Cenk Tosun's 97th minute equaliser helped Everton claim a much needed point in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Spurs were dealt a huge blow before a ball had even been kicked, as talisman and top scorer Harry Kane was unavailable due to illness, and it proved costly as the visitors started with little urgency or conviction. Everton weren't much better, with the hosts' best opportunity of the first 45 minutes coming moments before the half-time whistle, Richarlison wriggling free of Davinson Sanchez, but hitting his effort high and wide.
Tottenham thought they could have had a penalty early in the second half, Heung-min Son going to ground under the influence of Yerry Mina. However, after two VAR checks, the on-field decision of no penalty was upheld. However, Spurs soon took the lead when former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi gifted possession to Tottenham, with the ball making its way to Dele Alli, who drifted inside and finished with ease.
Fortune seemed to be favouring Alli, who handled in his own penalty area with nothing given against the Englishman; a huge let off for Spurs.
Key Talking Point
Everton, once again, began this game in the timid and uninspiring manner which Goodison Park has become all too accustomed with this campaign. The pressures the Toffees have faced, both on and off the pitch, looked like they had gotten the better of Marco Silva's side, who were unimaginative and lacking penetration in the final third.
The hosts' continued to disappoint, repeatedly struggling to break past a stubborn Spurs back line. Everton supporters were audibly annoyed with the lack of quality exhibited by their side and, whilst they have played worst on occasion this season, it is the kind of performance that will compile pressure on Silva and his players.
Starting XI: Pickford (5); Sidibe (6), Holgate (6), Mina (5), Digne (5); Gomes (6), Delph (5) Davies (6); Walcott (5), Iwobi (5), Richarlison (7*)
Substitutes: Tosun (7), Calvert-Lewin (6), Sigurdsson (5)
STAR MAN - It was far from the Brazilian's best performance in an Everton shirt, but Richarlison looked like the most likely to create for the hosts and offered an outlet up top. The quality all over the pitch was pretty dreadful, however, Everton's front man showed positive signs, with all opportunities seemingly coming through him.
Key Talking Point
Tottenham were without the key figure of Harry Kane, whose absence left Spurs bereft of ideas in the opening stages of the game. The Lilywhites looked nervous and were unable to mount any sort of consistent pressure on a deep-lying Everton defence. The first 45 minutes came and went without a single shot on target from the visitors, who looked disconnected going forward.
Mauricio Pochettino's team have, much like their counterparts, been under immense pressure heading in to this encounter, and they looked short on both confidence and quality. Despite their initial breakthrough after approximately an hour of football, Tottenham continually frustrated, looking unrecognisable from their former selves.
However, a positive for the visitors was their resolute defence. They limited Everton to very few opportunities, and for a side who have failed to keep a single clean sheet on the road this term, it was a resilient display.
Mauricio Pochettino still awaits a much desired away victory. However, with Spurs being reduced to ten men late on, it could have been much worse for Tottenham.
Starting XI: Gazzaniga (5); Aurier (5), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (7*), Davies (5); Ndombele (6), Sissoko (6), Eriksen (6), Alli (7); Son (5), Moura (5)
Substitutes: Lo Celso (5), Foyth (5), Sessegnon (N/A)
STAR MAN - Tottenham's defensive capabilities have been questioned this season, but Toby Alderweireld showed his class, helping Spurs defend with relative ease on the most part, and only conceding when his side fell to ten men.