|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5 (3)||EVERTON 0 (0)|
|Date : – 7th March 2022||Kick off : – 20.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 59,647|
|Referee : – Stuart Attwell (Leamington Spa)||Linesmen : – Mr. Dan Cook; Mr. Dan Robathan|
|Fourth official : – Martin Atkinson|
|VAR official : – John Brooks||VAR Assistant : – Timothy Wood|
|Weather : – Cold, dry|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 4 minutes
|Keane (o.g.) 13m 31s||None|
|Son 16m 24s|
|Kane 36m 26s|
|Reguilon 45m 43s|
|Kane 54m 52s|
|Son (foul on Gordon) 24|
|Romero (foul on Richarlison) 30|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Jordan PICKFORD|
|4.||Cristian ROMERO ( 6. Davinson SANCHEZ 52)||23.||Seamus COLEMAN (c)|
|15.||Eric DIER||4.||Mason HOLGATE|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||5.||Michael KEANE (o.g.) ( 32. Jarrad BRANTHWAITE 46)|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||24.||Anthony GORDON|
|30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR||16.||Abdoulaye DOUCOURE|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON ( 3. Sergio REGUILON 46 )||30.||Donny van de BEEK ( 19. Vitalii MYKOLENKO 59)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 67)||9.||Dominic CALVERT-LEWIN ( 36. DELE Alli 69)|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||15.||Asmir BEGOVIC|
|14.||Joe RODON||21.||Andre GOMES|
|12.||EMERSON Royal||14.||Andros TOWNSEND|
|8.||Harry WINKS||17.||Alex IWOBI|
|42.||Harvey WHITE||33.||Salomon RONDON|
|27.||Lucas MOURA||34.||Anwar El GHAZI|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Frank Lampost|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Hummel|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Cazoo
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – –
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|For a team who like to be known as the School of Science, the experiment of appointing Frank Lampost as their manager appears to be one that is blowing up in the Everton board members faces. An absolutely shameful performance by the Merseysiders leaves them teetering above the relegation zone after a 5-0 hammering by Spurs that truthfully should have reached double figures.
Tottenham were slick and quick, while Everton, apart from the opening ten minutes, were so abysmal that they allowed us all the space and time we required and when we got that, the punishment for the visitors was harsh and painful. And it was all they really deserved. Their first effort on goal came 15 minutes from the end and without a shot on target, relying on their defence was extremely hopeful to say the least. With Mason “Open the floodgate” Holgate, Michael “No so” Keane, Seamus Slowman and Jordan “Pick the ball out of the net” Pickford among them, the hopes of surviving in the top flight must be frail.
To start of with they were pressing Tottenham high, but that is well and good if you can shut off all the routes out and while Spurs are not highly skilled in the art of playing out from the back, they used one touch football to play around the blue shirts and ease their way up the pitch. If you look at the passing pattern for the three first half goals, almost all of them involve lots of passes beginning at the back. The first came in the 14th minute. Building from the back Rodrigo Bentancur played it forward to Ben Davies, who played the ball behind Coleman for Ryan Sessegnon to out-pace him and deliver a pacy cross to the near post. Harry Kane was arriving, but although he was unable to make contact with the ball, Michael Keane was behind him to thunder a volley just inside the near post to give Tottenham the lead. It was magnificently taken and was just the start of Keane’s nightmare 45 minutes.
The goal had come after Son had already been put through by Kane’s pass, but he held the ball when a pass left to Sessegnon would have given him a golden chance to score and that allowed Duracell bunny Anthony Gordon to get back to take the ball off him, almost putting it past Pickford in the process. But Son was to get his way three minutes after Keane’s own goal, when Romero played the ball down the right wing to Harry, who dropped his shoulder, lost Allan and passed it on to Dejan Kulusevski. His first time prod put Son free and he shot low across Pickford from inside the box to the right, but the keeper let the ball go under his dive and Keane was slow to close the Korean down, so Spurs were 2-0 ahead.
It was Son who was first in the referee’s book for trying to pull back Gordon, which was a bit of a surprise, as Allan in particular, but he wasn’t alone, had been getting the Spurs players’ ankles after the ball had gone. This included a very late one on Dier by Gordon, that Doucoure spent a long time abusing the linesman about. His frustration was clear to see, but more of that later. His demeanour probably wasn’t helped when Davies dragged the ball back near our own corner flag and played it to Hojbjerg, who found Doherty inside the Spurs half coming in off the right. Reaching the Everton half, he played the ball forward with the outside of his boot and Son was in on Pickford from the left. Normally assured in one-on-one situations, he shot low, but the keeper got a foot to it. The ball lopped up off Keane and Kane volleyed it first time from just inside the area, only to see his shot go a yard wide to the left of an unguarded goal.
