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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
February 9, 2014
• 8:30 AM
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 35944
E. Adebayor 65'
FULL-TIME: Tottenham 1-0 Everton. Emmanuel Adebayor's second-half strike gives Tim Sherwood's men a result they scarcely deserve but Spurs will not be complaining after responding to fellow Champions League chasers Liverpool's win yesterday with one of their own to close the gap to just three points. The Togolese striker benefitted from Kyle Walker's quick free-kick to fire home and seal an invaluable victory against a side also in the mix for the top four.
90' + 3'
Spurs break and Adebayor rolls the ball through to Defoe but, with the angle narrowing, his low shot is tipped over by Howard. That should be that...
90' + 1'
Should Everton have had a penalty? Coleman is ushered down the right by Barry's threaded pass and, cutting inside onto his left foot, the right-back manages to evade a first challenge before substitute Etienne Capoue appears to trip him. There was no appeal from the Everton players but it did look like they may have been hardly done by there.
Deulofeu epitomises the Everton frustrations, needlessly hauling down Rose when the defender was facing his own goal and under pressure. Can Everton rouse themselves for one final push here?
Yellow Card Mousa Dembele
Martinez will be concerned at his side's inability to click in the attacking third in this second half, having shown so much promise early on. Spurs are doing a brilliant job of stifling them and then clearing for Defoe to chase.
Jermain Defoe enters the fray as Spurs add some pace to their forward line, with Everton looking increasingly threadbare in defence when they counter as they go in search of an equaliser.
Lloris has to be alert to deal with McGeady's cross, which takes a huge deflection off of Walker and is spinning towards the far top corner but the Frenchman adjusts and claims with ease in the end.
Baines stands over a set piece within sight of Lloris' goal but the delivery does not do any damage to the Frenchman, with Spurs ultimately hacking the ball upfield.
Deulofeu shows his intentions, cutting inside off the right flank and looking to engineer some space for himself up against Rose but Tottenham are able to throw a block in and get the ball away.
A clever interchange between Bentaleb and Dembele opens up some space for Adebayor, who shoots from range and comes close, zipping his effort over the bar with a searing strike.
The Toffees keeping possession well but not really going anywhere with it and Spurs are content to see them stroke the ball around without the attacking thrust required to truly get at their defence.
Mirallas is caught offside again following a clever ball down the left and Martinez makes a reaction in the hope of finding an equaliser, with widemen Gerard Deulofeu and Aiden McGeady taking to the field to replace Naismith and Osman.
Naismith is jeered once again as his latest run down the left ends in similar fashion, with Walker able to shepherd him wide to concede the throw-in.
Naismith attempts an ambitious stepover and only leaves himself open to ridicule when the ball rolls between his legs and out of play on the near touchline.
Everton are stunned into an immediate riposte, with Baines trying to force the issue down the other end but he is eventually snuffed out.
Assist Kyle Walker
Goal Emmanuel Adebayor
GOAL! Out of absolutely nowhere, Tottenham have the lead. Walker's presence of mind to take a quick free-kick is rewarded in the best possible fashion as he picks out Adebayor, who fends off the attentions of Coleman to slam home left-footed at the near post. Brilliant from the rangy frontman.
Now it's Martinez's turn to up the ante by bringing on the precocious Ross Barkley as he seeks some added urgency in his side's play.
Osman makes an intelligent run into the right channel and almost picks out Pienaar and Mirallas with a looping cross, but it goes out for a corner nonetheless.
Andros Townsend comes on to replace Eriksen, who has become weary as the game continues to stretch and Sherwood will be hoping he can inject some much-needed pace to a stale-looking Spurs attack.
It's difficult to gauge how poor the defending is from the home side against how good Everton's counter attacking has been, with Baines looking to slide through Mirallas in the latest move, but the Belgian is ruled offside.
Everton's turn to break now in this to-and-fro contest, with Mirallas' low cross into the area designed to pick out Osman but Spurs get enough numbers back to just about avert the danger.
Spurs keep their opponents hemmed in briefly as Bentaleb's clipped pass into the area is hurriedly cleared for a corner. Adebayor meets it but steers the header wide before showing determination and desire to keep his side in the ascendency by rushing Howard into a clearance.
