SPURS’ WAIT FOR AWAY WIN STRETCHES TO 287 DAYS
Tosun scores 97th minute leveller for Everton as Tottenham also have to contend with Heung-min ban
After 287 days, Tottenham Hotspur’s wait goes on. They still have not won away in the Premier League since January and, on the afternoon when Dele Alli threatened to bring that to an end, Spurs ended up suffering. Cenk Tosun’s 97th-minute equaliser cost them an extra two points while the sent-off Son Heung-min will now serve a three-match ban.
Everton, despite the extra point Tosun secured, may be the greater losers, potentially deprived of the services of Andre Gomes for much of the rest of the season. The initial fears are that the Portuguese faces a long spell on the sidelines.
He sustained what looked a horrific ankle injury in a rash challenge from Son, who was initially booked, before a yellow card was upgraded to a red, and who looked distraught at the harm he had caused.
He ended up central to the drama. Son had set up Alli’s goal as Tottenham added just a third point, following draws at Manchester City and Arsenal, from the last 36 available on the road. They have won a famous Champions League tie at Ajax in the meantime, but it is a wretched record and it explains why they remain in the wrong half of the table.
Perhaps Mauricio Pochettino merits some of the credit for their goal. He fielded Alli officially on the left, but in reality in an inside left role. He swapped Lucas Moura and Son after each made little impact in a dismal first half and the South Korean was altogether more prominent as a striker.
But, not for the first time, Everton were architects of their own downfall. The former Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi turned into Tottenham’s playmaker for an unfortunate instant, picking out Son. He released Alli, who slotted a low shot past his England team-mate Jordan Pickford for his second goal of the season. It said something that it was Spurs’ first shot on target; until then, Pickford had been troubled most by a misdirected Serge Aurier cross.
After Alli struck, Tottenham survived a lengthy wait while VAR checked if the scorer had handled to concede a penalty. There were decisions at either end that were referred to Anthony Taylor, the official on duty at Stockley Park, and the clumsy Yerry Mina may have been fortunate he did not concede a penalty when he upended Son.
Mina at least provided a contribution at the right end. His deep cross was volleyed back across the box by Lucas Digne and Tosun headed in his first goal of the season, justifying Silva’s decision to bring him on.
An altogether more potent striker was absent altogether. Tottenham were without the ill Harry Kane and, for much of the match, they missed him. He had excelled as last season’s explosive encounter ended in a 6-2 Spurs win. Perhaps Marco Silva was scarred by that as he reinforced his midfield, though Tottenham never threatened a repeat.
The presence of Michael Keane, Moise Kean, Seamus Coleman and Gylfi Sigurdsson on the Everton bench was a sign of how much their plans have been ripped up. Silva nor
Everton will potentially be deprived of the services of Andre Gomes for much of the rest of the season
mally operates with a No 10 but he played 4-1-4-1 with a trio of central midfielders. Tom Davies lent energy but there was precious little inspiration.
The opening half hour contained no efforts on target, and few off it, with Gomes getting far too much height on one headed chance. Richarlison belatedly drew a save from Paulo Gazzaniga and the Brazilian then directed an effort over the bar. A second shot Gazzaniga fielded comfortably came on the hour, but cemented his status as the man likeliest to make anything happen for the hosts.
Yet both Everton and their crowd were galvanised after
Gomes was stretchered off, perhaps determined to do something for the stricken Portuguese. Supporters turned on the referee Martin Atkinson but, belatedly, Everton had some urgency and intensity. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could have levelled before Tosun did.
Everton remain 17th in a game that had been billed as the battle of the underachievers. The generally low standard supported that negative assessment, along with an uneventful first half. By the end, Son and Gomes could be forgiven for wishing that nothing had happened. It would have been rather less painful for both.
Cenk Tosun celebrates after scoring Everton’s late equaliser against Tottenham
Caglar Soyuncu scored for Leicester City against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park