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Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Everton: Spurs get into top four at Christmas

Richarlison continues hot form during holiday stretch

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

With Christmas Day just a mere 36 hours away, Tottenham Hotspur blessed its fans with the gift of being in the top four after a 2-1 victory over Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Starting the game off slow with Everton dominating the pace of play, Tottenham took its moments in clinical fashion as the first goal came within the 10th minute.

With the ball on the right side of the pitch, Spurs played a few passes into the middle of the area for Pape Sarr slotting a through ball to the right side of the box for a streaking Brennan Johnson. Not hesitating with the ball at his feet, Johnson sent a first-time cross to the former Evertonian Richarlison to slot his shot into the bottom right corner to open up the scorers’ sheet.

Not celebrating with his trademarked pigeon dance to show respect to his former club, Richarlison scored his fourth goal in the last three games — showing that the groin injury had a massive effect on his game.

Spurs added a second goal after Johnson had his shot saved by Jordan Pickford, but with the punch out not going far out from the crowded box Son Heung-min took the half-volley shot into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes.

From then on — and as the saying goes a 2-0 lead is the hardest in the sport — Spurs found themselves defending through the remainder of the first half to keep a 2-0 lead going into the half.

Saves, crunching challenges, and poor finishing by Everton allowed the Spurs supporters to breathe a sigh of relief during the 15-minute interval before another 45 minutes were to be played.

Eric Dier came on for Cristian Romero — who had an ice pack on his right hamstring on the bench — and once more the defense had to deal with a high press from Everton that caused fits.

Everton believed they scored its first goal in the early minutes of the second half when Andre Gomes found Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a first-time shot, but Gomes fouled Emerson Royal with the sequence of play having to go to VAR to point out the obvious miss by the refs.

Unable to find a third goal to all but ice the game, Spurs allowed Everton back in the game in the 81st minute of a corner. Having not conceded a goal from a corner this season and Everton scoring the most in the league with 10, the Toffies added their 11th with Gomes finding a home for the bouncing ball in the box.

Tottenham held on in the end to secure the three points thanks to the outstanding saves of Guglielmo Vicario (six saves) and Arnaut Danjuma being millimeters away from gifting Everton a point for Christmas. But, Spurs held on by the skin of their teeth to secure a top-four spot at Christmas.