Tottenham Hotspur have dropped down to third place in the Premier League as Everton manage a good draw at White Hart Lane through a man of the match performance by Phil Jagielka. The match had barely started, when Tottenham amazingly scored only thirty-four seconds into the game. Center-back Jan Vertonghen received the ball on the left flank, and hit a low cross into the box. Everton failed to clear it, and it fell to Emmanuel Adebayor two yards out from goal, who, at full stretch, managed to poke the ball through the legs of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard into the back of the net. Everton were shell shocked by the goal, but quickly bounced back with Michael Dawson almost gifting The Toffes a goal when he played the ball straight to Leon Osman at the edge of the box. Osman curled his shot just wide of the post, although a few Tottenham players were thinking it was going in.
David Moyes’ side kept pressing, and managed to find an equalizer in the fifteenth minute through a Leighton Baines corner. Baines swung the corner to the back post where Phil Jagielka had risen over Vertonghen, allowing the England international to head the ball into the back of the net. After an unconvincing opening few minutes, Tottenham started to come alive, with Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Lewis Holtby shooting wide from long range efforts. Tottenham appealed for a penalty in the thirtieth minute when Dempsey’s cross was deflected away by the arm of Darron Gibson, but referee Andre Marriner waved play on. Tottenham kept up their pressure, but they couln’t score again before the end of the half, with Marriner blowing the halftime whistle with the score 1-1.
The second half started very open, and it took only eight minutes for the first goal of the half, with Kevin Mirallas scoring his twenty-first goal of the season for Everton. Mirallas received the ball near the halfway line on the right flank, and the Belgian took the ball up the field, rounding three Tottenham defenders before hitting a low shot across goal into the back of the net from eight yards out. Tottenham immediately bounced back, and seconds later Howard amazingly managed push Dembele’s deflected shot from the edge of the eighteen yard box onto the top crossbar.
After Dempsey’s low shot in the sixtieth minute whizzed just wide of the post and Adebayor’s effort flew into the arms of Howard seven minutes later, Everton almost put the game to bed when Victor Anichebe’s shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and curled just wide. Tottenham continued to press, but their efforts to equalize looked to be in vain as the match entered the final minutes. In the eighty-seventh minute Tottenham managed to grab an equalizer, with Adebayor’s shot from the edge of the box deflected off the post into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who converted from point-blank range. Everton tried to grab a winner in the final seconds, but couldn’t with the match ending 2-2 after five minutes of injury-time.
Man of the Match: Phil Jagielka