Report: Gomes Injury Overshadows Everton Draw

Cenk Tosun bulleted home a header seven minutes into stoppage time to ensure Everton claimed the draw which was the least they deserved from a game completely overshadowed by an injury suffered by Andre Gomes.

Portuguese Gomes was tipped off balance by a challenge from Son as he progressed down the left on 78 minutes.

Gomes’s momentum carried him into a collision with Serge Aurier, sending the Everton player to the turf in obvious distress.

Son was red carded and the match delayed six minutes before Gomes was carried off on a stretcher.

The atmosphere, in all honesty, initially fell flat. But Goodison Park’s blood was well and truly up when Tosun, on for Theo Walcott, barrelled to the near post to meet Lucas Digne’s volleyed cross and emphatically equalise.

Everton went behind after 63 minutes and just when it felt like the home side were applying a meaningful grip on the game.

Indeed, 120 seconds before Tottenham struck Everton swept forward to create a fabulous opening for Richarlison.

Digne received a flat pass from Jordan Pickford inside Spurs territory and ventured forward via a return pass from Alex Iwobi.

When the defender’s cut back alighted with Richarlison he unleashed an effort which appeared destined for the inside of Paulo Gazzaniga’s left post before the keeper leapt across to save.

Alli’s goal arrived after Son latched onto a loose ball and supplied the midfielder’s forward run.

England international Alli advanced into the box and checked onto his right foot before sliding a low finish inside beyond the fully extended Pickford’s right glove.

The stoppage for Gomes’s injury and another three lengthy delays for VAR reviews meant 12 minutes were added to the match.

Everton got their goal but come the final whistle both sets of players dropped to their haunches in unison, exhaustion and empathy for Gomes prompting that reaction.

There is nothing quite like a scorching sense of injustice to get Goodison’s collective back up.

And this old stadium had its angry head on around the half hour when Theo Walcott was whistled for a foul on Ben Davies. Walcott’s ensuing booking for his misdeed really got the place going.

The growls when Christian Eriksen hooked down an escaping Iwobi in the next phase of play, then, could have split your ear drums.

Equally, the cheer when Eriksen’s name was jotted underneath Walcott’s in referee Martin Atkinson’s notebook would have been heard a long way away.

Everton’s football to this point had been good. Certainly, they hadn’t had a lot to do defensively. Mason Holgate blocked a hopeful shot from Son and Pickford needed to retreat in a hurry to deal with Aurier’s mishit delivery.

It would be inaccurate to suggest Everton had been peppering their visitors’ goal, however, and Marco Silva and assistant Luis Boa Morte engaged in an animated discussion midway through the opening half, Silva briefly breaking off to urge his team forwards.

The hosts’ slick work started to make inroads on 25 minutes.

Djibril Sidibe, in for Seamus Coleman and imaginative and ambitious in possession, slid a pass infield for Gomes. He fed Richarlison whose goalbound drive thundered into defender Toby Alderweireld.

Sidibe again four minutes later. Even more impressive this time, unzipping Tottenham with an incisive pass which freed Walcott down the right.

Gomes was charging in at the back post to meet Walcott’s lifted cross but heading off target.

Richarlison, who has four goals and two assists already this term, was back in his striking role after operating from the left in Tuesday’s cup victory over Watford.

The Brazilian spoke in the week of this being his preferred position, reasoning it put him closer to goal and in with a better shout of scoring.

He controlled and shot in one movement after a cross from Digne but rifled straight at Gazzaniga.

Argentine Gazzaniga didn’t need to budge when Richarlison, falling away as he struck, fired over with his right foot from 10 yards two minutes before the interval.

Son went down in a heap after jostling with Yerry Mina in the box six minutes after half-time, ushering in a lengthy delay while the VAR weighed up whether the Colombian defender had fouled his opponent.

The verdict returned indicated he hadn’t.

Moments later Eriksen bent a wicked free-kick across the face of goal which had Mina’s compatriot Davinson Sanchez desperately but forlornly trying to connect.

It was Everton’s turn to claim for a penalty when Richarlison tumbled under a challenge from Sanchez, after Delph and Gomes combined to send the forward racing into the area.

The home side’s appeals went the same way as Tottenham’s before them.

Richarlison was then denied by Gazzaniga and two minutes later Tottenham were in front.

Everton responded to that hurtful blow by coming out punching.

Tom Davies skipped past Alli and crafted a sublime pass inside left-back Davies for the onrushing Walcott.

His first-time cross deflected off the retreating Spurs player Davies and beyond the far post.

The resulting corner spawned another hiatus for VAR. Digne’s corner hit Alli’s raised hand but after watching the images over and over the man in the studio decided Everton would get another corner and nothing more.

Gomes’s injury completely changed the complex of the game. Dominic Calvert-Lewin came on for the midfielder and Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced Davies.

