Despite a red card for Abdoulaye Doucoure and going a goal behind, Everton managed a nintieth minute equaliser against Spurs’ last night at Goodison Park.
That goal from the unlikely source of centre-back Michael Keane, ensured the Blues’ got a third draw in their last four Premier League matches.
It follows the 2-2 draw against Chelsea when Everton came back twice at Stamford Bridge and gives further evidence that the team is becoming genuinely more resiliant under Sean Dyche.
But, early in the second half it looked very unlikely that the Toffees’ would manage to get anything from the game.
First Doucoure was sent off after an altercation with Harry Kane and then Kane scored a penalty, conceded as the Blues’ players were coming to terms with the red card.
Kane’s predictable theatrics after Doucoure had put a hand in his face, which you simply cannot do, had given the referee the chance to send him off, and he did.
This incident happened after Kane and Demarai Gray had first tussled for the ball and then the Spurs’ striker appeared to go through Doucoure, a tackle that could have resulted in a card for England’s record goalscorer.
Losing the 30-year-old Mali international is a big blow, as he has been re-born under Dyche and has been playing a key part in the manager’s three-man midfield.
It was doubly frustrating because Everton had looked comfortable for most of the match and in fact, had arguably had the better of the early chances.
Now, someone else has got to step up and fill the gap. Presumably, James Garner will be the player to come in, unless Dyche goes with Tom Davies or reverts to a 4-4-2.
Then, a few minutes later Keane brought down Christian Romero in the penalty area with another of the errors that charaterise his play and Kane stepped up to slot the ball past Jordan Pickford.
At this point I assumed that it was game over and I expected Tottenham to add another goal or two and wrap it up.
And in the past that would certainly have been the case. But, it does appear that this Blues’ side has found a new level of determination and desire to fight and scrap for points.
Although they were down to ten, Everton largely took control of the game and started to press for an equaliser with renewed vigour.
Dyche made some effective subs bringing on Garner, Davies and Ellis Simms and the home team gained real attacking momentum.
Spurs’ for their part seemed happy to sit back and absorb the pressure. To add to the drama, after coming on as a substitute, Tottenham’s Lucas Moura got himself dismissed as well for a reckless challenge on Keane.
With a few minutes left, Keane, having been involved in so many of the game’s key incidents, drove forward with the ball and smashed a great shot into the top corner.
The Toffees’ deserved a point and had they taken one or two of their earlier chances (such as Doucoure’s first-half header or Idrissa Gueye’s chance) they might well have won it. Although, Spurs’ also had a couple of great chances too.
A point is better than none. However, it is still a little frustrating that Everton have failed to win at home against what was a poor Tottenham team.
And, Doucoure’s absence for three games is annoying and disruptive and something Dyche could have done without as he tries to plot the Blues’ survival.
Next up, is a trip to Old Trafford, another ground where the Toffees’ have a very poor record over recent years.