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Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

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White Hart Lane | 11th January 2012 19:45

Spurs v Everton

Goals in either half from Aaron Lennon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto condemned Everton to defeat at White Hart Lane.

The Blues travelled to north London hoping to become only the second side to inflict a home defeat on Harry Redknapp's Tottenham this season but Lennon capitalised on a rare mistake from Leighton Baines before Cameroonian Assou-Ekotto beat Tim Howard with a wonderstrike from 30 yards.

There was a further injury worry for manager David Moyes before the end as Sylvain Distin limped off, leading to a first Premier League appearance for 20-year-old Shane Duffy.

David Moyes Harry RedknappDavid Moyes shares a laugh with Harry Redknapp ahead of kick off


Moyes made four changes from the experimental side he sent out against non-league Tamworth on Saturday. Baines and Louis Saha returned to the starting line up, as did Tim Cahill after shaking off a groin strain. James McFadden and Magaye Gueye dropped to the bench, though Seamus Coleman, having limped off against the Lambs, missed out.

With their more familiar look, Everton made a postive start and there was an immediate chance for Saha. The Frenchman found room to angle a shot across goal and had goalkeeper Brad Friedel scrambling, but saw the ball creep wide of the post.

Spurs, too, did some early probing, though when their first chance fell to Emmanuel Adebayor, the angle was tight and the beanpole Togolese striker could only fire over. 

Saha and the also impressive Victor Anichebe continued to be full of running for Everton but Spurs, now just three points behind leaders Manchester City, soon began to show flashes of the attacking flair which has seen them among the Premier League's top three for much of the 2011/12 campaign.

On 25 minutes Gareth Bale seemed destined to tee up Adebayor, and while the striker beat Tim Howard in the race to the Welshman's centre, the Blues stopper did enough to thwart the former Arsenal operator turned White Hart Lane favourite.

Everton went close by way of response, but after showing quick feet to create space for himself, Saha could only angle his low drive the wrong side of Friedel's upright.

Everton Spurs Louis Saha tussles with Michael Dawson

But Tottenham quickly seized back the initative and took the lead with their next attack of note.

Baines uncharacteristically failed to deal with a diagonal punt down field by Assou-Ekotto, allowing Lennon to nip in, drive into the centre and wrong foot Howard with a shot which crept in under Sylvain Distin as the centre back slid in. 

Everton's reply was to go on the attack once more and Anichebe wasn't far from getting on the end of a teasing Donovan cross but Spurs eventually cleared the danger.

The second half started similarly to the first, Saha again looking the man most likely for the Blues. On 54 minutes he met a pinpoint cross from Baines but saw his first-time flick deflected wide.

Everton Spurs Aaron Lennon steers home Tottenham's opener

The Blues were then forced into a change when Distin went down holding a leg and indicated to the bench that his evening was over. With England international Phil Jagielka already out injured, Moyes had to turn to Duffy, the Irishman who recently returned from a loan spell at Scunthorpe.

The youngster was quickly into the action, booting the ball away from Adebayor, but there was little he or his team-mates could do about Assou-Ekotto's 30-yard belter.

Picking the ball up left of midfield, the Cameroonian full back shuffled his feet, set himself and rocketed the ball high to Howard's left.

The Blues could have halved the deficit almost immediately when Duffy climbed highest to meet a Donovan corner but, stretching, he could only guide his header over the crossbar.

Another substitute, Royston Drenthe, had a late claim for a penalty following a clumsy challenge from Younes Kaboul but referee Martin Atkinson waved away his protests.

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