And in the next instant Sigurdsson was hanging up a cross from the right which Calvert-Lewin directed marginally wide.

But Tosun got his goal and Everton took a point which moves them within six points of fifth spot.

Character In Abundance

Everton’s players were visibly crushed by what happened to Andre Gomes.

To a man they had to summon the will to continue fighting to avoid going home with nothing to show for a display full of aggression and intent.

Marco Silva kept his head and made good substitutions, the Portuguese retaining an awareness of the match situation when his first though must have been for his stricken countryman.

On came Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin nearly combined for a goal within two minutes of the pair arriving on the field.

Tosun, though, who made a mark when he came on in midweek against Watford – the Turk ushered in Richarlison to score – gleefully headed in his team’s equaliser.

It talked to Everton’s determination to rally that the leveller stemmed from centre-back Yerry Mina advancing to switch an accurate pass left for Lucas Digne.

Full-back Digne’s technique was immaculate as he met the ball on the full and served it first time into the box.

Tosun was alive to what was developing and surged to the front post to power home his first goal since scoring at Tottenham on the final day of last season.

Three And Easy

Everton started with a three-man midfield for the first time this season and the formation was effective from the outset.

Tom Davies, playing his third Premier League game on the spin, hung up a cross which was too high for Alex Iwobi but retrieved at the far post by Andre Gomes, making significant ground and spelling out his intent for the afternoon.

When Spurs subsequently tried to counter through Son Heung-min, Fabian Delph was promptly on the scene to slam the door in the Korean’s face.

Delph rattled into Christian Eriksen after seven minutes – he was just as snappy into the tackle on Lucas Moura soon after the restart – and was switched on to anticipate the Dane’s flick around the corner soon after, Delph gobbling up possession and feeding Tom Davies.

Davies’s immediate though was to fire the ball forwards and that’s what he did, passing crisply into the feet of Richarlison.

Davies was consistently assertive on the ball, continuing in the image of his purposeful display against West Ham here a fortnight ago.

One pass spread wide for Djibril Sidibe on the quarter hour bore the hallmarks of a player high on confidence, executed with a flourish and demanding the Frenchman progress down his flank.

There was no hint of Davies forcing his passing, though. In one instance, lifting his head and seeing nothing in the way of options, the 21-year-old waited for Lucas Digne to offer himself down the left and funnelled the ball into the Frenchman’s run.

Tottenham’s first break of note was nipped in the bud by Delph, too, the midfielder disciplined and deep to intercept Eriksen’s precise pass across the box.

Indeed, with Delph standing sentry, Gomes and Davies had licence to get high up the pitch. Never recklessly, though.

Eriksen would have been reminded about the old adage which says three is a crowd when he received possession 18 yards out and was duly circled by Everton’s entire midfield.

Davies was nevertheless soon the most advanced Everton player when Gomes tried to thread a pass.

Gomes’s burst on 29 minutes took him to the back post to meet a cross from Theo Walcott with a header which flew off target.

When Davies was straining to reach a delivery from winger Iwobi it was noticeable that Delph was not among the bunch of Everton players rushing for the box. Instead, the England player was a good 25 yards behind the action, poised to curb any Tottenham counter.

This was a combination of rich promise and it felt incredibly cruel when the immaculate Gomes was hurt.

Ton Up Jordan

Jordan Pickford brought up his century of Everton appearances and played his 87th straight Premier League match for the Club, to boot.

Pickford is young in goalkeeping years – he turns 26 next March – but has built a bank of experience since transferring from Sunderland two summers ago.

The Wearsider won his first England cap five months after joining Everton and has added a further 22 in the intervening period.

Pickford had 31 clean sheets in his 99 appearances before this contest.

The keeper’s stated aim this term was to improve his focus and composure across 90 minutes.

He’d barely had to lift a finger when Serge Aurier’s skewed cross forced Pickford to backpedal and push to safety.

It was the sort of delivery from Ivorian Aurier which might have caught a less-alert keeper off guard.

Pickford was equally aware a couple of weeks ago when West Ham could conceivably have mugged Everton for a point had the home number one not saved agilely from a deflected late effort.

He’s becoming a dab hand at denying opposing forwards one-one-one too; Mohamed Salah, Jordan Ayew and Troy Deeney all falling foul of Pickford’s expertise in those scenarios of late.

Pickford’s distribution is another significant weapon the player’s arsenal. Of his first 20 passes, 13 were aimed into opposing territory.

An accuracy rating from those 13 of 69.2 per cent – a fraction off a first in university terms – was pretty good going when factoring in the distance the ball travels from Pickford’s boot and, accordingly, the chances of the pass going awry.

His 21st pass was arrowed to Digne over halfway. The Frenchman traded passes with Iwobi and picked out Richarlison in the middle of the box.

Gazzaniga, leaping to his left, was equal to the Everton player’s well-hit effort.