A second-half Harry Kane penalty proved the turning point as Everton were beaten 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.
Kane scored from the spot just before the hour mark after referee Paul Tierney adjudged the striker was felled by Jordan Pickford after following in a parried Matt Doherty shot.
Pierre Emile Hojbjerg curled in a second, via a deflection, four minutes from time as Everton committed men forward in search of a leveller.
Everton had more than held their own before Kane’s goal, with Frank Lampard’s team defending resiliently and attacking with speed and purpose on the break.
Amadou Onana and Demarai Gray both almost made the breakthrough for the Toffees in the first half, but it was Tottenham who would go on to record an eighth straight home Premier League win.
Everton will aim to deliver an instant response when they travel to Newcastle United on Wednesday night.
Everton successfully weathered an early Tottenham storm in north London before gradually asserting their authority and creating the best two chances of the first half.
Gray and Onana boast a range of dynamic qualities and the pair’s explosive running was on show as they went close to opening the scoring.
On 23 minutes, Gray blazed past Rodrigo Bentancur to go through one-on-one with Hugo Lloris. The ball took nasty bobble just as he was about to unleash his shot, though, and the winger’s effort cleared the bar.
Onana’s opportunity to open his Everton account came just before half-time when he seized on loose ball in the middle of the park before hurtling forward at goal and shooting fractions over.
Moments earlier, Onana had stopped a dangerous Spurs counter-attack in its tracks with a perfectly-timed challenge on Bentancur – his tackle was typical of his industrious work alongside Alex Iwobi and Idrissa Gana Gueye in central midfield.
Defence Stands Strong
Everton came into the game with the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League and they were on their mettle again against a high-calibre Spurs attack.
Lampard deployed a three-man defence for the game, with Vitalii Mykolenko lining up alongside James Tarkowski and Conor Coady at centre-back. Dwight McNeil and Seamus Coleman started at left and right wing-back respectively.
Tottenham started the game on the front foot and it required some typically strong and authoritative defending from Tarkowski to prevent Kane from turning and shooting at goal from 12 yards early in the piece.
Fellow centre-back Coady was then alert to clear a dangerous cross aimed at Kane, before Richarlison headed an Ivan Perisic cross well over the bar.
This Everton team boasts deep reserves of resilience, though, and they soon worked their way into the game.
As well as Gray and Onana’s chances, Tarkowski headed fractions over from Dwight McNeil’s corner delivery.
Tottenham’s best opening of the half, meanwhile, came when Kane worked space for a shot from close range – but Pickford was quick off his line to make an excellent save at the striker’s feet.
Penalty Swings Game In Spurs’ Favour
Pickford made another splendid stop to keep out Kane early in the second half – getting a strong hand to his powerful volley.
It was the England captain who would make the breakthrough, though, when he fired in from the penalty spot on 59 minutes.
Everton boss Lampard shuffled his pack on 65 minutes, bringing on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Garner for Neal Maupay and Seamus Coleman.
Spurs had their tails up by this point, though, and Pickford was forced into another save from Kane with 20 minutes remaining – the Everton keeper blocking a well-struck drive from the edge of the box.
Everton continued to work tirelessly in search of a way back into the game, with some teasing crosses causing alarm for the Spurs defenders.
But it was the home side who would seal victory four minutes from time when Hojbjerg's shot deflected off Iwobi and into the top corner.