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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



White Hart Lane | 7th April 2013 14:05

Tottenham v Everton

A Gylfi Sigurdsson goal five minutes from time denied Everton victory at White Hart Lane after Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas had cancelled out Emmanuel Adebayor's first-minute opener.

The Blues had looked to be heading towards their first away win over Tottenham since November 2008 after Mirallas had notched for the second successive game to put the visitors in front shortly after the interval.

But a triumph that would have moved the Toffees within three points of their third-placed opponents was scuppered late on as Sigurdsson turned in after Adebayor's shot had struck the post.

The upshot is Everton remain sixth in the Barclays Premier League table and continue to cling to the coattails of those sides vying for European qualification.

Moyes made one change to the side which racked up a third straight league win by defeating Stoke City at Goodison Park eight days earlier.

The Scot handed teenager Ross Barkley his maiden league start of the campaign, with Nikica Jelavic the man to drop to the bench. 

Jagielka goal SpursPhil Jagielka heads Everton level.

The game got off to the worse possible start though as the hosts took the lead with just 35 seconds on the clock.

Jan Vertonghen was the creator, the Belgian galloping down the left-hand side before swinging in a cross which Adebayor was able to steer past Tim Howard from six-yards out.

Despite the blow, the Blues kept their composure and had started to exert pressure even before Barkley demonstrated a first glimpse of his burgeoning talent by surging into the box and driving in a cross that Vertonghen could only poke behind for a corner.

Leighton Baines trudged over to take it and when the England man swung the ball in towards the back post, there was his international cohort Jagielka, stationed perfectly to meet it four-yards out and head home his third Everton goal of the campaign.

In contrast to the excitement of the opening 15 minutes, the rest of the half passed largely without incident.

Baines Jags SpursJagielka is congratulated by defensive cohort Leighton Baines

Victor Anichebe shook off an apparent knock to his thigh after initially spending a spell grounded on the turf, while Mirallas, a pre-match doubt after sustaining a groin injury against Stoke, dispelled any doubts surrounding his fitness by chasing every lost cause.

His endeavours didn't lead to any clear-cut chances of note, though at the other end Howard, too, was something of a spectator.  

Sigurdsson did get himself into the exact position from which he struck Tottenham's equaliser in Thursday's 2-2 draw with FC Basel just before the break but this time the midfielder scuffed a weak shot which Everton's American custodian was comfortably able to gather.

Moyes' response was to switch Mirallas over to the right wing for the second half and the tactical shuffle almost paid off immediately when the versatile Belgian teed up Darron Gibson for a shot which flashed right across the face of Hugo Lloris' goal.

As it was, it didn't take long for the summer arrival to make his mark. With just seven minutes of the second half played, a sloppy pass in midfield allowed Everton to regain possession and when the ball finally fell to the feet of Mirallas, he picked his spot before coolly slotting his fourth goal in six games.

Just before Moyes had made an attacking alteration, sending on forward Jelavic for teenager Barkley.

An elated Kevin Mirallas runs towards the travelling Evertonians.An elated Kevin Mirallas runs towards the travelling Evertonians.

But it was Spurs who had the next opportunity, Howard tipping Moussa Dembele's shot on to the crossbar as the former Fulham man came close to cancelling out the visitors' lead within 120 seconds.

Everton then saw off a spell of Spurs pressure before Man of the Match Anichebe arrowed a shot which was deflected narrowly wide of Lloris' right-hand upright.

Conversely, Tottenham's struggle to break down a resolute Everton rearguard continued, their frustration best summed up by Clint Dempsey's yellow card for diving.

With five minutes remaining Moyes sent on Steven Naismith for Mirallas, allowing the travelling Evertonian contingent the chance to give the goalscorer a deserved standing ovation.

Within seconds, however, Spurs were level, Adebayor's shot thumping the woodwork but falling perfectly for Sigurdsson, who could hardly miss from three-yards out.

Anichebe did have a golden opportunity to win it for his side in the dying seconds but Lloris was quick off his line to deny the Nigerian with his thigh.



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