Romero had received a yellow card for a sliding challenge that upended Richarlison, but looked worse than it was and compared to what Everton got away with this was shockingly inconsistent refereeing by Attwell, but we see this happening every week. On some occasions he allowed play to go on, but failed to go back and book players on both sides for fouls that were more dangerous than Cristian’s.
Son did well to keep the ball in on the left touchline and looked to play the ball across to Kulusevski, who was on to the edge of the box to his right, but it was blocked. It came back to him and this time he did play it to the right of the box to Matt Doherty, who shaped to shoot, with Kenny in front of him, but took another touch to get and angle before firing in a powerful drive from a narrow angle that Pickford did well to beat out for a corner at his near post.
For all the sympathy shown to the visiting team by the referee, it could not stop Spurs going 3-0 ahead in the 37th minute. Again, the move started with Davies and this time it was a long clearance that Kane was underneath, but didn’t win and the ball fell for Kulusevski, whose touch off his thigh took the ball towards Doherty coming infield. His first-time passthrough the centre of Everton’s high line saw Kane played onside by Kenny in the left back position, but Harry went straight through the middle and he beat Pickford to the keeper’s right with a low shot with Keane trailing behind him. VAR got involved and despite Pickford lining the ball up for a free-kick for offside, the goal was given and Everton looked to be on the end of a hiding.
There was more Keystone Kops defending from Everton to come as Holgate thundered the ball into the face of Michael Keane, who was flattened by it. He probably couldn’t quite understand when he came round and asked what had happened, only to be told that he had scored and Everton were losing 0-3 !! He got up to play on, but the half ended with Doucoure pushing Hojbjerg and a bit of a melee resulted, but it calmed down pretty quickly.
Just returning to take their seats after their half-time pint, the Everton supporters were soon heading for the exit. The two teams made substitutions at the break with Jarrad Branthwaite replacing the hapless Keane, trying to hold up the shaky defence and Spurs made an attacking change with Reguilon taking over from Ryan Sessegnon who had pulled up just before the interval. Which change do you think worked best ? Well, within 43 seconds of the second half, Spurs had scored a fourth, with Regi firing in a low shot at the far post after Coleman had fallen over comically in trying to stop Kulusevski’s low ball across the box from the right. Sergio had won the ball in the first place and then Son took it on, with van de Beek failing to pull him back before a simple pass from Dejan set up the goal. Sessegnon will be doubly annoyed after Son not passing to him in the first half, as he would have been there to stick this one away !
Despite putting five men in midfield, there was little resistance as Spurs sliced through them time and time again, with Bentancur’s use of the ball simple but very effective. There a little response from the Toffees, but Richarlison’s shot from the 18 yard line was blocked by Romero and a free-kick to them was fired into the wall by Gordon. It was more or less Romero’s last involvement, as he was taken off, having the yellow card against his name, with Sanchez coming on in his place. Calvert-Lewin had obviously been rushed back into the side when not fully fit, as his running was limited and his judgement of jumping for headers was way off. His shooting got little practice with one blocked by Dier and a second, when he had wriggled into space on the edge of the area, was dragged well wide of the Hugo’s right hand post as their first serious effort on goal. Richarlison was on the far post, but on the night, he never looked likely to get on the end of it, however unintended the ‘cross’ had been.
The Tottenham attack was much more threatening, with Doherty putting Kulusevski down the right, from where he cut inside to shoot, with his effort being deflected for a corner that brought another when Dejan set-up Son for a shot that was blocked. This one was played in by Reguilon and the ball was headed beyond the far post by Holgate, but Kane recycled the ball and crossed to the near post, where Eric Dier met it with his forehead, only to see the ball crash off and out off the angle on the other side of the goal. It was only a minute later that a fifth goal came along. With Bentancur winning the ball in midfield, he passed to his right for Doherty to place a fine diagonal pass deep into the left side of the area, picking out Harry Kane’s run and as he did at Leeds, his left foot volley went across the keeper and into the net. Holgate got caught under the cross ball-watching and Coleman wasn’t near enough to disrupt Kane’s finish, which was unerring.
