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10 March 2012
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 34992
That's it Everton have won here and you can't say they didn't deserve it as they were clinical when they needed to be and defended stoutly against a late Spurs onslaught. Tottenham were poor for the majority of the game apart from bursts at the start of the second-half and at the end. They now slip to their third defeat in a row in the Premier League and their place in next year's Champions League is now under threat.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Tim Howard
90' + 3'
Saha comes within a inch of getting Spurs an equaliser as the ball falls to him in the six yard box, he manages to swing a leg at the ball and makes good contact but the ball hits the post and bounces off the legs of Howard to safety.
90' + 2'
Oh so close from Rafael Van der Vaart as his volley takes a deflection on way to goal and agonizingly loops over Howard but fortunately for the Toffees goes over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Everton just seem content to keep the ball away from Tottenham now as Rodwell runs to the corner in order to kill some time. Stracqualursi has done a good job of holding the ball for the Toffees since he's come on and has won a few cheap free-kicks to further frustrate Spurs.
Slow progress from Tottenham, they just haven't managed to force the issue in this game apart from a five minute period at the start of the second-half. Everton have been resilient in defence but haven't needed to be spectacular.
It's been a day of 1-0 wins, with three recorded in the five Premier League games played today can Everton add a fourth to that list? Their defence has been outstanding today with Distin leading from the front.
Yellow Card John Heitinga
Everton look comfortable at the minute and have seen off everything Spurs have thrown at them so far. Redknapp' side need to find that extra bit of quality if they want to avoid their third defeat in a row in the Premier League.
Jermain Defoe thought he'd got Spurs back into the game but his goal has been ruled offside. It's becoming a frustrating evening for the striker.
Everton nearly catch Spurs on the break and Osman should have put this game out of the visitors reach as he raced onto a through ball and only had Friedel to beat but he shot straight at the American who made a good stop.
Rafael van der Vaart
Louis Saha nearly finds a way through the Everton defence jinking his way through Neville and Heitinga before firing a shot at goal which hits Distin straight in the face. Good last ditch defending from the Toffees. What controversy would that have caused if Saha had found the net?
The game has just started to stagnate a little bit which Spurs can ill afford as they seemed to be playing their best football when the tempo was high, this will suit Everton. Who haven't looked troubled when Spurs have tried this patient approach.
Dear me, a chance for Spurs to test Howard from a free-kick just outside the box. Kaboul, Modric stand over the ball, the former Portsmouth defender known for his power steps up and launches it straight into row Z. Very poor from Spurs.
Yellow Card Jermain Defoe
There are a few challenges flying around now and a few bookings as well. This game needs to liven up a bit and maybe a heavy tackle or two is just what it needs to get kick-started.
Yellow Card Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Spurs final ball has let them down today, this it's Bale who over-hits a corner and it goes out for a goal-kick. Bale himself has been extremely poor today and hasn't been able to get going at all.
Everton haven't found the rhythm they had in the first-half and are now defending for their lives against this Spurs attack. Jelavic is having a tougher time holding up the ball now than before the interval. Can they hold off this onslaught from Spurs.
Defoe comes close again and Howard has to be at his best to save his powerful effort. Spurs are really clicking into gear now and it was excellent play from Parker that set up the chance for the striker.
Really poor stuff from Jermain Defoe when well placed in the Everton box, he manages to turn Baines and with time and space to find a team-mate he choose to shoot from a tight angle and blasts the ball over the bar.
Spurs push forward again and this time Modric finds himself with room in the Everton box but before he can get his shot away he's well challenged by Distin. Redknapp's side are playing with more urgency at the start of the second-half.
Nearly an immediate response from Tottenham after the break as they push upfield and Defoe strikes an effort which goes in between two defenders and looks destined for the bottom corner before Tim Howard gets down and make a good save. Better from Spurs.
We're back underway at Goodison Park.
Great first-half for Everton in a game where they've dominated. Nikica Jelavic's goal was well deserved as he's put in a good shift up front as he converted Osman's cross, following good work from the midfielder. Tottenham have a lot of work to do if they want something out of this game as they've been second-best throughout.
David Moyes' side have controlled the game and have used the ball well when they've had it and have defended well without the ball. In my book if you do those things well you'll go a long way in winning a match and Everton have a deserved lead and are outplaying the visitors.
Everton nearly catch Tottenham on the break and that just sums up Spurs' play in this first half as they've been lethargic. The Toffee's broke upfield with pace through Drenthe and Jelavic was unlucky to see his lay-off to Coleman deflected away from the midfielder.
Harry Redknapp will be disappointed with what he's seen so far. His team have shown no urgency with the ball and haven't looked a threat to Everton at all. The Spurs players could be facing a verbal volley from their manger at the interval.
Slight blemish on Jelavic's day so far as he manages to head Baines throw in out of play when trying to knock the ball back to him, slightly embarrassing for the Croat.
