Redknapp laments poor Tottenham defending

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The Independent Football

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was left fuming after his side's late collapse at Everton yesterday cost them the chance of returning to third place in the Barclays Premier League.

The visitors appeared to be cruising to their ninth win of the campaign with 12 minutes to go at Goodison Park thanks to Jermain Defoe's 13th goal of the season and Michael Dawson's header, both early in the second half.

However, substitute Louis Saha gave the hosts hope with a close-range strike before Tim Cahill headed in his first Barclays Premier League goal since September 13 with four minutes to go.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard then produced a crucial penalty save from Defoe two minutes into added time after Wilson Palacios had been fouled by Tony Hibbert.

"There looked to be only one winner," said Redknapp, who interrupted his post-match press conference on several occasions to watch replays of Everton's goals being shown on televisions in the room.

"It was game over as we looked to be in control and I couldn't see any way we weren't going to go on and win.

"We had chances to go 3-0 up and then they pulled a goal back. It was poor defending, we got sucked in.

"They came on strong and it was a different game for 10 minutes. When you get it back to 2-1 you are going to throw the kitchen sink at the opposition and that is what they did.

"Then we get a great chance to win it with a penalty with the last kick of the game.

"Robbie Keane is our penalty taker but you'd fancy the little man (Defoe) to score with the form he is in - but it wasn't to be."

Redknapp said Palacios was "quite badly hurt and in a lot of pain" and had been taken to hospital with a rib injury as a result of the clash with Hibbert which led to the penalty.

By contrast, Everton manager David Moyes could not hide his delight after an impressive comeback full of character and was grateful to Howard for ensuring a point.

It did not end a woeful run of just one win in their last nine league matches but Moyes had no complaints.

"It was a vital save. He is a good goalkeeper, he is lively and he should make penalty saves because he is very agile," he said.

"I thought we deserved a bit of luck and the goalkeeper helped it.

"It was important because the players had worked incredibly hard and had got stuck in.

"We tried to get something and because of that we earned a bit of good fortune when it came around.

"I thought when it went to two each if anyone was going to make it 3-2 it was going to be Everton rather than Tottenham."

Injuries continue to be a problem Everton, who lost centre-back Joseph Yobo to a recurrence of a hamstring strain after just 15 minutes but that actually turned into a positive for the Toffees.

Moyes had to send on Seamus Coleman for only his second Barclays Premier League appearance and the 21-year-old had a hand in both goals, earning him the man of the match award.

"He was fantastic. He played really well, he got forward and made a difference for us at times. Good on the youngster," was the Everton manager's assessment.