Tottenham 0-0 Everton: Howard stands tall as Toffees weather Spurs storm
Tim Howard made several key saves as Tottenham dominated the attacking sense but were held goalless at White Hart Lane.
Spurs put 20 shots on Howard’s net, but just six of those were on target and none made it through. Everton sputtered up front, but held on for dear life as the game wound down.
Both teams showed attacking intent in the opening 20 minutes, with Tom Cleverley coming closest on 16 minutes, denied by a diving Hugo Lloris save needed after Kyle Walker gave the ball away in a dangerous area. For Spurs, Naleb Bentaleb had the best early chance in the 15th minute, curling a shot just wide after a pass from Nacer Chadli out wide.
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The game continued to provide exciting moments as Spurs took control, with Harry Kane finding himself clean through on goal after 22 minutes but took his time and couldn’t slide the ball past Howard who made an excellent save well away from his goal.
Howard was called upon again two minutes before the half-hour mark as Chadli found Ryan Mason from a tight angle but the American goalkeeper denied Spurs a second time.
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A controversial tackle brought a stop to the game just minutes before halftime as Eric Dier scythed down Tom Cleverley, with the latter needing an air cast and the stretcher to bring him off. Dier won the ball in the tackle, but also made a dangerous scissor motion with his legs. The referee, however, saw no reason to punish the Spurs defender. The injury sucked the life out of the game, and the final minutes of the first half had a depressing feel.
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Following halftime, another nasty injury forced Spurs midfielder Moussa Dembele to be stretchered off, but the home side stayed on top of the shot advantage as Howard saved well on Mason again in the 55th minute. Spurs continued to be frustrated as Chadli found Kane whose first shot was blocked, and while the rebound came back to the striker, he fell amid heavy pressure.
The home fans continued to wait for an opener as Jan Vertonghen with 20 minutes to go burst forward to the top of the box and skipped past a challenge before striking an impressive shot just over the bar while falling down.
Despite Everton’s struggles, they got an opportunity with 18 minutes left as Arouna Kone flashed a header just inches wide. Spurs regained the ascendency and Kane had the ball in the back of the net but the offside flag went up. The game remained tense, but neither side found a breakthrough as it all bogged down in the final minutes.
Spurs remain without a win on the season with just three points on three draws thus far, and Kane has not yet scored in league play. Everton moves to five points with the draw.