Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Everton - as it happened
Find out how Tottenham Hotspur overcame Everton 1-0 at White Hart Lane in the Premier League with Sports Mole's text updates.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 12:30 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 05:53 UK
Tottenham Hotspur played host to Everton at White Hart Lane with both sides looking to close the gap on Liverpool in fourth.
As it was, following a goalless first half, Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal of the game after the restart to seal all three points for the home side.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.
12.32pmAfternoon all. Well, after a hectic Saturday of Premier League action which involved eight encounters, the other four teams will take to the field today. First up and the match that we will be covering here is Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton at White Hart Lane. There's a lot riding on this one, that's for sure.
12.35pmBefore we go any further, though, the teams news from North London is just starting to filter through. Let's start with how the home side will begin this contest.
12.41pmTim Sherwood has been able to recall Mousa Dembele to his team following an ankle injury. As a result, the Belgian will play in a three-man midfield unit that also includes Paulinho and Nabil Bentaleb. Elsewhere, Emmanuel Adebayor will continue as a lone centre-forward, which means that Jermain Defoe will start his last match as a Spurs player before his departure to Toronto as a substitute.
12.42pmAnd now let's take a look at who has made Roberto Martinez's selection.
12.47pmThe main news for Everton comes from the bench, where the fit again Gerard Deulofeu can be found following a stint on the sidelines with a hamstring complaint. He will be joined on there by loanee striker Lacina Traore. On the pitch, Steven Naismith has kept his place up front in the continued absence of Romelu Lukaku, with Kevin Mirallas providing the support.
12.52pmSo, with that done, let's take a look at what a victory would mean today. If Everton were to return to Merseyside with all three points, they would cut the gap to rivals Liverpool down to two points, which in turn would leave Spurs a hefty six adrift of the Reds. A win for the home team would move them to within three of Brendan Rodgers's team - it really is all to play for.
12.55pmThe significance of this game has not been lost on Everton's Naismith, who has just had this to say to Sky Sports News: "Most of the games are big games - this is just another one if you want to be involved in the Champions League. It will be tough and we know that it's a tight stadium, but the players will relish it."
12.58pmAlso having a word with Sky Sports News was Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, who kept it short: "This match is important for the squad and the team. We have to look at the top four."
1.01pmAnd now Spurs boss Sherwood has been talking and it seems that he is pinning his hopes on Dembele today:
"The boys have trained very well and they all deserve their opportunity. I'd like to see Aaron Lennon come off the line a bit more and Dembele push forward. We want him nearer the opposition's goal. He's a fantastic dribbler and we hope that he can penetrate Everton. They move the ball very well and it's going to be a tough game. We need to impose ourselves on them, but we can't just rush in."
1.06pmIn terms of recent history, it favours Spurs. Everton have not won at White Hart Lane since Vedran Corluka put through his own net for the only goal of the game back in 2008. However, it's worth noting that at the time the victory was Everton's third in a row from trips to the white half of North London. Overall, the Toffees have won just 16 times from 77 visits, with Spurs winning 39.
1.11pmSomeone that will be looking to keep a clean sheet for Everton today is skipper Phil Jagielka. Here is some of what he has had to say to Sky Sports News:
"We've been up and around fourth place all season. The Arsenal match was a match where we realised just how good we could be. We do try to get the ball out from the back now, so the style has obviously changed quite a bit. We live by the sword and die by the sword now. Spurs are a direct rival."
1.16pmA key player in that holding midfield role for Everton today is Gareth Barry, who Jagielka has also recently praised. Here's why:
Gareth Barry has completed 1128 passes in the Premier League this season. Only 3 players have made more (Y.Toure, Chico, de Guzman).
1.20pmAnd the Everton boss Martinez has just been talking to Sky Sports News. It seems that he is trying to take the pressure off his players ahead of this match:
"We are very clear in what we want to do. We are looking at the next 14 games, not just today. It's a very exciting period. It's important that we got some fresh legs in the team because it's been a tiring period. We are facing a very enthusiastic Spurs side that play with freedom. It's an element that we will have to cope with."
1.25pmPREDICTION: When these two sides met earlier in the season at Goodison Park the match ended in a 0-0 draw. In all honesty, there could very well be little to separate them this time as well - almost a case of cancelling each other out. Hopefully we will see goals, so let's say 1-1, with Adebayor and Mirallas finding the net.
