Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Dele Alli equalises in entertaining draw
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 04/01/16 8:51am
Dele Alli was on target as Everton and Tottenham played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The 19-year-old midfielder equalised in first half stoppage-time after Aaron Lennon had given the Blues the lead against his former club.
Alli's goal came at the end of a half dominated by the visitors as they hit the woodwork either side of Lennon's opener.
Spurs were quickly onto the front foot and had already threatened Tim Howard's goal twice before Harry Kane struck the inside of the post in the ninth minute.
The England striker collected the ball in the inside right channel and unleashed a low shot that skidded off the greasy surface and onto the post before spinning behind for a goal kick.
The visitors continued to dominate as Everton struggled to cope against the suffocating Tottenham press.
So it came as a shock when Lennon put the Blues in front midway through the half. The former Spurs winger fired a half-volley into the far corner after Romelu Lukaku had nodded Tom Cleverley's long ball into his path.
It all came from Leighton Baines winning the ball back in Spurs' territory and Everton looked to keep up that intensity in the minutes after the goal.
Lennon was again involved, beating his man down the right before cutting the ball back from Arouna Kone, whose shot was blocked.
The Toffees were soon on the back foot again though as Spurs regained their composure. Indeed, they were almost level just before the half hour as Ben Davies rattled the crossbar.
Having drawn all the Everton defenders towards goal, Christian Eriksen played his corner low to the edge of the box to Davies, who was able to take a touch before hammering his effort goalwards only to see it crash back off the bar with Howard able only to wave at it on its way past.
Spurs continued to dominate possession but their threat seemed to diminish as the half went on. However, just as it seemed they would go in a goal down, they equalised.
Alli was the scorer, making a diagonal run in from the left before chesting down Toby Alderweireld's long pass and volleying low past Howard.
Although Everton began the second half well, it was Tottenham who created the first opening. Davies burst down the left before switching the ball to Alli. The young midfielder chested it first time into the path of Kane but the ball would not drop for the Spurs No 10 and he sliced his shot wide under pressure from John Stones.
It was an altogether more even contest though and the introduction of Muhamed Besic and Gerard Deulofeu saw Everton step up their game further - Besic adding bite and drive to the Everton midfield while Deulofeu was a constant menace down the right.
While the game continued to flow and both sides looked to get on the front foot, clear cut chances were at a premium. Deulofeu had a shot blocked at one end before Alli tested Howard with a shot from 25 yards.
Of greater concern to Everton though was Erik Lamela's clipped free-kick that Howard flapped at, briefly giving Spurs hope of a gift before the home defence scrambled it clear.
Besic then drew a top save from Hugo Lloris with a dipping volley from the edge of area, with Ramiro Funes Mori heading just wide from the resulting corner.
Everton looked the more likely to grab a late winner with Lukaku firing over under pressure from Jan Vertonghen before the same defender blocked his effort in added time. Lloris denied Ross Barkley's follow up.
It finished all square though as Spurs consolidated their place in the top four while Everton can now look forward to their Capital One Cup semi-final first leg with Manchester City on Wednesday.
Everton: Howard (6), Coleman (6), Baines (7), Stones (7), Funes Mori (7), Cleverley (6), Barry (7), Lennon (7), Kone (6), Barkley (6), Lukaku (7).
Subs: Besic (7), Deulofeu (7).
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker (6), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Davies (7), Carroll (6), Dier (7), Eriksen (6), Alli (8), Lamela (7), Kane (6).
Subs: Son (6), Chadli (6), Onomah (6).
Man of the match: Dele Alli.