Premier League: Roberto Soldado strike gives Tottenham comeback win over Everton
By Tom McKeown
Last Updated: 01/12/14 8:16am
Tottenham staged a superb first-half comeback as they came from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Kevin Mirallas put the visitors in front inside the opening quarter of an hour with a stunning curling effort, but Christian Eriksen levelled things seven minutes later before Roberto Soldado completed the turnaround in first-half stoppage time with a cool finish.
Seamus Coleman was denied by Hugo Lloris as the visitors searched for an equaliser in the second half, but the hosts held on to halt Everton’s five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Both sides made plenty of changes after their midweek triumphs in the Europa League, with Mauricio Pochettino adding five new faces from the 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade as Federico Fazio, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane all returned.
Everton, meanwhile, welcomed Leighton Baines back from a hamstring injury, while Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley also returned to Roberto Martinez’s starting XI in three changes from their 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg.
Tottenham have made a habit of letting in early goals, and Pochettino’s men conceded inside 15 minutes for the sixth time this season after Vlad Chiriches gave away a free kick near the edge of the box.
Baines’ delivery was cleared but only as far as Mirallas, who cut inside his man before unleashing a superb curling shot which flew past Hugo Lloris and into the far corner.
Spurs heads didn’t drop, however, and they were soon back on level terms as new fans’ favourite Harry Kane tried to get the hosts back on level terms with a low shot from the edge of the box.
Howard saved the youngster’s effort but could only parry it into the path of Eriksen, who sent the ball back across the goal and into the far corner.
The hosts were buoyed by the equaliser and looked far more assertive in midfield than the visitors, who have only kept two clean sheets in their last 22 Premier League visits to London.
The turnaround was complete before the break as Gareth Barry was caught in possession by Kane and Aaron Lennon played the ball into the path of Soldado, who coolly fired low into the net to score his first Premier League goal in nine months.
The hosts continued to dominate after the break, and Martinez threw on Leon Osman – who netted in their last Premier League outing – as well as Aiden McGeady as he looked to get back on level terms.
Coleman had a glorious opportunity saved as he was played through in the box from a wonderful Ross Barkley pass, but the defender’s dinked effort was diverted behind by Lloris.
Both sides had penalty shouts late on as the ball hit Federico Fazio's arm off Romelu Lukaku's header before Muhamed Besic barged Kane over at the other end, but neither was given and Spurs closed the game out to register their third win in eight days.
GLENN HODDLE'S VERDICT
"I think [Harry Kane] has done a job coming back for the team and dropping in defensively, but it’s helped them offensively because when he won it he had the energy to run at people.
"He likes to run with his head up, and I think he’s got a bit of calmness about him. Once he’s created a bit of space he comes off on the energy side of things and he’s just got that little calm moment, and he’ll pick the right pass, put the right cross in or get a finish him himself. He worked exceedingly hard."
Tottenham: Lloris (7); Chiriches (5), Fazio (6), Vertonghen (7), Davies (6); Lennon (7), Bentaleb (7) Mason (6), Eriksen (8); Kane (8), Soldado (7).
Used subs: Lamela (5), Dier (6), Paulinho (6).
Everton: Howard (6); Coleman (7), Jagielka (6), Distin (6), Baines (6); Barry (5), Besic (5); Barkley (7), Eto’o (5), Mirallas (7); Lukaku (5).
Used subs: Osman (6), McGeady (6).
Man of the match: Harry Kane