford with a first-time, left-footed finish.

The hosts tried to respond immediately when Dominic Calvert-Lewin met Ashley Young’s cross from the right but he couldn’t keep it down while a poor giveaway in midfield by Garner gifted James Maddison the chance to threaten but his effort was deflected behind.

In the main, though, Everton’s near-constant tenacity and pressure kept Ange Postecoglu’s side at bay and they began to cause problems of their own from set-pieces.

Calvert-Lewin headed narrowly wide at the back post amid a forest of bodies in the 24th minute but, six minutes after that, they pulled themselves level after another Young cross had been blocked behind by a defender.

Dwight McNeil swung the dead ball to the back post, James Tarkowski craned to steer it back across goal where Calvert-Lewin appeared to have nodded home his first goal in 17 games but it was ultimately credited to Jack Harrison after a check by the Video Assistant Referee, Stuart Attwell, had ruled out a foul on goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Tottenham regained the lead, though, with a move that exploited the same right side of Everton’s defence where Timo Werner surged towards the byline and cut it back to Maddison on the edge of the box who nudged it on for Richarlison to curl one into the top corner from 19 yards out.

Everton regrouped at half-time and set about trying to restore parity by exploiting the visitors’ high line and ruffling their feathers from dead-ball situations but the execution in the final third was often lacking.

Harrison was twice played in behind the Spurs defence inside the first 10 minutes of the restart but, on the first occasion, he ill-advisedly tried to lob the keeper rather than trying to hold it up and bring a team-mate into the attack.

On the second, he was caught by the rapid Micky van de Ven who deflected his attempted shot behind and Vicario showed signs that he had sussed out the back-post corner tactic by easily catching the resulting set-piece delivery.

In between, Pedro Porro had forced a good save from Jordan Pickford who pushed his stinging shot away at full stretch and the England man had to be alert again just before the hour mark to deny Maddison superbly after Ben Godfrey had cleared it straight to the Tottenham midfielder just outside the penalty area.

Pickford was there again with 20 minutes to go, parrying away Richarlison’s attempt to grab a hat-trick before Sean Dyche made three sets of substitutions, firstly by withdrawing the fatigued Godfrey in favour of Seamus Coleman, then replacing Young with Youssef Chermiti and, finally, swapping Calvert-Lewin and McNeil for Beto and Lewis Dobbin.

And the young Portuguese really should have given the officials something to think about in terms of offside in the 88th minute when he latched onto Dobbin’s low cross but his attempt to guide it home off the outside of his favoured right boot failed to unduly test Vicario.

Two shouts for fouls on Beto, one inside the box when he went down trying to meet Harrison’s volleyed cross and one just outside when he was felled, all flailing arms and legs, by substitute Radu Drăgușin but referee Michael Oliver wasn’t interested.

But when Garner was fouled in a dangerous area in the fourth minute of added time and he whipped the resulting free-kick in, Christian Romero got a flick to it with his head which teed it up perfectly for Branthwaite who was steaming into the goalmouth and simply had to head it home.

With just three home wins all season, Everton’s need to pick up points in multiples at home is growing more urgent the longer the season goes on but this was a creditable draw against talented opposition who provided almost all the quality but who couldn’t handle all of the Toffees’ aerial assaults.

Dyche’s side remain in the bottom three ahead of next weekend’s daunting trip to the Etihad to face the reigning treble winners but this late recovery will provide a lift, as will the hope that some of the walking wounded might be back by the time Crystal Palace come to Goodison under the lights on 19 February.


Reader Comments (28)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 03/02/2024 at 18:02:13
Big big game coming up against Palace.
Liam Mogan
2 Posted 03/02/2024 at 18:04:30
Great bit of transfer business to send Mason Holgate to Sheffield. He looks totally out of his depth.
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 03/02/2024 at 19:05:06
Forget Man City, even though I think we could nick a draw, and let's concentrate on Crystal Palace.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 03/02/2024 at 19:32:09

Holgate has been out of his depth for about 4 seasons, I spotted it years ago, the lad can't defend.

