Tottenham 2-2 Everton: Christian Eriksen free-kick salvages rare draw for Spurs on final day
Report and highlights as Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun cancel out Eric Dier opener
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 12/05/19 8:26pm
Tottenham confirmed their place in the Champions League for a fourth successive season after playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Everton.
Eric Dier slammed the hosts in front after three minutes, but Everton responded with two quick-fire goals through Theo Walcott (69) and Cenk Tosun (72) in the second period.
Christian Eriksen's low free-kick ensured a share of the spoils as Mauricio Pochettino's side marked their homecoming following their midweek Champions League exploits by earning only a second league draw of the season.
Spurs will now turn their focus on overcoming Liverpool in the Madrid final on June 1, having finished in fourth place, while the point ensures Everton finish the season once more in eighth position.
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Davies (6), Walker-Peters (7), Alderweireld (6), Dier (7), Sissoko (6), Alli (6), Eriksen (6), Lamela (6), Moura (6), Llorente (6).
Subs: Janssen (n/a), Wanyama (6), Skipp (n/a).
Everton: Pickford (5), Digne (7), Zouma (6), Mina (5), Keane (6), Schneiderlin (7), Gueye (6), Bernard (6), Sigurdsson (6), Walcott (6), Tosun (6).
Subs: Gomes (6), Lookman (7)
Man of the match: Kyle Walker-Peters.
Spurs in need of reinforcements
For all the brilliance they have shown in reaching the final of the Champions League, Spurs' domestic season has once again demonstrated they do not have the depth required to sustain a title challenge for a full campaign - and this was not a performance to stir the hearts.
Erik Lamela, Kyle Walker-Peters, Ben Davies and Fernando Llorente came in for the suspended Heung-Min Son, Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez and Danny Rose for Spurs.
Everton made three changes as Yerry Mina replaced the injured Seamus Coleman in defence while Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott came in for Dominic Calvert-Lewin up and Richarlison.
But Erik Lamela - on his return to the side following a hamstring injury - had an instant impact as his early corner was not dealt with at the near post by Yerry Mina, and Dier was allowed to turn and fire past Jordan Pickford as Everton's weakness at defending set pieces this season came back to bite them.
The visitors nearly equalised after 30 minutes when Bernard's shot crept through the legs of Kyle Walker-Peters and was well kept out by Hugo Lloris low to his right, but they were cheering before half-time as news filtered through that Manchester City had gone ahead against Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Marco Silva was less than impressed, however, but his double change shortly after the hour mark cajoled his players into life with two goals in the space of four minutes.
Substitutes Andre Gomes and Ademola Lookman combined before Gylfi Sigurdsson laid the ball into Walcott's path for a precise finish into the corner to level matters much to the delight of the former Arsenal winger.
With Spurs unresponsive to being pegged back, Everton duly went in front moments later as Tottenham's vulnerabilities in defending crosses again became very apparent.
After Michael Keane's header from Sigurdsson's corner was kept out by Lloris, Tosun was fastest to react to bundle in his first league goal in 16 appearances.
But Eriksen responded immediately with a pinpoint free-kick - aided by Pickford taking a step to his right - as Spurs ended their domestic season with a point.
This was an afternoon of ensuring no further injuries for Pochettino, and as his players embarked on a lap of appreciation at the full-time with Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane in attendance, the biggest test of their season still lies ahead.
- Tottenham have finished in the top four in each of the last four Premier League seasons; their best such run in the top-flight since a run of five between 1959-60 and 1963-64.
- Everton's draw saw them seal an eight-placed finish for the second consecutive season in the Premier League, however their goal difference was 22 goals better off this term (+8 in 2018-19, -14 in 2017-18).
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League meetings with Everton (W7 D6), with their last defeat against them in the competition coming in December 2012 (1-2).
- Excluding penalties, Everton conceded the most goals from set pieces of any team in the Premier League this season (16).
- Christian Eriksen's goal for Spurs was the 1067th Premier League goal this season; more goals than any other 38-game season of the competition.
- Since his debut in the Premier League in September 2013, Spurs' Christian Eriksen has scored the most direct free kicks (7) and most goals from outside the box (22).
- Eric Dier's opener for Spurs (2:49) was the quickest goal Everton have conceded in the Premier League since November 2017, when Crystal Palace's James McArthur netted against them after 51 seconds.
- Everton's Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 10 goals against Spurs in the Premier League (six goals, four assists); his joint-most against a single opponent in the competition (also 10 v Newcastle).
Mauricio Pochettino: "This group of players deserve so much credit. They have put so much unbelievable effort in. There have been many positives this season.
"The players and staff have shown so much character. We broke down all the doors when the circumstances were against us with the new stadium stuff.
"So to see their capacity to fight again makes me so proud. I think this is our best season in our five years.
"I am so happy, so pleased. What we have achieved this season - top four and final of Champions League - it is difficult to assess now but in time the people will realise what we achieve."
Marco Silva: "I was satisfied by the end of the match but not with how we started. We were too slow and we made a mistake at the set piece. Afterwards, we started to react. It was different in the second half and we showed more desire to score.
"They scored from another set piece, but we did well and we showed desire to play our offensive game. The last two or three months we've done fantastic."
Man of the match - Kyle Walker-Peters
Pochettino admitted beforehand he had very few options when selecting his side, but one player who looked keen to grab his opportunity from the first whistle was Walker-Peters.
The 22-year-old right-back may feel Kieran Trippier's position is less than assured after a difficult season for the more experienced man in possession of his shirt.
But Walker-Peters was full of energy on the wing and aggressive in the tackle, providing urgency where many others were playing with their shades on.
Tottenham head to Madrid to take on Liverpool in the Champions League final on June 1, kick-off at 8pm. Here's how you can follow the match on Sky Sports.