Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur  2 - 1


Gallas rues late lapses

10 December 2012 17:16

William Gallas refused to accept tiredness as an excuse for Tottenham's record of conceding late goals this season.

Everton scored twice in stoppage time on Sunday to beat Spurs 2-1 in their Premier League clash at Goodison Park.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas had earlier lamented the inability to close out games following the defeat, commenting: "If we count the number of results that have been going for us before the last minutes we would be first."

The north Londoners defeated Panathinaikos in the Europa League on Thursday, but Gallas refused to blame fatigue for the loss, and maintained this was something his team had to overcome in order to progress.

"Was tiredness an issue? Yes," he told The Evening Standard. "But when you want to win some competitions you have to play every game.

"Sometimes it is not easy, especially at this time of year because we play so many games but that is not an excuse. We have to accept the defeat yesterday and we have to carry on."

Gallas won the Premier League twice with Chelsea in 2005 and 2006, but admits he is at a loss to explain why his current side cannot find the same level of consistency.

"I've seen the good quality at Tottenham but for some reason, we lose the funny games at home or away and I can't explain it," he said.

"We have to pass one more step to be on the top three and I don't know when it is going to happen. I hope it will this season but it is a shame because when we get very near, something always happens and we draw or lose.

"In our squad, we have some players that have experience now so I don't think it is about a lack of maturity.

"When I was at Chelsea, we had that luck to win some games even if we were not playing good.

"But Tottenham is different. We gave everything yesterday and had no luck. If you go back, Sigurdsson hit the crossbar and it would then have been 2-0 but it didn't happen. They scored late and it is very difficult to accept. It is difficult to explain but sometimes you need luck.

"What we have to know is that the game is never finished until the referee blows his whistle. Yesterday showed that we have to be much more focused at the end of the game."


Premier League: Everton 2 Tottenham 1

9 December 2012 18:18

Two goals in injury-time earned Everton a dramatic 2-1 win over Tottenham in a drab Premier League encounter at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The meeting between two sides with Champions League ambitions looked like being a lively affair, but goalmouth action was at premium throughout the 90 minutes on Merseyside, until first Steven Pienaar and then Nikica Jelavic scored in as many minutes to cancel out Clint Dempsey's opener and earn Everton an unlikely win.

The first half perhaps set the tone for the rest of the afternoon, and was a largely cagey affair, although the home side had by far the better chances and possession and would have been disappointed to go into the break level.

The opening 10 minutes was a highlight of the afternoon, with both sides going at each other with real pace and purpose, with Everton's recalled duo of Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas linking up well down the right on several occasions.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also had to be sharp to come speeding off his line to quell an attack by Jelavic after the Croatia striker evaded the offside trap.

After that bright start, the game settled into a pattern with neither side able to force clear-cut opportunities, although Everton had two decent-looking claims for penalties turned down by the referee.

The first, an alleged handball by Dempsey, was rightly turned down, however an appeal for another handle, this time by William Gallas, was perhaps wrongly waved away.

Tottenham were content to hit their hosts on the counter-attack for most of the opening period, however in the early stages of the second they began to build more fluent and patient attacks.

Their first real chance of the game came when big Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen blasted a free-kick at goal which stung the palms of Tim Howard as the American goalkeeper turned the ball over the crossbar.

But the second half soon settled into a familiar tale to the opening period, with neither side creating any out-and-out chances or increasing the tempo of the game.

It took a moment of quality from Tottenham's summer signing Dempsey to break the deadlock.

The American received the ball just outside the Everton area and his shot at goal took a deflection off Sylvain Distin and lofted over the helpless Howard.

The goal seemed to spark the home side into life as they adopted a more direct approach in a bid to get back into the game.

However it was Tottenham who nearly doubled their lead when substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson saw his shot cannon off the crossbar with just five minutes left to play.

But minutes later there was delirium inside the ground as Pienaar got his head on a cross from Coleman to earn an equaliser against his former club.

And then just minutes later Jelavic pounced on a loose ball in the Tottenham area to slam home a winner for the home side.


Fellaini happy at Everton

9 December 2012 15:15

Marouane Fellaini has given Everton fans a massive boost by declaring his future lies at Goodison Park.

The 25-year-old attacking midfielder has scored eight goals and provided four assists to lead the Toffees to seventh in the table, and a win over Tottenham on Sunday would send them into a Champions League qualification spot.

Despite the Belgium international turning heads with eye-catching displays, he insisted he is only thinking about his current club - but warned they must maintain their focus all season.

"My head is exclusively with Everton - I'm saying nothing about all the rumours," he told The Sun.

"Although I'm happy to be praised for my performances, my future is with Everton."

David Moyes' side have started the season well with 23 points from 15 games, but have drawn their last three matches 1-1 - and Fellaini wants to keep his own fine record going to defeat Andre Villas-Boas' side on Sunday.

"I'm on a good run and I want that to continue against Spurs," he said.

"We are playing well enough to fight for a European place, even the Champions League, but we must retain this rhythm all season.

"It won't be easy but we want to do it - our fans deserve to have some more big European nights."

Some observers have been surprised at Fellaini's success in front of goal this season after being moved into a more advanced position by Moyes, yet the player suggested he has worked hard for his recent success.

He continued: "I am pleased with my current form. There's no secret to it - it's a combination of luck, work and good positioning in the penalty area.

"I do what the forwards do, and score goals."


Premier League preview: Everton v Tottenham

8 December 2012 04:10

Everton will be looking to snap a four-match winless streak when they host an in-form Tottenham at Goodison Park on Sunday.

A surprise defeat at Reading has been followed by successive 1-1 draws against Norwich City, Arsenal and Manchester City for David Moyes' men.

And while they have kept in touch with the likes of Chelsea and Spurs and sit in sixth place, they are only two points ahead of 10th-placed Arsenal and need a win to keep pace with their rivals.

Without a clean sheet in their past 11 matches, Everton have not been solid at the back and they will be wary of Tottenham's range of explosive attackers.

Be it Gareth Bale on the left wing, the red-hot Jermain Defoe up front or the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Lennon, Spurs have begun to click under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

A 3-1 Europa League success against Panathinaikos on Thursday made it four wins on the trot for the White Hart Lane outfit, who qualified for the round-of-32 with their win against the Greek side.

The run of form – sparked by losses to Norwich City, Wigan Athletic, Manchester City and Arsenal in less than three weeks – has seen Spurs shoot up to fourth on the table.

They will be without Bale (hamstring) after the Welshman injured himself in the club's 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday but Defoe, who has five goals in his last four matches, will be equally hard to stop.

Everton appear likely to name an unchanged side for the third fixture in a row, with Phil Neville (knee) set to miss again.

Attackers Kevin Mirallas and Victor Anichebe (both hamstring) will also be ruled out, while Tottenham are likely to be without midfielder Scott Parker (Achilles) and defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee).

Everton's key man will once again be Belgian Marouane Fellaini, who has netted eight goals in his 13 league appearances this season.

Making that statistic more impressive is the fact he has played in midfield, with strikes in Everton's last two matches enough to earn them valuable points.

The last time the two sides met in a Premier League fixture, Nikica Jelavic's first Everton goal led his side to a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.

Tottenham have struggled against Moyes' side in recent times, winning just one of the past 10 Premier League meetings between the two sides.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25