He's 27 now and we need to get him off the wage bill permanently in summer.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 03/02/2024 at 19:41:57
That shot from Richarlison that Pickford saved wouldn't have counted, the linesman had his flag up for offside.

I wish the linesman on the other side of the pitch was as alert as his fellow official, he was very poor.

Rob Dolby
6 Posted 03/02/2024 at 20:42:01
Another fighting resilient performance.

Our lack of quality in the final 3rd is ridiculous.

A draw was a fair result though it felt like we played against 12 men today.

I used to think Oliver was our best ref but his display today was awful.

The foul on Beto outside the box was stone wall but he unbelievably waved it away and then booked Dyche for complaining. Garner and Godfrey getting booked for dissent after some terrible officiating.

Not even sure if the VAR checked the push in Beto's back but it checked both of our goals, it's like they are scrutinising everything we do. The fouls on the keeper from corners is another mystery.

Spurs play so open, I felt like we always had a chance to get something out of the game.

I thought all the lads put a shift in. Godfrey again had a great game, he has his pace back. My MotM was Gana – he broke play up countless times and gave Maddison a few bruises along the way.

Si Cooper
7 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:32:09
Apart from the obvious obstruction on Beto outside the box, I thought the officials did alright today.

Good, passion-filled performance.

Classy of Richarlison to keep his goal celebrations minimal. After a game with some flare-ups, the players seemed particularly chummy after the game, as if the Spurs players were wanting to offer encouragement to our players. The crew on TNT mentioned the ‘deduction' and where we would be in the table otherwise quite a few times.

I wonder if loads of people have now grasped that Masters is acting like an arsonist and our club is the senior citizen's allotment shed stuffed full of a ‘lifetime's' worth of memories that he is gleefully showering in petrol?

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:41:46
I was sat in the match today getting really frustrated watching another very clever performance by supposedly the best referee of a very poor bunch Michael Oliver, and was genuinely thinking that he loves to antagonize us Evertonians, Si.

I think he's taken over from Martin Atkinson, who was another referee who definitely loved to take the piss out of us. But maybe I'm just very biased and paranoid, and think they've all got it in for us right now. (Right now = years in Oliver's case!)

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 03/02/2024 at 23:07:46
The relegation dogfight is between the Bottom 8 clubs. A bad run, a few defeats or injuries, and they are in the mix.

Everton is the odd one out, having lost 10 points, meaning that their position does not reflect their previous play. They are capable of taking at least a point from the Top 11 clubs, maybe even able to get a few wins.

As a side, Everton currently live with injuries, pressure, and a further points deduction. But they keep going and seem to have turned the character corner in their performances, which is a big turn-around from past years.

Maybe some of the players could be better technically and tactically, but they all keep trying. Any that are subbed are exhausted. Those that come on know at least the commitment required, even though they could be better

The Manager could bring on Subs earlier, but maybe Dyche believes Everton have to face everything the hard way. He could have saved players during the cup runs, he didn't save one player, even knowing the African Nations Cup was coming up.

So Everton are 3rd in the relegation zone, possiblity facing another points deduction, but 6 points above 2nd in the relegation zone. But Forest are 4th with a possible points deduction. Of course the Bottom 2 could make an attempt to climb out, but Everton are more likely to. Still other teams could come in the mix.

The Everton situation imo puts more pressure on the Premier League. If they had have been higher placed, it would be easier to keep the 10-point deduction and give another point deduction, but it is now not so easy, because they are adding to what is universally thought as an unfair punishment.

Roll on the result of the appeal, the possibility of another points deduction. We will know soon enough, but a galvanised Everton side and supporters is a very strong possiblity. Who knows where that can get Everton to?

Danny Baily
10 Posted 03/02/2024 at 23:16:41
Jerome 9, the bookies have it as a dogfight between 3 teams. Luton, Forest and us. They have Sheffield Utd and Burnley as already down.

