Coleman takes the plaudits after halting Tottenham run
Everton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Thursday 06 January 2011
Forget talk of David Beckham, there was only one winger who was the talking point here at Goodison Park. And for a change, it wasn't Gareth Bale, either. Instead, it was the turn of Everton's Seamus Coleman to catch the eye, marking an impressive display with the late winner.
No Goldenballs here, but the golden head of Coleman proved the difference. It shouldn't have come as surprise.
Everton appear to raise their game against the top sides. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea can vouch for that already this season. You can now add Tottenham Hotspur to the list.
"Gareth Bale should get major plaudits from everyone this season and Phil Neville did an unbelievable job," admitted Everton manager David Moyes "But if you want to talk about a winger tonight it can only be Seamus Coleman. He gave [Benoît] Assou-Ekotto a good night.
"Whoever plays Tottenham will have to play well to beat them as they are a really good side.
"I think we are a good team. We've found it difficult to score, even tonight we missed three or four chances. We can play against the best teams."
So it proved here, even if they rode their luck at times to end Tottenham's 11-game unbeaten record.
For Louis Saha, though, it was a night of redemption. Without a Premier League goal all season, his third-minute strike saw the confidence immediately come back into his veins.
Rafael van der Vaart, a threat himself all evening, levelled in the 11th minute when he headed home from Peter Crouch's knockdown.
But that was as good as it got for Tottenham. A stuttering performance, they lost their shape when Bale hobbled off with a back injury, and it was no surprise to see that man Coleman grab the winner.
The fact that Saha was in the thick of it was also no great shock, the Frenchman, who had twice come close to extending his tally, saw his shot saved by Heurelho Gomes before the on-rushing Coleman headed home the rebound.
"If you are not scoring regularly then it can affect your confidence, and to score lifts it immensely," said Moyes of the French striker.
"Overall, Louis played really well and even if he hadn't scored I would have said he did really well. But the goal is important for him and for us.
"We needed to show something tonight – we all did, the players and me. We did that, we were outstanding, and we showed we can play against the top sides."
Harry Redknapp, who later played down suggestions Tottenham's loan move for Beckham was a done deal, admitted the England veteran could have brought something different to his side on the night.
"It's not done, one million per cent not," said the Spurs manager, who admitted that the club had agreed a £7m fee to sell Robbie Keane to Birmingham City. "I don't know what's happened as I've left it to the chairman to deal with," Redknapp said of the Beckham move. "I think we could do with his knowhow. I think he's got something to offer.
"It's out of my hands and whether a deal will be done I don't know at the moment.
"He will keep the ball, in the second half we didn't do that as we didn't give them problem with pace. I also think he would get it out of his feet, and if Crouchy is playing, he will deliver the ball. [Beckham] would be the perfect foil for him.
"We had some chances on the break, but didn't play well in the second half. It's difficult to understand how but we were sloppy at times.
"We missed Gareth [Bale] when he went off, but he wasn't fit. With his pace, he's an outlet for us."
Everton (4-4-2): Howard; Neville, Distin, Heitinga, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini, Pienaar (Osman, 86); Saha (Rodwell, 88), Beckford (Yakubu, 77). Substitutes not used Mucha (gk), Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Anichebe. Booked Neville.
Tottenham (4-5-1): Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Keane, 80), Jenas, Modric, Bale (Kranjcar, 58), Van der Vaart; Crouch. Substitutes not used Pletikosa (gk),Pavlychenko, Palacios, Bassong, Corluka.
Match rating 7/10.
Man of the match Van der Vaart.
Referee L Probert (Wiltshire).
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