1.27pmRight, the players are now on the pitch and are about to conclude the pre-match handshakes. Only a couple of minutes or so until we are off and running.
1 minKICKOFF! Hosting Spurs, attacking from right to left in the first half, get proceedings underway at White Hart Lane.
3 minCHANCE! After a bright start by Spurs, it's Everton that carve out the first chance. Seamus Coleman lofts the ball into the path of Leon Osman, who drops a shoulder to beat Bentaleb. That opens up the opportunity for the midfielder, but he doesn't get enough curl on his shot from the edge of the area and the ball drifts wide of the target.
7 minSherwood has been true to his word it seems, having ordered Dembele to play in a more advanced role today. His presence almost caught out Everton centre-back Distin as he underhit a pass back to Tim Howard, but the American goalkeeper did well to thwart the danger.
9 minSAVE! Smart stop from Lloris to deny Everton and Osman, who has had four chances now! First Spurs fail to clear a corner, which is hooked back into the area by Distin towards Naismith. He in turn lays the ball off for Osman on the edge of the box, but his powerful strike is turned behind by Hugo Lloris. From the resultant corner, Osman heads wide. Then, moments later, Naismith picks him out inside the area, but he fires straight at the Spurs keeper. He could have had at least a hat-trick in the first nine minutes!
13 minCHANCE! First real sight of goal for Spurs, although it was a relatively speculative effort. Christian Eriksen was the player that hit the ball from 30 yards out, but it doesn't dip enough and lands on the roof of Howard's net.
18 minNot too much to report over the last five minutes or so, although Spurs have been able to halt the Everton onslaught. Their passing has been a little wasteful in the final third, though, which is hampering the amount of chances that they are able to create.
21 minNaismith has worked tirelessly as the lone forward for Everton so far and he almost got his reward as he robbed Jan Vertonghen on the left touchline. However, his cross that was intended for Mirallas ricocheted off Dawson and ran through to Lloris.
24 minTottenham's performance so far has just been summed up by Adebayor's attempted pass out wide to Lennon. The Spurs winger was clearly making an advancing run down the flank, but Adebayor proceeded to play the ball behind him and it ran out of play. It sparked big groans among the home fans, who are getting a tad restless.
27 minSAVE! Everton right-back Coleman has six goals to his name this season and he wasn't too far away from notching his seventh. He was allowed to cut inside by Eriksen, who failed to stick with the Irishman's run. Despite the fact that he was on his left foot, Coleman unleashed a low shot from the edge of the area, but Lloris got down to his near post in time to hold. Meanwhile, up the other end, Rose's cross from the left just evaded Adebayor when a goal looked inevitable.
33 minCHANCE! Big opportunity for Spurs defender Dawson, who had he not mistimed his jump, could well have given the hosts the lead. He rose well to meet an Eriksen corner, but his jump was a little early and he met the ball on his way down. As a result, the ball flew harmlessly over the bar.
37 minCHANCE! Had Mirallas not been so greedy, Everton would probably be 1-0 up. First the Belgian shows great pace to beat Vertonghen and then Dawson. While he done that, Naismith had found himself acres of space inside the area, but Mirallas went for goal instead and fired way over the top. Understandably, Naismith is frustrated with his teammate.
41 minEverton are piling on the pressure as the half draws to a close, but the Spurs rearguard has stood firm to two corners in quick succession and number of crosses into the area. The visitors deserve a goal, but the scoreline still reads 0-0.
45 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
2.17pmWe may not have seen any goals, but that was still a very enjoyable half of football. Everton, in particular, were very pleasing on the eye.
2.20pmOf course, they may have played well, but Martinez is likely to be disappointed that his side do not have at least one goal to show for their performance. Osman has had four chances, while Coleman and Mirallas have both failed to make the most of opportunities. To be fair to Naismith he has worked extremely hard up front, but you cannot help but feel that Lukaku may have scored had he been fit and available.
2.22pmAs for Spurs, a few teacups may be being smashed in their dressing room. They've been poor and lethargic in possession, while they've looked suspect at times in defence. Sherwood spent the majority of the half on the touchline screaming "move it quicker", but none of his players really took any note.
2.24pmSTATS! Everton have had eight shots, three of which have worked Lloris. On the flip side, none of Spurs's three efforts have been on target. In terms of possession, the Toffees have edged that with 51%, while they lead the corner count 5-4. In fact, the only thing that they aren't leading is the most important stat of them all - the scoreline.