Pienaar shows good adventure and invention on the left to release the unmarked Mirallas around 25 yards out but he snatches at his shot and it swings wildly away from goal.
Spurs work the ball out wide again but Rose's cross is poor and, once again, easily dealt with. Everton break and Pienaar works his way to the byline but cannot pick out a team-mate in the middle.
Rose is freed on the Tottenham left but his centre is disappointing and is easily cut out by the excellent Jagielka. The ball is recycled out to Walker on the opposite side and his cross in is deflected behind by Baines. Moments later, the same pattern emerges, with the left-back turning the ball behind but on both occasions, the delivery is poor.
Everton get the ball rolling once more and the second half begins.
HALF-TIME: Tottenham 0-0 Everton. The hosts have been sluggish and should feel fortunate to not be a goal down, with the Toffees proving extremely wasteful in the final third. Osman has been the main culprit, passing up four openings, while Mirallas, Naismith and Coleman have also gone close. Spurs manager Sherwood will be concerned with his side's offerings up front, with Adebayor going closest for a sluggish Spurs.
Paulinho emerges with the ball from a Spurs break and pierces the defence with a sliderule pass for Adebayor but the ball has just too much on it and it allows Howard to get across and clear for a throw-in on the far side.
Martinez's side are certainly the team on top as half-time draws closer, but a lot of the play is in front of Bentaleb and the back four from Everton and makes it easy to deal with from the home side's perspective.
Everton work a succession of corners but are unable to profit from them as Spurs do well to head away and move upfield.
Bentaleb does well to cut out the latest Everton forward venture as Spurs look to stem the Toffees tide and stay level just prior to the interval.
Naismith is furious with Mirallas and he has every right to be. The Scot pulled wide as his attacking partner sped away but instead of slipping the former Rangers man in, he chose to go alone and shot wastefully over the bar.
The opening 20 minutes, which saw both sides attack at an almost chaotic pace has just petered out slightly, with the nervousness of not conceding creeping into Spurs' play especially.
Dawson is involved again but at the other end this time, clattering into Mirallas after the Belgian had cleverly spun onto Pienaar's pass in the left-hand channel. The ball in is not dealt with and Jagielka eventually wins a corner, but it all fizzles out into nothing.
Paulinho surges through midfield and picks out Walker's run of his own on the right flank but his delivery is cut out by Baines at the near post. Dawson is up to meet the resulting set piece but cannot quite keep his header down.
Both sides are weighing each other up as they look to steal what would be a priceless opening goal here. Spurs have looked threatening on occasion, but the Toffees are getting bodies forward with pace every time the ball becomes loose.
Finally Spurs begin to show some sort of craft in the final third as Rose escapes the out-of-position Coleman and fires in a powerful cross into a dangerous area where Adebayor is lurking, but the giant Togolese is unable to stretch quite enough to prod it home with his outstretched leg.
Coleman's willingness to get forward is evident and he bursts into space once again before cutting back inside Rose onto his weaker left foot and firing straight at Lloris.
It has been a frantic start to this one and Everton are back in Spurs territory once again as Baines completely loses Walker, who is suffering at right-back. The Everton flyer's cut-back, however, is weak and is eventually cleared from in front of Seamus Coleman.
Spurs are back on the front foot, with Nabil Bentaleb feeding Kyle Walker down the right wing, but his cross-cum-shot evades everyone in the area and sails well wide.
Everton show their counterattacking ability once again as they slice through Spurs but Baines is adjudged to be offside and the ensuing cross for Mirallas and save from Lloris prove futile. Moments later there is more disarray at the back as the French shot-stopper makes a sloppy pass to Michael Dawson but Naismith and Mirallas are unable to seize the initiative.
Naismith has taken up a central role so far, with Mirallas mainly operating on the right-hand side and he almost latches onto an Osman pass but is pulled up for allegedly dragging back Vertonghen.
Osman has been everywhere and now he is tracking back excellently to thwart Spurs and Dembele in particular, with the home side just showing signs they are beginning to come into the game. The pint-sized midfielder even wins the header from Eriksen's subsequent delivery to boot.