There was still 25 minutes of the game left and a record score for Spurs was there for the taking, but they took their foot off the accelerator and reserved some energy for the game at Old Trafford on Saturday. van de Beek was replaced, looking nothing like the player who had taken Spurs apart when he appeared for Ajax here in the Champions League, but that Ajax side and this Everton team are two very different animals. Taking his place was Vitalii Mykolenko, who got a stirring round of applause from around the stadium. Tottenham fans had applauded Dele and Andros Townsend when they warmed up in the North West corner of the ground and after Son had been replaced by Bergwijn, who had a shot saved by Pickford, Calvert-Lewin left the action for Dele to take to the pitch he had graced for Spurs. The crowd rolled out the “We’ve got Alli” song and his 20 minute cameo was marked by a new-found aggression, no doubt trying to disprove Conte’s remarks about players going down when they leave him. His tackling bordered on the reckless and one on Harry Kane was particularly ugly. Later in the game, Harry got one back on him, but was cleaner and more effective than the hot-headed tackling of the Everton sub. And there was no bromance when Dier challenged his former team-mate with a crunching tackle.
Branthwaite’s wasn’t as clean as he hit Kulusevski late, when Dejan has stood him up by slowing his run down, before speeding up again and leaving the defender behind. Having signed from Carlisle United, Branthwaite looked a little out of his depth, showing nothing like Premier League quality in the half he was on the pitch, with his height the only attribute that looked of any benefit to the side. Another foul, by Holgate on Reguilon was deemed not to be a booking, as Sergio didn’t fly up in the air like Richarlison, but the Brazilian striker got taken out when Dier went through him when challenging for the ball in the air, leaving Richarlison in his favoured position … prone on the grass. We could all see it coming and maybe Richarlison knew it was coming.
As the game meandered to an end, Bergwijn hit a shot well over and Allan had Everton’s second shot in the second minute of added time, but it was always going over. So, the referee blew for time and it saved Everton from any further humiliation. As the players milled around on the pitch, Spurs fans sang out the Dele Alli song again and Hugo dragged him towards the South Stand, where he applauded the Spurs support. He looked as though he would prefer to be anywhere else in the world and even though his performance was not the Dele of old, the love of the fans for those halcyon days of his time with the club washed over him.
Prior to kick off there was a song by children from a local choir wishing for peace, but obviously, it wasn’t deemed important enough for the TV cameras, as the Premier League arch was constructed in front of them while the song continued. The stadium had been lit up yellow and blue and the players wore anti-war and unity with Ukraine T-shirts, although Richarlison took his off while warming up pre-match. There was also a minute’s applause to remember and show solidarity with those involved on the end of Russia’s aggressive invasion.
The whole in-house build-up to the game appeared to have changed with recorded interviews on the big screens, the speakers being turned off in the East Stand and “Can’t Smile Without You” being played directly before kick off. I’m not quite sure what had happened since the last home game. Maybe whether this was to work up some more atmosphere or if this was a massive plug for the new “Spurs Play” streaming package that will be coming soon !
Whichever, it was the performance of the team that brought a happy atmosphere to the ground and Everton played a key part in that. While it looks like Norwich and Watford might be heading down, the third place is up for grabs and Everton’s hopeless performance means that they in amongst the dog-fight to win that place. For Spurs, who in the late part of the 80s and early 90s, were in a similar place in the pecking order as the Toffees, but they have come seriously unstuck with their board managing to swap the man in control too often, spending money on average players and generally losing any impetus that they once had. The heart appears to be being ripped out of the club and the news that they will not need Council funding for their new stadium will be of little solace, as plans might need to be put on hold until their league status is established. You would think that they have enough to survive, but the game plan here demonstrates that either it was flawed from the start or the players were unable to carry it out.
As it is, we are on a different trajectory, although not as stellar as we want, but a display like this shows what we are capable of, but a test of that potential will come when we meet Manchester United on Saturday evening.
|Harry Kane’s second goal put him sixth in the all-time Premier League scorers above Terry Henry.
Jordan Pickford became the first goalkeeper in Premier League history to concede five goals on his birthday.
A minute’s applause was held for the Ukraine residents who were under attack by a Russian invasion.
|Leicester City||1||Leeds United||0|
|Aston Villa||4||South Coast Big Club||0|
|Newcash United||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||1|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Crystal Palace
|Liverpool||1||West Ham United London||0|
|Manchester City||4||Manchester United||1|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|6||West Ham United London||28||13||6||8||46||35||45||+11|
|9||South Coast Big Club||27||8||11||8||34||41||35||-7|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||27||7||12||8||26||32||33||-6|