It was a match without a ton of chances for either side, but it certainly was, as my Zoomer kids would say, “extra.” Both teams played very openly, pushing forward with the ball, but strangely neither side generated tons of shots on target. Spurs looked the better side on balance in the first half, but Everton had Spurs penned back for a lot of the 2nd period.
The big story of the match were the decisions made by the match official, Chris Kavanaugh Everton had a penalty whistled after Hugo Lloris went down to gather a ball off the feet of Richarlison. The initial call was that Hugo took the player out, but VAR had Kavanaugh go to the monitor and confirmed Hugo got a fingertip on the ball, and the penalty was waved off.
Late in the match, VAR was called into action again, this time for a Mason Holgate foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Again Kavanaugh went to the monitor and spotted Holgate going studs-up into Pierre’s thigh, and he was given a straight red.
Spurs’ best chances were a lovely cross from Harry Kane that Sergio Reguilon couldn’t turn into the net off the half volley, and a long shot that substitute Giovani Lo Celso smacked off the post.
Here are my match reactions.
- On balance a draw feels fair. Spurs looked better than they have under Nuno even if they haven’t put it all together yet, though the lack of shots was annoying. Everton really put Spurs under a lot of pressure in the 2nd half. It was edgy, but the result is about right.
- Antonio Conte said pre-match he needs more time with his team to get to know his players, so the lineup not a surprise, necessarily. Suspect we might get some changes after the international break.
- Oliver Skipp had a real up and down match. Had some good progressive passes and important tackles and blocks, but committed some silly fouls and looked off during stretches. He also picked up his fifth yellow card and will miss Spurs’ next league match at Leeds.
- Romero was again solid and is showing a real intent going forward even if his crossing is a little suspect. I’m starting to think he really might be the offensive Conte RB he wants.
- Reguilon was a mess today. Bad passing, some suspect defending, picked up a cheap early yellow. He can be a little frustrating at times.
- I can sorta squint and understand the Doherty for Reguilon sub — Doherty was really the only player who can serve in that position. In Conte we trust butttttttttttttttttt...
- Frustrating match from Sonny today, who ran a ton and put in a lot of effort that Conte will no doubt appreciate, but struggled getting shots off. Looked exhausted when he was subbed.
- Richarlison is just the worst. Complainy, tried to simulate injury, some dirty play in his battle with Romero. Dislike that guy.
- God, I wanted Gio’s shot to go in, he deserved it. Played pretty well too, including a line-breaking ball to Kane who completely fouled up the chance.
- Kavanaugh got both VAR calls correct today, but holy smokes those were scary.
- Conte now has two weeks with most of his good players to drill and work on tactics. Let’s see if we see a more cohesive Tottenham Contespur after the international break.