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Impressive Everton foils answerless Tottenham

A lethal set piece from Lucas Digne and Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave Everton the decisive edge over Tottenham in their season-opening matchup.

Tottenham Hotspur - Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s second-half goal gave Everton a deserved lead and eventual 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in North London on Sunday.

The Toffees used some good first-half saves from Jordan Pickford and a promising debut from James Rodriguez to send Carlo Ancelotti back to Merseyside with three points.

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Jose Mourinho’s Spurs had little going aside from Heung-min Son and the boss will only intensify his cries for another striker behind Harry Kane.

Everton hosts West Brom next week while Spurs are off to Southampton.

Tottenham Hotspur - Everton notes and analysis

1. Good signs for Ancelotti: Almost every Everton player can be credited with a marquee moment or two, and the signs Carlo Ancelotti would’ve loved to see -- instant form from Calvert-Lewin, improved focus from Jordan Pickford -- were there along with his most electric attackers (below) getting the job done aside from one magnificent miss from Richarlison (which, it should be said, included a lot of good before the gaffe).

2. Richarlison + Rodriguez = Shots: My goodness will goalkeepers need to keep their feet quick and their heads on a swivel with Richarlison on the left of Everton’s attack and James Rodriguez on the right. The duo was looking to shoot at all times. Rodriguez barely missed a curler in the 38th, about 20 minutes after Richarlison comically blew a would-be opener. Richarlison then thrice just missed curling efforts from the left to the far post.

3. Spurs fail to find edge: Jose Mourinho’s Starting XI was conservative but saw some moments through a live Heung-min Son. Star striker Harry Kane wasn’t much of a factor, Lucas Moura struggled aside from one long counter, and Dele Alli was pulled at halftime (whether for injury or tactics, we don’t yet know). Second-half sub Steven Bergwijn supplied some pep, but not enough to conjure a real scare to Everton’s back line.

Man of the Match

Respect should be paid to the goal scorer but Richarlison and Rodriguez were the stories of the game. We simply couldn’t give MOTM to Richarlison unless he made amends for a gaffe with a goal, so James gets the nod.

Tottenham Hotspur - Everton recap

The first shot came in the third minute, Pickford collecting a low drive from Heung-min Son.

Richarlison blew an absurd chance to make it 1-0 when he raced onto a terrible Ben Davies back pass, darting around Hugo Lloris and lashing wide despite having a cutback to Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a likely tap-in.

Son sent a tremendous cross to the back post in the 24th minute but Harry Kane’s sliding effort was just short of the pass.

The South Korean soon saw a shot blocked by a brave Seamus Coleman before James bumbled a shot at the other end for Everton.

Son led another rush and chose Dele Alli over Harry Kane’s run, with the former’s shot tipped over the bar by Pickford. The ex-Sunderland keeper had another save before the break in one of his better halves in some time.

James and Richarlison teamed up for a 43rd minute effort that Lloris collected to keep it scoreless before half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Everton had an early second half chance through James’ cross that Richarlison couldn’t turn past Lloris at the back post as Doherty could not time an intervention.

Lucas Moura led a lightning counter off the ensuing corner kick, Abdoulaye Doucoure’s slide the only thing that stopped the Brazilian from a prolonged run on goal.

Calvert-Lewin got his goal with a powered header of Lucas Digne’s 55th-minute cross. Toby Alderweireld didn’t bother to jump and Calvert-Lewin had an unimpeded route to the ball aside from Eric Dier on his back shoulder.

Richarlison and Rodriguez linked up on a number of occasions, and Seamus Coleman fired a volley into the chest of Lloris in the 74th minute.

A Tanguy Ndombele giveaway helped Calvert-Lewin to another shot to Lloris with seven minutes left in the 90.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg dodged a red card for a dangerous challenge that left Richarlison on the deck.