Howard flap costs Everton
A mistake by Tim Howard ensured that Tottenham's meeting with Everton ended in a 1-1 draw.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 23/10/10 3:35pm
A mistake by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard ensured that Tottenham Hotspur's meeting with the Toffees ended in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
David Moyes' men had taken the lead in the first half thanks to a wonderful free-kick by left-back Leighton Baines.
But moments later, Spurs equalised after Howard flapped at a cross to allow Rafael van der Vaart to score his fifth goal for the club.
The result takes Tottenham, who were playing after their thrilling UEFA Champions League tie at Inter Milan on Wednesday, up to third in the table for the time-being, while Everton are now four games unbeaten.
Wilson Palacios was handed his first league start for six weeks as Tom Huddlestone missed out for the first time this season. Van der Vaart was recalled after missing out during midweek through suspension, while Younes Kaboul returned from a month out with a hamstring problem.
For Everton, influential midfielder Mikel Arteta was forced to sit out the match with a groin strain but Steven Pienaar was fit enough to play his first game in almost a month, while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also made the starting XI.
The encounter began at a slow pace as both sides struggled to find their rhythm. The first moment worthy of note came on 10 minutes when Palacios was booked after cynically felling Yakubu Aiyegbeni. A minute later, Tim Cahill had the first shot of the game, only to see the strike smothered by Heurelho Gomes.
Howard was called into action in the 15th minute as the lively Luka Modric saw a low shot parried wide for a corner. Then, a sensational piece of skill from Van der Vaart almost set free the Croatian. But, 60 seconds later, the ball was in the back of Spurs' net.
Kaboul fouled Yakubu on the edge of the penalty box and left-back Baines stepped up to execute a quite stunning free-kick that curled into the top corner. However, in the 21st minute, Spurs restored parity, courtesy of a mistake by goalkeeper Howard.
Alan Hutton sent in a cross from the right and Howard flapped at the delivery. Peter Crouch lurked at the back post and managed to divert the ball across goal, leaving Van der Vaart with the simplest task of thumping into an empty net.
The goals certainly sparked the game into life, and Modric was the man most impressing during the first half. Indeed, the schemer surged at the heart of Everton's defence before slamming a strike just wide of the post, with Howard getting fingertips on the drive.
Spurs then saw appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Marc Jones, who felt Crouch was not fouled despite the striker seemingly being sandwiched in the penalty area. Then lightening threatened to strike twice when Everton won a free-kick in a dangerous area. But this time Baines' strike whistled over the crossbar.
In an end-to-end fixture, Everton were upping the pressure, but just before the half-time whistle Crouch should arguably have put Spurs in front as his header was straight at shot-stopper Howard. Harry Redknapp acted at the break, replacing the booked Palacios with Brazilian midfielder Sandro.
The first opportunity of the second period went to Spurs when Bale slipped a ball to Crouch, who dragged his shot wide of the far post. Seamus Coleman then went into the book for a foul on Lennon, and the resulting free-kick was followed by a headed chance for Bale that dropped off target.
A misjudged header by Sylvain Distin then presented Crouch with a chance, but Everton's defence responded quickly to deny the beanpole forward. Everton boss David Moyes made his first change on 62 minutes, replacing Yakubu with Louis Saha, who last featured for the Toffees in August.
With Everton gathering momentum, as Pienaar flashed a shot over, Redknapp brought on Roman Pavlyuchenko for Lennon. Seconds after the substitution, Crouch nipped forward but hit a very tame shot at Howard. Up the other end, Cahill's strike was anything but as it zoomed the wrong side of the post.
On 73 minutes, Van der Vaart went into the referee's book after the Dutchman kicked the advertising hoarding out of frustration over the award of a goalkick. A free-flowing move by Tottenham then earned Pavlyuchenko some space, but the Russian's shot was deflected wide.Sandro was cautioned for hauling down Saha before Hibbert entered the fray in place of John Heitinga. Moyes then used his final change by bringing on striker Jermaine Beckford for youngster Coleman. But there was to be no winner as both defences stood strong.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Everton|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||2|
|7||Shots off Target||4|