Sunday would not be Sunday in the Premier League without the screaming finale. Everton followed Manchester United across the line, scoring twice with 90 minutes on the clock to wrench fourth place from Spurs and send manager David Moyes into a kind of pagan stomp on the touchline. The Moyes stare can be forbidding on quiet afternoons; when the blood is pumping like this those flame-thrower eyes could ignite a barn from 50 paces.
Spurs were neither full value for the lead given to them by Clint Dempsey nor flattered by it. Andre Villas-Boas was quietly rubbing his hands in the warm glow of what looked to be a fourth successive victory when his pocket was picked by a lusty Steven Pienaar header and an opportunistic stab from Nikica Jelavic. The goals conformed to a trend to which he has no answer. Ten of the 18 goals Spurs have conceded this season have come in the last 15 minutes.
"It was a tough blow to take," Villas-Boas said. "We were in control, kept the ball and were looking to see out the game. It is all about the small details. Everton were a bit more aggressive in the final minutes. It is something we are aware of and something we need to improve. The goals came during our best period, but we couldn't stop every long ball coming in. At 1-1 I knew what to expect."
The result lifted Everton above Tottenham and Moyes admitted such a late victory would provide a massive fillip for his players.
"It feels good today.," he said. "It shows the belief in persistence. We have great character and this gives us a great lift. We kept at it in the last period when we were not at our best."