Steven Pienaar fells Paulinho in a promising position for Spurs and Eriksen places the ball before curling his effort, from around 30 yards out, towards goal but it is just too high and lands on the roof of Howard's net.
Spurs finally have a spell of possession, with Christian Eriksen and Dembele at the heart of their forward move, looking to probe an Everton defence which stands firm and eventually clears.
Spurs are second best all over the pitch here, with Everton looking to establish an early advantage and they come close once more after some slack defending. A long ball is missed by Rose and Naismith takes advantage, ghosting between the left-back and Jan Vertonghen before pulling the ball back to the lively Osman, but his shot was straight at an overworked Lloris.
The corner ultimately comes to nothing and Everton resume their early dominance as Kevin Mirallas and Osman, twice, all go close. The Belgian's strike deflects off Danny Rose and loops onto the roof of the net before Osman sees a shot tipped aside by Lloris and a header go just wide from the resulting corner.
It's been a bright start on the whole from Everton, with Leighton Baines nearly darting in behind Kyle Walker down the left flank but their early good work is almost undone as Sylvain Distin gets lucky when his short backpass is cut out by Tim Howard before Dembele can slip the ball home.
CLOSE: Everton are the first to muster a goalscoring chance as Leon Osman brings the ball out of the air and turns onto his left side, but his effort curls just wide of Hugo Lloris' far post.
Spurs kick us off at White Hart Lane and we are underway for this monumental clash in the race for fourth spot.
STAT: Tottenham have won just two of their last 13 Premier League matches against Everton.
The shadow of Gareth Bale's world-record sale continues to loom over White Hart Lane. The £85m they received has proven relatively futile with players such as Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela failing to live up to their costly price tags to compensate for last season's match winner's departure. Paulinho, Christian Eriksen and on occasion Vlad Chiriches have shown their worth but the other quartet, of whom none start today, must step up.
Spurs also have more points than at this stage of their last campaign, 44 compared to 42, yet somehow there's a feeling that they've underachieved after the summer of influx in personnel at White Hart Lane.
The worry now for the Toffees may be that injuries have already put a small squad under pressure. Everton need all their experienced big-game players fit and to step up and be ready week, in week out to have any chance of snaring fourth spot, starting with today's six-pointer. Martinez will hope January acquisitions McGeady and Lacina Traore - both on the bench this afternoon - can get his side over the line.
Everton head to White Hart Lane in good spirit after recovering from the derby thrashing at Liverpool to beat Aston Villa last weekend. Roberto Martinez and his side's burgeoning reputations show no sign of letting up, either. No team has lost less matches so far this term, with Chelsea the only side to have conceded fewer goals and they are four points better off than at this stage of last season.
This could yet prove to be the most significant league clash between the two since Spurs, then in second place, lost at home to league leaders Everton on a Wednesday night in April 1985 with the stakes equally high this afternoon. Everton, buoyed by that win, went on to win the eighth of their nine top-flight titles.
With Liverpool thrashing Arsenal 5-1 yesterday the heat on this clash is turned up tenfold, as the Merseyside v North London theme resumes just over 24 hours later.
Sherwood adds an extra midfielder in Dembele to his lineup to combat Everton's five-man midfield, with Roberto Martinez bringing back Seamus Coleman, Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar as John Stones, Aiden McGeady and Ross Barkley drop to the bench.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Naismith, Osman, Pienaar; Mirallas. Substitutes: Joel, Hibbert, Stones, McGeady, Deulofeu, Barkley, Traore.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Paulinho, Bentaleb, Dembele; Lennon, Adebayor, Eriksen. Substitutes: Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Capoue, Townsend, Soldado, Defoe.
The team news is in, with Spurs manager Tim Sherwood making just the one change as Mousa Dembele comes in for Roberto Soldado which will mean a switch in formation, while Roberto Martinez makes three changes in total.
Good afternoon and welcome to this live commentary of Tottenham Hotspur v Everton in a mouthwatering clash between the Champions League chasers at White Hart Lane. Stay tuned for all the updates.
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