Tottenham Hotspur: How Will Spurs React to Everton Defeat?
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One of the major perils of a winning streak is that when it ends, its gonna hurt.
By a matter of inches the game might have been settled in their favor, but Gylfi Sigurdsson's curled effort agonizingly came back off the crossbar shortly after Clint Dempsey had given Tottenham a 1-0 lead.
Instead, Steven Pienaar was allowed to charge into his former club's penalty box unchallenged and head in Seamus Coleman's temptingly floated cross.
Another lapse in concentration cost Spurs all three points when Nikica Jelavic ghosted between Kyle Walker and William Gallas unnoticed to fire in Everton's winner.
The second was a terrific goal—Jelavic's timing his run perfectly to get on the end of Apostolos Vellios' skillful overhead kick—and was not entirely undeserved after a bright performance by the home side.
Spurs will be disappointed to end their winning run in a manner that may have been avoided though.
Having defended well enough through most of the game, their failure to stay alert enough through to the game's conclusion was another mark on a defense that has cost this team too many points this season.
Andre Villas-Boas and his side have struggled (against better teams particularly) to find a consistent way to see games out that doesn't necessarily mean his team defending deep and inviting pressure on themselves.
Still, a defeat away against a good Everton team is not horrific, so long as they respond in a positive fashion.
And there will be ample opportunity to do so beginning next Sunday, with the visit of Swansea City heralding the start of the Christmas fixture list.
As festive fixture lists go, it isn't the most daunting one Villas-Boas and his coaching staff could have had to prepare for.
Nonetheless, the frequency of the fixtures makes demands on a squad like at no-other time of year, and two away trips in the Christmas week itself will not make for particularly happy players, being away from their loved ones.
Tottenham reacted in the best way possible to a bad run with three wins on the spin.
A loss to Everton hardly constitutes major soul searching, but it does necessitate a swift and decisive examination ahead of a few weeks that will go some way to deciding Spurs' fate this season.
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