With both sides heading into the game somewhat evenly matched, key players from either side were expected to step up and edge the game in their club’s favour. Instead, Everton and Spurs will curse their missed chances as well as the ineffective showings from their key men. Many would have expected Spurs talisman Harry Kane to bury his one-on-one against Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard in the second half but a stuttering delay allowed the American stopper to make the goal smaller. The finishing overall was poor from both sides, with Nacer Chadli and Dele Alli also missing seemingly straight-forward finishes. On the other side, chances went begging for both Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone, with the latter missing the biggest chance of the game for the Toffees with a glancing header just wide. Ross Barkley, who has been the spark in each of Everton’s opening games, also had a dim showing at White Hart Lane.
Both sides had their chances, with Spurs reaching well into double figures with attempts on goals, but they were left frustrated by a solid defensive showing by Everton. Tim Howard was arguably the standout performer on the entire field, doing well to defuse Kane as the forward was bearing down on the Everton goal one-on-one. Seamus Coleman was his usual solid self, while John Stones put the headlines to one side and enjoyed a composed display. Spurs were also efficient at the back, with Jan Vertonghen particularly impressing. While he was good defensively, the Belgian also enjoyed a few gallivants forward into the Everton half, something that Spurs fans haven’t seen him do since as effectively for quite some time. Danny Rose was also dependable as he replaced the injured Ben Davies, proving to be a true test for Everton defender Coleman down the left flank.
Spurs playmaker was a miss due to injury and his absence was notable over the course of the 90 minutes against Everton. An industrious midfield containing the likes of Eric Dier, Ryan Mason, Moussa Dembele and Alli were always moving the side forward but were constantly being met by a resilient Everton back six. The lack of a true no10 linking up the play from the deeper midfielders meant players like Ryan Mason had to deputise and, when caught out, left the Spurs midfield stretched on the counter. The Dane’s flair and eye for a key pass might have been able to unlock a tight-knit Everton defence, as well as posing a threat from set-pieces. Something else Spurs may worry about is a true replacement for Eriksen when he is unavailable, with players like Dembele and Erik Lamela proving ineffective in the hole.
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