Everton went down by two goals to nil at the Tottenham Stadium this evening as they lost a second consecutive Premier League match.
Tonight’s game was always going to be a tough one given Tottenham’s quality and the terrible record Everton traditionally have in London.
And so it prioved as having missed several good early chances the Blues’ succumbed to second half goals from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Perhaps the match might have turned out differently if Everton had taken those early opportunities. But, both Demarai Gray and Amadou Onana missed their chances.
The visitors were under pressure early on but they grew into the match and then did create those first half opportunites.
You always felt the away team would rue those failures and eventually Spurs managed to break through the Toffees’ defensive resistence with Jordan Pickford seemingly bringing Kane down in the area after losing control of the ball.
The England star then duly dispatched the penalty giving the home side a lead they did probably deserve as they were certainly the better team overall, especially in the second half.
While the Blues’ might have been able to claim they could have had a point against Manchester United last weekend and lost through their own mistakes rather than the briliance of their opponents, this defeat was a more chastening one.
Everton looked second best for long periods of the contest and the gulf in quality, particularly in the last third, was abundantly evident.
Tonight’s defeat underlined again that although a very solid and resolute defensive effort (together with a bit of luck at times) may be enough to get points and results teams in the bottom half of the table, the Toffees’ must have more creative and goal-scoring threat if they are to have any chance of competing against the best teams in the league.
I think the Blues’ have to try to bring in additional attacking flair when the January transfer window opens, even though it’s difficult to do so.
Frank Lampard also went with a formation which for me was overly defensive. It looked like he reverted to his back three or five with which he ended last season and started this one, and had Dwight McNeil playing as a sort of wing-back with it appeared only two up front.
And while it might have been understandable to be additionally defensive and cautious, it gave Tottenham the advantage in possession and momentum, which eventually told.
I would have preferred him to continue with a 4-3-3 and tried to be a bit more on the front foot as this decision handed the home team an additional advantage, something they certainly don’t need with their quality.
It’s not panic stations yet for sure, however Everton need to stop this losing momentum soon. Next up though is another tough away fixture with a trip to Tyneside to play Newcastle United.