Tottenham put six goals past Everton to enter title race
Spurs go within two points of Manchester City in third, after fourth win in a row
Harry Kane celebrates with his Tottenham team mates after scoring at Goodison Park. Photograph: Getty Images
Everton 2 Tottenham 6
“He’s Tottenham, you know,” bellowed the joyous away section as Mauricio Pochettino strolled over to the Bullens Road Stand to celebrate this humiliation of Everton. Their coveted manager responded with a clenched-fist salute. Forget any prospective job offers from Manchester United. On this form he may have a title challenge to consider.
Tottenham moved to within two points of second-placed Manchester City with a comprehensive rout of Marco Silva’s team. Their reaction to the prospect of Old Trafford providing Pochettino with a turning point in his career next summer has been sublime. Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both scored twice and led an outstanding away performance that inflicted the heaviest defeat of the new Everton manager’s reign. The hosts, without a win in five matches, were outclassed.
Both teams initially contributed to an open, compelling game but were divided by the sheer quality of Spurs’ front three. The Everton defence was pulled apart frequently by the pace and intelligent movement of Son, occupied by the power and quality of Kane and had no answer to Dele Alli’s ability to wreak havoc in the pockets of space he found behind their central midfield. Another costly mistake from the England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and the decision to disallow a Dominic Calvert-Lewin header compounded the hosts’ difficulties before the break. Spurs’ response to falling behind, however, was simply outstanding.
The visitors had threatened regularly prior to Walcott opening the scoring against his former north London rivals. Kane chipped Pickford when released behind Kurt Zouma by Kieran Trippier’s pass only to watch his effort sail a foot wide of an unguarded goal. The Everton keeper saved well from Trippier when Son’s cross from the byline – or from over the byline according to the protests from the Gwladys Street – found the defender unmarked inside the penalty area and it took a thunderous challenge from Zouma to prevent Kane punishing another opportunity.
Everton, led by Sigurdsson, were also quick to get on the front foot in the first half and created the game’s first opening when Richarlison headed wide from a Walcott cross. The Iceland international and Calvert-Lewin both just failed to apply a final touch at the back post. Everton took the lead when pouncing on a loose ball deep in the visitors’ half. Zouma’s header from a Davinson Sánchez clearance bounced over the head of Harry Winks and dropped to Sigurdsson. He released Calvert-Lewin clear of Trippier and Sánchez with a delightful backheel and, from the byline, the striker picked out Walcott perfectly. The ex-Arsenal winger revelled in his close-range finish past Hugo Lloris and first Premier League goal since August.
The pair combined to good effect again three minutes later. This time Walcott was the provider with a right-wing cross that Calvert-Lewin headed superbly into Lloris’ top right hand corner. Paul Tierney blew for an infringement as soon as the ball left the striker’s head, however, spotting a push by Calvert-Lewin into the back of Sánchez. Spurs took full advantage of the reprieve. The speed of their passing, of Son and their commitment to attack obliterated Everton’s lead and their defensive composure. That said, they were gifted the way back by Pickford and Zouma.
A first-time ball over the top by Kane sent Son on a hopeful chase towards the Everton goal. Zouma had the danger covered but Pickford decided to race out of his area and succeeded only in spreading confusion. The pair collided and, from a difficult angle, Son floated a delightful finish into the vacant net. The South Korea international was a class apart all game. Evertonians even joined in with the applause when he was substituted late on.
The visitors’ gained the lead when neat, one-touch passing from Ben Davies, Moussa Sissoko and Alli prised open the Everton defence and released Son through on the left. Pickford saved the striker’s low shot with a strong left hand but the ball fell invitingly for Alli to drill the rebound home. It was three before Everton could regroup at the interval. Son was again involved, winning a free-kick that Trippier whipped against Pickford’s left-hand post from 25 yards. The rebound fell Spurs’ way once more and Kane gratefully converted with the goalkeeper grounded.
Pickford was extremely fortunate to escape any punishment for a bad challenge on Alli that forced the Spurs’ creator off at half-time. Alli had been flagged offside when the keeper committed the foul.
Christian Eriksen swept a beautiful half-volley beyond Pickford within minutes of the restart, crushing any hope that the hosts entertained of a recovery. Tripper released Kane down the right, as in the first half, and though Séamus Coleman headed the striker’s cross clear he was powerless to stop the return from the Danish midfielder, a controlled, precise finish that flew into the bottom corner.
Sigurdsson reduced the deficit with a fine finish of his own, collecting a Richarlison pass and evading four weak Spurs challenges in a mazy run across the area before cutting his shot back and inside Lloris’ far corner. There was never any prospect of an Everton recovery. Spurs claimed their fifth when Érik Lamela, Alli’s replacement, dissected the home defence with a piercing pass that sent Son through on goal while Everton appealed in vain for offside. The striker shot through the legs of Pickford and then delivered the assist for Kane’s second of the game with a low cross from the left. Kane opened his body and diverted a textbook finish wide of the exposed Pickford. The rout was complete.