Following a difficult Saturday for both Arsenal and Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur had an opportunity to further cement their top-four position on Sunday.
Standing between them, and a potential 6 point lead over their North London rivals, were 7th placed Everton. The Toffees travelled to White Hart Lane, having gone 9 games unbeaten in the league, looking to Prevent Spurs from securing a club record 9th straight Premier League home win.
From the starting line-ups, it appeared that Everton were more concerned about suppressing their opponents than scoring themselves, dropping the attacking Ademola Lookman for Gareth Barry. As the game progressed, evidence mounted that this was a tactical error. Here are three key moments from the game…
Harry Kane goal – 20 minutes
The opening stages of the contest were predictably slow, with Spurs struggling to play their way through or around Everton’s defensively minded midfield. Considering the lack of chances before the first goal, Ronald Koeman’s team selection looked to have been vindicated.
Yet after 20 minutes, without any real sign that it was coming, Harry Kane opened the scoring. Receiving possession with his back to goal, the Englishman stepped out from Ashley Williams, before turning Idrissa Gana Gueye on his way back towards the box. With considerable distance still between himself and the target, Kane unleashed a right-footed strike which dipped and swerved into the net.
Ball movement and shot power aside, Joel Robles should not have been beaten from that range. The shot didn’t nestle into a corner, therefore the ‘keeper should have had time to reach it.