Jelavic again causing problem for Spurs this time Friedel has to be on top form to make a good save from a free-kick from the striker as the ball looked to be creeping into the bottom corner. Tottenham are second-best so far in this match and need to up their game if they want anything out of it.
Everton are working really hard in the midfield and defensive areas pressing Tottenham every time they get the ball. The Toffees have done a good job restricting Spurs to long shots which haven't troubled Howard so far.
Ambitious effort from Gareth Bale as he shoots from around 40 yards out hoping to catch Tim Howard off his guard. However the American is attentive and the Welshman's shoot creeps just past the post without troubling the former Manchester United keeper.
Everton are rocking now and are surging forward, Royston Drenthe who scored a cracking goal against QPR last time out gets the ball in a similar position and shoots but this time his effort is well saved by Friedel.
Assist Leon Osman
Goal Nikica Jelavic
GOALLLL!!!! Everton take the lead and it's Nikica Jelavic whose got the goal on his first start for the Toffees. It was individual brilliance from Leon Osman who set up the chance as he skinned Kaboul with a good turn and found Jelavic who fired an effort into the corner beating the hand of a desperate Friedel who couldn't get enough on it to turn the ball away from goal.
The game has livened up now and this time it's Everton's turn to threaten as Jelavic win the knockdown in the area and it falls kindly into the path of Marouane Felliani, who fires a left-footed shot at goal from a tight angle which goes just wide.
Chance for Tottenham as Defoe gets the better of Heitinga and races towards goal, the Dutchman gets back at the striker before he can make decent contact and the chance is spurned but the England man isn't happy and wants a penalty which is turned down by referee Mark Halsey.
Just when Tottenham looked like they were getting something going Leon Osman was there to put his foot in to stop Luka Modric in his tracks. The build-up play was good from Spurs first from Bale and Adebayor, then from Defoe who cleverly left the ball for Modric but the Croatian ran out of room.
Proving my point, Scott Parker releases Gareth Bale down the right, the Welshman's first cross is cut out by Distin and the ball comes back to him and with his second attempt the winger puts the ball out for a goal kick. Poor stuff, more quality at Goodison please.
Both managers are yelling instructions at their players, this seems like a game that could be decided by a single goal so all their tactical nous will be needed today. The game is yet to come alive and the defences are on top at the moment.
Cagey start from Spurs as they're yet to really get out of their own half as Everton have them on the back-foot with some good play particularly down the left.
Everton are getting some joy down the left flank with Seamus Coleman as first he evades a challenge and fires a shot at goal which goes just wide. Seconds later he raids again and forces Younes Kaboul into making a good clearance from a dangerous ball into the box. Good start by the Toffees.
Gareth Bale shows what Spurs were missing last week as he robs Baines of the ball down the right and raids forward forcing a corner. His direct approach forces teams to gameplan against him and the Toffees will look to double up against him with Coleman and Baines on the left.
Everton have started brightly and are knocking the ball around well in the early stages. A lot of confidence shown as expected for a team unbeaten since the middle of January.
We're underway at Goodison Park.
Slight scandal as Everton and Tottenham appeared to have a' gentlemens' agreement that Louis Saha would not play however he's on the bench for Spurs today. Could he make an impact from the bench late-on? That would be a talking point.
This is a huge game for Spurs as they are currently four points ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal, as Harry Redknapp's side lie in third place. A defeat for them could allow the Gunners to close the gap to just a point when they play on Monday against Newcastle. Who would have thought that a few weeks ago?
The last time Everton tasted defeat was in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane when they lost 2-0. The match was played in January after being rescheduled as it was initially due to be played on the first day of the season but due to the London riots the game was called off.
Tottenham make three changes from the team that lost 3-1 to Manchester United in their last league game as Scott Parker, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe start in place of Aaron Lennon, Jake Livermore and Louis Saha. Bale and Parker have both overcome injuries that kept them out of the match against the Red Devils. Rafael Van der Vaart starts on the bench for Harry Redknapp's side.
Everton make three changes from the team that drew 1-1 with QPR last time out. Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman while Nikica Jelavic makes his first start for the Toffee’s since his move from Rangers in January. They replace Tony Hibbert, Denis Stracqualursi and Steven Pienaar who is ineligible to play against his parent club following his loan move.
Team News: Tottenham (4-4-2): Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Modric, Parker, Sandro, Bale; Defoe, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Van der Vaart, Saha, Kranjcar, Rose, Livermore, Nelsen.
Team News: Everton (4-5-1) : Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Cahill, Osman, Drenthe; Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stracqualursi, Gueye, Rodwell, Anichebe.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of today's Premier League clash between Everton and Tottenham from Goodison Park. Spurs are looking to bounce back in the league following defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal in their last two games. However they face a tough task against an Everton team who are unbeaten in their last nine games.
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