Everton vs Tottenham was a bitter battle at Goodison Park as Antonio Conte had to settle for a draw in his first Premier League game in charge of Spurs.
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Spurs were tough to break down and almost snatched victory late on as substitute Giovani Lo Celso hit the post.
However, Everton were denied a penalty kick after it was initially awarded for a foul on Richarlison but after VAR intervened and a pitch-side check took place, the spot kick was taken away.
The same situation played out late on as substitute Mason Holgate was given a red card, as Rafael Benitez’s side felt aggrieved but were happy enough with a point in a game they looked more likely to win.
With the draw Everton have 15 points, while Tottenham move on to 16 points.
Everton vs Tottenham final score, stats
Everton 0-0 Tottenham
Shots: Everton 12, Tottenham 8
Shots on target: Everton 2, Tottenham 0
Possession: Everton 44, Tottenham 56
Three things we learned from Everton vs Tottenham
1. Conte’s Spurs sluggish: The Italian coach only had one day to prepare his new Spurs side for this game, but this looked like an Antonio Conte team. At least defensively. They were solid enough and the wing backs and three center backs were heavily involved. Conte won’t be happy with the way Spurs failed to keep the ball but he will be happier with this defensive display compared to the wacky 3-2 win against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League in midweek. Spurs were sluggish, which suggests their players are still getting over an emotionally draining time with Nuno out, Conte in and lots of new ideas being thrown around. After the international break Conte will need his new-look Spurs to understand his attacking ideas better, as they have now gone two-straight PL games without having a shot on target.
2. Unlucky Everton as VAR dominates: This was a very solid display from Everton and if either team deserved to edge this, it was them. Rafael Benitez’s side were aggressive, rattled into challenges and took the game to Spurs in the second half. They lacked a little creativity in the final third but they just couldn’t finish chances and the ball didn’t drop to the right man in the box. Given the VAR decisions going against them (even though both were correct) Everton will be cursing their luck.
3. Two teams struggling for confidence: There was very little between these two teams but in the key moments you could see they were both struggling for confidence. From Harry Kane and Heung-min Son barely having a kick to Richarlison working hard but not really having a partner to work off, there was a lack of belief in both teams. That should come back but right now Benitez and Conte have to restore confidence. They have quality players. Those players just have to believe it.
Man of the Match: Allan – Subbed off late on because he ran himself into the ground. Was absolutely everywhere and controlled the tempo of the game.
An intense start to the game saw Everton press Tottenham in midfield and the visitors struggled to get going.
Ben Godfrey won the ball back high up the pitch but his shot was straight at Hugo Lloris, while at the other end Lucas Moura’s surging run was snuffed out as Michael Keane and Everton’s defense stood tall.
After a header from Emerson Royal was blocked, Spurs blocked a shot from Demarai Gray as Everton looked the more likely to take the lead. But just before the break Spurs should have taken the lead.
Harry Kane crossed for Sergio Reguilon but the Spanish defender couldn’t put his finish on target at the back post as a big chance came and went.
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Everton continued to look more dangerous as Anthony Gordon fired a volley over, while at the other end Ben Davies smashed a shot just wide as chances were few and far between.
A penalty was then awarded as Hugo Lloris caught Richarlison as he rushed off his line, but after the VAR official Jon Moss told Chris Kavanagh to check the pitch-side monitor, the decision was overturned and no penalty was given.
Lloris got a slight touch on the ball just before he collided with Richarlison, but Everton’s players and fans were irate. Demarai Gray then side-footed wide after a good move started by Lucas Digne.
Tottenham almost won it in the 88th minute on a counter attack as Giovani Lo Celso had a shot from distance which beat Jordan Pickford but hit the post and bounced clear.
Substitute Mason Holgate was then shown a straight red card for serious foul play, after he followed through and caught Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Once again Jon Moss told referee Chris Kavanagh to check the pitch-side monitor and he upgraded the yellow to a red.