Everton vs. Tottenham: Winners and Losers from Premier League

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 3, 2016

Everton vs. Tottenham: Winners and Losers from Premier League

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    Everton and Tottenham Hotspur played to one thoroughly entertaining, energy-sapping 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.

    Aaron Lennon half-volleyed the hosts ahead against the run of play, but Dele Alli bit back just before half-time with a brilliant control and finish following a stunning Toby Alderweireld pass.

    Both sides went hammer and tong in the second period in search for a winner as they traded 31 shots on goal, per WhoScored.com, but neither goalkeeper would be beaten again.

    Here, B/R picks its winners and losers from the game.

Winner: Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham Hotspur

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    Alderweireld’s excellent form continued here as his impact was felt at both ends of Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Everton.

    It was his luscious long-range pass into the path of Alli that set up the equalising goal, and it was his long leg that blocked several Everton shots and crosses. Gerard Deulofeu made a big difference off the bench, but even his excellent deliveries only ever found Alderweireld’s big body.

    "When he gets the ball defenders have to be aware of runners because his passing range is fantastic," said Jamie Carragher live on Sky Sports after the game.

    The Belgian will have known all about his opponent—Romelu Lukaku—from international training and so has a head-start when it comes to approaching the plan, but bottling him up is still far easier said than done. Alderweireld (and his partner Jan Vertonghen) were excellent.

Winner: Spectators

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    No team deserved to lose that game; it was 90 minutes of pure footballing exhilaration and the spectators lapped up every single second of it.

    Goodison Park was in fine form, roaring their side to up their game in the face of a remarkably energetic Spurs side, who pressed and throttled all game long. Everton responded, countering with pace and battling in midfield with tenacity and grit.

    An end-to-end spectacle with two goals, tens of chances and two woodwork strikes is exactly the sort of match fans pay to see. They were the real winners here—regardless of allegiance.

Loser: The Prima Puntas

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    In such an exciting, enthralling game there are rarely many losers. We struggled to pick any out at all, but, under the microscope, it’s fair to say both sides’ No. 9s have had better days.

    Harry Kane smacked the inside of the post early on but largely failed to influence play, ending the match in a limp he was so tired. He needs an ice bath, some bubble wrap and a good night’s sleep if he’s to be in tip-top condition for the following fixture.

    Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, made some excellent runs and put himself about well but blazed every shot over and got very little change out of Spurs’ centre-backs.

    Both will enjoy better days ahead.

Winner: Ben Davies, Tottenham Hotspur

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    There were plenty of impressive Tottenham Hotspur performances on the Goodison Park pitch to talk about—Erik Lamela, Alli and Tom Carroll, for example—but Ben Davies is worth singling out for all the right reasons, and his performance may just have the biggest long-term effect on the team.

    Tottenham Hotspur have looked more solid defensively with Davies in at left-back—far more so than they do when Danny Rose plays. Davies makes Jan Vertonghen play a more assured game, safe in the knowledge he won’t have to shift left too often to mop up, and his attacking game is good enough—not brilliant, but good enough.

    The Welshman made a few key block-tackles on Sunday to stop budding attacks, dealt with Deulofeu well enough and even nailed the crossbar with a stunning 20-yard effort. Is it enough to keep him in the XI over Rose?

Winner: Aaron Lennon, Everton

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    What a sweet, sweet day for Lennon.

    He spent a huge chunk of his career at Tottenham Hotspur and was a valued member of the squad for a long time, but he was moved to the periphery by Mauricio Pochettino. A good loan spell at Everton from January to May 2015 was turned permanent in the summer, and on Sunday he scored a truly brilliant goal against his former charges to give the Toffees the lead.

    It was entirely against the run of play, but no home supporter in the stadium cared. A half-volleyed finish from a Lukaku knockdown pierced the top corner and left the spry Hugo Lloris helpless. He combined that with some studious defensive work and hard running.

    Substituted in the second half, he was applauded by every corner of Goodison Park, and his name was sung by the away section. It was universal appreciation.