Everton 2 (0) – (0) 1 Spurs
The Blues enjoyed the majority of possession in a first half that saw both sides failing to show the kind of ambition that the game deserved, with Leon Osman firing wide and Seamus Coleman hitting the upright behind the goal.
Kevin Mirallas was once again Everton’s biggest threat, and many were disappointed when the Belgian was taken off at half time, which we understand was precautionary as he was seen holding his hamstring towards the end of the half.
Referee Kevin Friend denied the Blues two clear penalties, firstly after William Gallas had handled inside the box, and the second as Marouane Fellaini was being wrestled away from getting to the ball from an Everton corner. The official had a strange game, and after booking Jermaine Defoe for failing to move the full ten yards away from a free-kick seemed to lose control of the game, awarding several strange decisions for either side.
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Into the second half and Everton once again looked most likely to score, but it was Clint Dempsey who fired Spurs into the lead from 20 yards out. A looping shot that almost seemed to defy gravity before dipping under the bar and over a despairing Tim Howard.
That was the spark that lit the blue touch paper, though, and was exactly what was needed to bring Everton to life.
Steven Pienaar was on hand to nod home late on to bring the scores level and prompt a chorus of “That’s why we bought him” in response to Spurs fans’ earlier jibes of “That’s why we sold you” after the South African had fired a shot wide in the first half.
And then, just as it looked like Everton were heading towards the fourth score draw in a row, substitute Apostolos Vellios tried a spectacular overhead kick which skewed off his boot and into the path of Nikica Jelavic who was calm enough to fire Everton into the lead, just 88 seconds after drawing level.
Pandaemonium ensued and Everton fans left Goodison Park after the last home game before Christmas cheering their side’s claiming of fourth spot once again.
MOTM – Nikica Jelavic, who looked much sharper throughout the whole game and deservedly got his goal just before the final whistle to win the game for Everton.
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