This is it, guys. We're for real. Really real. No, Everton are not world beaters and yes, we are expected to beat them at home, but the game in hand is now gone. Every team in the Premier League is sitting on 20 games played. Tottenham Hotspur are tied for second, three points off the top spot. The team in first place will be without their three best players when they play us in 11 days. The team tied with us in second just got pasted by Newcastle.
Spurs were at close to their best on Wednesday evening against Everton, winning 2-0 in their make-up match from Round 1 of the league. Some players didn't look spectacular -- Emmanuel Adebayor, in particular -- but Spurs played great football and were dominant against a decent Everton side. They should have scored four or five, and Everton didn't get a shot on target.
Incredibly, Spurs did this without either Scott Parker or Sandro. Jake Livermore was neither stunning or poor, but merely not the least bit tested because Luka Modric and the entire defense were so good.
Adebayor squandered a few chances early, but Aaron Lennon finally found a deserved goal for Spurs in the 35th minute with a great goal. Benoit Assou-Ekotto started the move with a fantastic long ball across the pitch, which Lennon beat Leighton Baines to bring down. He then beat Baines a second time, running by him and cutting into the box, where he was surrounded. He got off a shot anyway and finished past Tim Howard at his near post, sending Spurs into the break up 1-0.
Everton had a solid spell right at the start of the second half, but Assou-Ekotto finished the game off in the 63rd minute with an absolute belter of a goal. Picking up a pass to him in the middle of the park, Benny didn't like what he saw in front of him and decided to take a rip with his left foot from 35 yards. The shot took a slight deflection off the backside of Tim Cahill, but it was such a bullet that Tim Howard would have struggled to save anyway.
All eyes will be on Spurs' match against Manchester City in 11 days, but the team needs to get healthy and stay focused on the task at hand in front of them. They host Wolverhampton Wanderers at White Hart Lane on Saturday and nothing but three points will do. In fact, anything but an emphatic win will be disappointing.