Ange Postecoglou’s disappointment was evident and reasonable. Tottenham were just moments away from securing a significant victory on the road against Everton, maintaining a slim lead that could have been much larger. However, they ultimately gave up a goal from a set-piece for the second time, allowing Sean Dyche’s team to earn a crucial point in their battle to avoid relegation. The Spurs coach shook his head and gazed at the ground while Jarrad Branthwaite celebrated, which was well-deserved.
Two superb goals from Richarlison set Spurs on course for a sixth away win of the campaign but the defiance of Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal, the home side’s refusal to wilt and the visitors’ vulnerability at set-pieces resulted in a thoroughly entertaining draw at Goodison Park. Jack Harrison and Branthwaite capitalised to lift Everton out of the relegation zone.
It appeared to be a lengthy afternoon ahead for Everton as Richarlison, a former player, scored within four minutes. Destiny Udogie and Timo Werner easily exploited the home team’s right side, with Ben Godfrey out of position. Richarlison was unmarked and powerfully volleyed in a cross from the left side, scoring for Brazil and putting Everton behind.
Richarlison has scored eight goals in each of his last eight appearances in the Premier League, showing significant improvement from his earlier days as a striker for Tottenham where he only scored two goals in 39 league matches. However, despite his success, there was no celebration from the player. Instead, he bowed in apology to the Gwladys Street stand. In an unexpected turn of events, the fans even applauded the goal scorer for the opposing team.
Tottenham’s dynamic and swift attacking players continued to pose a challenge for Everton’s defense. However, credit to the hosts for increasing their intensity and aggression, allowing them to get back into the game. Unfortunately, Everton’s lack of precision in their passes, ball control, and decision-making left them heavily dependent on set-pieces for a potential comeback. Burnley’s strategic tactic of putting pressure on Tottenham’s goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario eventually paid off, resulting in a goal from a corner kick by Dwight McNeil.
Vicario’s weakness in defending set-pieces was highlighted during the FA Cup loss to Manchester City. Everton consistently crowded the goalkeeper during corner kicks and when he deflected one towards the back post, Harrison pressed into him, allowing James Tarkowski to head it back into the goal area for Harrison to score with a header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Vicario believed that a foul would be called against Harrison and prepared for a free kick. To be fair, most spectators in the stadium likely anticipated the same outcome. However, referee Michael Oliver slowly gestured towards the center circle and after reviewing VAR, no clear and obvious error was found with the initial call on the field.
Everton deserved their equalizer due to their determination. However, Tottenham posed a greater threat and had better individual players – even the difference in quality between the two benches was noticeable. Richarlison scored another flawless goal to put Tottenham back in the lead. Werner continued to excel on Everton’s right side and passed to James Maddison, who quickly set up the team’s number nine. From outside the penalty area, Richarlison expertly curled the ball into the top corner, out of Pickford’s reach.
Dyche’s squad came close to equalizing once again from a corner kick as Godfrey rose above the defenders to connect with James Garner’s cross, sending a powerful header towards the back post. However, Vicario made a crucial save with his legs on the goal-line and quickly cleared the ball before Harrison could capitalize on the rebound.
Without Pickford, Tottenham would have won the game before it slipped away. The Everton goalkeeper made impressive saves against Porro, Maddison, and Richarlison as the away team kept pressuring the home defence. On the other side, Van de Ven played well in the center of the Tottenham defense, but in the fourth minute of extra time, Everton managed to equalize from a set-piece.
Dyche utilized all of his attacking options in an attempt to secure a valuable point. Youssef Chermiti missed a chance to equalize from a Lewis Dobbin pass and instead weakly shot at Vicario when he was unguarded at the penalty spot. In his third substitution, Beto had two penalty appeals correctly denied by Oliver. The Everton manager received a booking for his objections towards the second collision involving Radu Dragusin.
Dyche continued to voice his grievances as Garner delivered a free-kick into the Tottenham area. The ball grazed off Cristian Romero’s head and landed at the far post. Branthwaite capitalized on the chance with a header from close range, and Tottenham had missed yet another chance while playing away from home.