Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon were sorely missing for Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon, though things could have gone much worse than they did. Emmanuel Adebayor scored less than a minute in for Spurs, but between their two goals, they were far from impressive. In the end, their 2-2 draw with Everton was a decent result, and a fair one for both teams.
Everton were caught napping in the opening seconds when Jan Vertonghen swung an early cross into the box that curved around the outstretched leg of Phil Jagielka before meeting Adebayor. Spurs looked confident in the following minutes, having relieved the pressure of playing without Bale early, but eventually conceded on a set piece. Vertonghen was partially responsible for Everton's first, allowing Jagielka to rise above him for a header on a corner. The ball found its way between the legs of Hugo Lloris, leveling the game after 15 minutes.
Vertonghen was caught asleep at the switch in the 53rd minute, as Kevin Mirallas combined with Victor Anichebe down the left for Everton's second. He failed to contest what looked like a 50-50 ball, and Mirallas surprised the Spurs central defenders with his pace after picking it up and surging forward without any opposition, then placing a calm shot into the back of the net.
Spurs didn't look much like finding an equalizer until a bit of determined and direct play from Kyle Walker in the 87th minute. He blew by Leighton Baines and squared for Adebayor, who struck the post from 15 yards. The ball bounced to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who finished off the rebound to steal a point for Spurs.
The final minutes were frenetic, with both teams pushing for a winner. Everton got closest, through Anichebe on a counter, but Lloris came up with a massive stoppage time save to keep things level.
- I'll expand on this, but we don't know how to play without Lennon and Bale. We did a lot of passing in circles. Bale and Lennon are the guys who finish off plays at the end of long spells of patient possession. Our two goals came from direct play. We need to be direct when Bale isn't on the pitch or we can't do anything.
- Scott Parker was better than usual today, even if he had a couple of dumb giveaways. I can't get on this 'bench Parker' train anymore.
- Lewis Holtby didn't do anything until the 80th minute, then started trying flicks and dummies. What? Do that all game, silly goose.
- Emmanuel Adebayor worked hard and was directly involved in both goals, but man, is his touch horrible. I don't want to jump on the negatives when someone contributes to two goals but good god. He's scary bad.
- Clint Dempsey is worse.
- Jan Vertonghen, despite the great cross, isn't a left back.
- Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker are too slow to be a central defense pairing unless we're going to play like Stoke.
- The fact that we had 65% possession means literally nothing and does not suggest that we played the better football than Everton in the slightest.