Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Quality goals from Lennon, Alli cancel in entertaining draw
A pair of quality goals highlighted a fun match between Everton and Spurs, neither of which appeared to be comfortable with settling for a point. They were ultimately forced to do so as things finished 1-1 at Goodison Park on goals from Aaron Lennon and Dele Alli.
Spurs began with the first meaningful attack and nearly threaded in Alli but his sliding effort from point blank range was blocked. Harry Kane tried a speculative shot on nine minutes that weaved its way past Tim Howard and clanged the inside of the post, but it skipped along the goal line and stayed out.
The visitors were on top throughout the first 20 minutes, but failed to create much else. Everton produced their first notable attack on 21 minutes, and it produced the game’s first goal. A long ball met the head of Romelu Lukaku in the penalty area, who nodded to Aaron Lennon in space at the top of the box. The former Tottenham midfielder let the ball bounce before poking a half-volley to the far post, leaving Hugo Lloris no chance to stop the opening goal.
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Everton nearly had a second just two minutes later when Arouna Kone took aim in space atop the box but he was closed down quickly and his effort blocked.
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Spurs looked to get back into things, and while they had less possession than they did early on, they again clattered the woodwork, this time hitting the crossbar through Ben Davies. They pushed harder past the half-hour mark and regained the ascendency, but Everton defended well. It took a moment of brilliance just ticks before the halftime whistle to get Spurs level, as a stunning ball from Toby Alderweireld over the top met the chest of Alli, who struck a volley past Howard for the equalizer.
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Spurs looked the better side after the break. Alli nearly had another as Tom Carroll played a perfect ball forward to him in the 55th minute but Alli tumbled to the ground under pressure. Moments later Alli nearly found Kane in the box but the result was the same.
Everton came to life upon the introduction of Gerard Deulofeu on the hour mark, and he sent a cross inches high of Lukaku in the box six minutes later. They created an opportunity again with 12 minutes to go as a clear fell to Muhamed Besic who unleashed a dipping strike that forced a full-stretch save from Hugh Lloris. The ensuing corner saw Ramiro Fuenes Mori head just wide.
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The final five minutes were wild as Everton threw men forward in a sloppy yet ferocious attack, but Spurs held and the game finished even. Neither side gained any positioning with their point, as Spurs remained in fourth, three points back of Manchester City, while Everton sits in 11th, two points behind Stoke.