Win our appeal and it's a straight fight between Luton and Forest.

Jerome Shields
11 Posted 03/02/2024 at 23:33:09
Watched MotD. I am giving that first goal to Calvert Lewin.
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 03/02/2024 at 00:00:33
Same here, Jerome. Deffo a Calvert-Lewin goal. All we can do is fight in every game and pray we get some points back.
Si Cooper
13 Posted 04/02/2024 at 03:10:04
Tony, perhaps I missed things but I cannot think of anything other than the clear obstruction (Dragusin deliberately running into Beto's path to allow Van de Ven to escape with the ball) that had me gnashing my teeth, and I'm generally in danger of turning my teeth to dust most games of footy I watch (and that's not limited to Everton games).

Maybe I was too easily swayed by the VAR not insisting the ref take a long look at Harrison gently (but persistently) nudging Vicario. Vicario was pathetically easy to manoeuvre but referees often over-protect the goalie.

Please point out what got your goat as I'm planning on viewing the game again when I've finished this shift. I'd like to add my voice to the ‘shout' that Calvert-Lewin has broken his goal drought even if officially that goal isn't credited to him.

David Morgan
14 Posted 04/02/2024 at 08:32:42
It may have all ready been discussed but I didn't like McNeil and Young laughing on the bench after being subbed when we were 2-1 down with minutes to go. The minimum requirement should be caring?
Jerome Shields
15 Posted 04/02/2024 at 10:42:58

They are looking at the table as it is now. Both Burnley and Sheffield United are capable of results.They may even reset in the next two months, .May even have a new manager.Similarly Team could come into the mix, a panic change if Manager injuries. Anything could happen.Everton are the team that really know the difficult task ahead.Their players are experienced of the relegation dogfight and have the added bonus of a sense of injustice. Their fans will fight to the last minutes

As for the finances, Moshiri is using other people's money. He still has his own money and his friends are working overtime on solutions

Andrew Bentley
17 Posted 04/02/2024 at 11:30:42
Apart from the Beto decisions (which were shocking) I thought the ref did alright actually. He let the game flow and didn’t give cards out early for some robust challenges - which helped to make the game an entertaining one to watch for neutrals.

Our paucity in the final 3rd is hugely frustrating. We are so poor and don’t have anyone with the ability to create a chance or put half chances away. If we did we’d have walked away from that game yesterday with a win.

Thank god for set pieces! We looked a lot more threatening yesterday from corners and free kicks which is going to be key for our survival. Although why in the second half we changed our tactic to crowd Vicario at corners or change the routine to be near post I’ll never know. It clearly wasn’t working

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 04/02/2024 at 13:06:52
He antagonizes Si, and I think he has been like this for years which might mean I turn up to games with a pre-conceived view, so you will have to trust me when I say that this is not true!

Tottenham player kicks the ball away, Oliver who is ten yards away, totally ignores this and turns towards the touch line because Spurs want to make a sub, not long after making a point of booking an Everton player for questioning the linesman decision.

Linesman flags for offside when Oliver, who is supposedly the best ref in the league is five yards away and can see clearly that the ball had just been headed by a Spurs player.

Blowing his whistle for Pickford to take a goal kick when the game is level, but allowing spurs to take as long as they want when they were in front, although he did point at his watch to let the crowd know he wasn’t being kidded, even though I’ve seen him go and book Pickford before now, for taking a lot less time than the Spurs player was taking yesterday (pre-conceived!)

The match going fan sees the bigger picture, whilst I think viewing the game from tv, gets you closer to a lot of incidents. Oliver knows what he’s doing imo, and he loves winding up Evertonians again imo.

I’m glad he never gave the foul on Beto, even though I couldn’t understand how, when he was standing ten yards away and must have definitely seen the manhandled obstruction, because he knelt forward, and did a little breaststroke action to wave play on, - because we got a free kick from a better angle when Garner was fouled, right after this.

A question that I need to ask is have the rules changed now? If a defender heads the ball the wrong way, does it not count as the last touch anymore, and a forward player can now be deemed offside?