2.28pmSo, what can Sherwood change? Well, looking at his bench he does have options. Winger Andros Townsend is fit again following a spell on the sidelines, while Defoe is always likely to pop up with a goal. The fact that this will be his last match at White Hart Lane before he moves to Canada - perhaps it's meant to be that he comes on to score the winner. We shall see.
46 minRESTART! Everton get the second half underway as the rain starts to fall in North London.
50 minBright start to the half from Spurs as Dembele breaks up an Everton counter-attack and frees Paulinho. Having carried possession into the Everton half, he picks out Kyle Walker wide on the right. His cross is poor, though, and Baines is able to clear behind for a corner, which comes to nothing. Still, it's a sign of intent from the hosts at least.
53 minCHANCE! Neat link up play from Everton duo Baines and Pienaar on the left frees Mirallas, who sidesteps Walker to leave him with the shooting chance 18 yards from goal. He goes for the far post, but it's always bending away from the target and Lloris watches it to safety.
54 minCHANCE! Meanwhile, up the other end Adebayor wriggles free of Barry to meet an Eriksen corner. His header is powerful enough, but there's just too much height on it as it skims over the crossbar.
58 minPacey counter-attack from Everton as Coleman bombs forward before laying a pass through to Mirallas. Having reached the byline, he cuts the ball back for Osman, who is just beaten to it by a sliding Walker. Had the pass been a fraction more in front of Osman, he would have had a clear shooting opportunity. This game has started to move from end to end now.
60 minSUBSTITUTION: Here comes Townsend after nine games out with a hamstring complaint. He's replaced the largely ineffective Eriksen, who struggled to get involved in the action today. There's now two genuine wingers on the pitch for Spurs.
64 minSUBSTITUTION: Now Martinez makes a change and it is former Spurs midfielder Pienaar that is leaving the action. On in the South African's place comes 20-year-old Ross Barkley.
65 minAdebayor has barely featured today, but he's given Spurs the lead and what an important goal that could turn out to be. Walker does well initially to loft a quickly taken free kick in his direction. His first touch allows him to beat off the attention of Everton's two centre-backs, while his second sees him lash a low shot beyond an advancing Howard. That was Tottenham's first effort on target! Talk about smash and grab.
68 minSUBSTITUTION: Another chance for Spurs and it's Paulinho that exits the pitch, with the defence-minded Etienne Capoue taking his place in the midfield.
70 minJoey Barton has summed up this match so far nicely over on Twitter:
EFC must be fuming. On top for 64 mins. 1-0 down. Thats what I was saying about scoring when on top. Lack of striker is costing them.
72 minPerhaps Martinez may be considering handing a debut to striker Traore, who joined Everton last month on loan from Monaco. He's just been sent out to warm-up, where he is yawning as he stretches! He's going to need to liven up if and when he does get the nod from his manager!
75 minSUBSTITUTIONS: There are two changes for Everton, but neither player coming on is Traore. Instead, Deulofeu and Aiden McGeady have been summoned, taking the places of Naismith and Osman.
78 minCHANCE! Dembele collects possession midway inside the Everton half, spins on the spot and then rolls the ball into Adebayor's feet. He turns quickly and shoots with very little backlift from 20 yards out. It's close enough to worry Howard, but the ball flies a foot over the crossbar.
81 minIt's been a really frustrating afternoon for Everton, which was summed up just now. Baines whips over a cross from the right towards the back post where Barry is waiting. He heads the ball across the face of the Spurs goal, but with Lloris stranded, none of his teammates rush in and the home defence is able to clear. Had an Everton player gambled, it would have been a certain goal.
85 minTime is running out for Everton and if the truth be told they do not look like scoring at the moment. This match has just gone to highlight how important Lukaku is for the Toffees.
87 minSUBSTITUTION: A popular switch from Sherwood as he gives Defoe a chance. The striker has replaced Lennon, so it's hardly a negative change from the Spurs boss.
90 minEverton have three minutes of stoppage time to find an equalising goal.
90+2 minSAVE! The ball is in the wrong half as far as Everton are concerned. Adebayor plays in Defoe, who heads towards goal. He keeps his effort low, but Howard turns it over the bar with his feet.