Spurs come from behind to win again in impressive home victory over Everton
PUBLISHED: 17:54 30 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:54 30 November 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham came from behind to win for the third time in four Premier League games as a noticeable new intensity resulted in a valuable 2-1 home win over Everton.
Spurs had lost four of their previous five top-flight fixtures at White Hart Lane – all of them coming after Europa League outings – and it seemed they might suffer another case of déjà vu as they fell behind to Kevin Mirallas’ early 25-yard strike.
But Mauricio Pochettino’s side showed a huge improvement without the ball, pressing energetically and aggressively and fighting their way back into the game.
The Lilywhites turned around deficits to triumph at Aston Villa and Hull earlier this month and they repeated the feat today.
Christian Eriksen equalised with his second goal in two games, and Roberto Soldado struck in first-half injury-time, netting his first goal in nine games and his third of the season.
It stayed that way until the final whistle, taking Spurs up to seventh place in the table – three points above vanquished Everton and two outside the top four.
There were three changes from the Spurs side that had lined up at Hull the previous weekend.
With Kyle Naughton suspended, Vlad Chiriches was given a chance at right-back, relegating Eric Dier to the bench – and Aaron Lennon replaced Erik Lamela on the right flank, while Nabil Bentaleb was preferred to Mousa Dembele in central midfield alongside fellow academy graduate Ryan Mason in central midfield.
The game started at a frenetic pace and it didn’t let up during the first half. The visitors had the first chance as Romelu Lukakau – who should have been given offside – snatched at a shot inside the box, giving Hugo Lloris an easy save.
They then went on to take the lead as Mirallas brought the ball down on the edge of the box, turned past Roberto Soldado and whipped a stunning strike into the top right corner.
But Spurs, who had recently come behind to triumph at Aston Villa and Hull, rallied again in front of their own fans and levelled seven minutes later.
Harry Kane ran at the Everton goal and, when his low 20-yard shot was saved by Tim Howard, it fell for Eriksen, who chipped the ball back across goal and into the far corner.
Spurs continued to put in a phenomenal effort without the ball, chasing their opponents all over the pitch, and they began to dominate.
Mason shot at Howard from range and Kane then ran from almost the halfway line before placing a tame effort at the Toffees keeper.
Eriksen saw a low 20-yard strike deflected just wide and, although Seamus Coleman tried his luck from range at the other end, Tottenham took the lead moments before half-time.
Mason won the ball in Everton’s half and Lennon drove at the defence before slipping the ball to Soldado, who fired past Howard to end his barren run in front of goal.
The high tempo continued in the second half and Kane tested Howard with a left-footed effort, while Federico Fazio miscued when he found himself in the Everton box and Mason narrowly missed the top right corner with a 25-yard rocket.
Mauricio Pochettino replaced the impressive and diligent Lennon with Lamela on the hour-mark and was then forced into a second change 10 minutes later, with Chiriches limping off and Eric Dier taking his place.
Everton threatened as Ross Barkley span on the edge of the box and freed Seamus Coleman, who was denied by Lloris.
Spurs then survived a late scare as Leighton Baines’ free kick hit Fazio on the arm six yards from his own goal, but the defender escaped – and Spurs could easily have had their own spot-kick deep into injury-time as Kane tussled with Muhamed Besic and went down.
Tottenham visit Chelsea in the league on Wednesday.
Tottenham: Lloris, Chiriches (Dier 70), Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies, Bentaleb, Mason, Lennon (Lamela 61), Kane, Eriksen, Soldado