I ask because of what I wrote earlier about Oliver not overruling his linesman when it happened yesterday, and because I was shaking my head thinking why did VAR take so long to give Everton’s second goal, when it was clear the free kick was headed towards the Spurs goal by a Tottenham defender, and the goal should have been given after five seconds, unless the rules have changed, or Stuart Atwell, was looking at something else?

Ray Robinson
19 Posted 04/02/2024 at 13:16:39
Tony, my understanding is that if a defender deliberately plays a ball back towards his own goal, a player standing offside is automatically played onside. If the ball comes of a defender I.e. skims off his head, then an attacker who is offside at the time his teammate played the ball is still offside. Any refs on here? I think Oliver got it right.
Rob Halligan
20 Posted 04/02/2024 at 14:17:03
Ray, I don’t know if that’s right or not, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be the VAR official who has to decide if the ball skims off a defenders head, or is played intentionally?
Paul Kossoff
21 Posted 04/02/2024 at 15:58:57
To the confused on here who wanted Kalvin Philips as a must. signing to shore up our team, Philips caused the goal against Bournemouth last week, dropped to the bench today, caused the third goal against Man Utd.
BBC Said, "For all the difference Kalvin Phillips has made, West Ham would have been better off buying Calvin Harris. At least they'd have had some decent music."
He's a bum, pineapple by looks and ability.

Paul Kossoff
22 Posted 04/02/2024 at 16:08:54
Rob 20, Remember the champions league final where the ball came off four different Liverpool players before Benzema scored, deemed off side, how?. The rule as it stands is so they can adapt it to suit the big team's, same as var, corrupt to the hilt.
Terry Aylward
23 Posted 04/02/2024 at 17:58:59
Does anyone think that we should read anything in the fact that our super silk Mr Rabinowitz attended yesterday's game?

Surely if the appeal had gone badly, he wouldn't want to be anywhere near Goodison considering the amount of questioning he would be getting.

Possibly just wishful thinking on my part…

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 04/02/2024 at 20:47:18
I never meant to head the ball towards my own goal, I just misjudged it = offside no goal.

I never meant to handle the ball, in fact it came at me that fast whilst I was running back at full speed that I just couldn’t get my arms out the way, even if I didn’t know anything about it = penalty.

Football has become one very subjective circus.

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 04/02/2024 at 21:29:56
Paul #22.

I haven't watched any of their Champions League Finals since 2005.

Joe McMahon
26 Posted 05/02/2024 at 16:20:31
Jerome and Colin, absolutely it was Dominics goal. I remember 2 Richie goals being awarded to Gordon for the same thing. Gordon didn't even know about one of them!
Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 06/02/2024 at 13:51:40
I won't talk anymore about the match or Richarlison's respectful behaviour. That's been done.

I've just been watching Tunnel Access. Funny how you observe certain things.

Some kid screaming out the names of the players as the come out for the warm up and when they go back in.

Interesting how we do a lot of ball work in the warm up even if we don't always play that way.

Tarkowski doing his three-jump thing as he comes on the pitch. I hope he doesn't one day land on the ball boy/girl. He's close.

The stewards at the end telling some at the front of the Gwladys Street to get get down from the seats they where standing on.

Good luck with that!!

On a separate note, I have been watching some Everton nostalgia as I tend to do. For those who create the banners. A twist on that infamous series about the hardships in the city in the early 80s, but I noted one: "Boys From The Bluestuff"

John Keating
28 Posted 06/02/2024 at 14:11:42
I taped the game on TNT Sports.

I have to say I give them credit for showing the protest against the Premier League. Pre-match and during the game, they were right on it. Unlike Sky.

Paul Roderick
29 Posted 06/02/2024 at 17:05:26
Tony 18,

I believe the VAR was checking if Coleman was offside from the original kick because he was challenging the player who headed it.

When they deemed him onside (it was very close) they never even looked at Branthwaite because of the header from the Spurs player.

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