Resolute Everton earn their spurs in the face of artistry to earn reward

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Everton 1

If there was one team likely to capitalise on any signs of tiredness after Tottenham's midweek trip to the San Siro, then it was Everton, particularlyon the back of last weekend's victory over Liverpool.

Yet Tottenham shrugged off any weariness from their remarkable 4-3 defeat in Milan by European champions Internazionale in the Champions' League, and had the better of this combative draw with Everton.

On the evidence of this match Tottenham are learning quickly how to adjust to the greater physical and mental demands placed on players and staff by the group stages of the Champions' League. These are heady days for Tottenham, especially given that they were bottom of the Premier League when Harry Redknapp arrived as manager two years ago tomorrow.

Much like his team, Redknapp has blossomed at White Hart Lane, proving he is far more than a canny operator in the transfer market. Such has been his success at Tottenham that he is the favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England manager in 2012, although the man himself is keeping things in perspective.

"Things have gone well for us, we have been lucky and have had two good years," Redknapp said. "I am not going to get carried away. It's week to week, this job."

This week has been particularly special for Tottenham, coming from 4-0 down in Milan with 10 men thanks to Gareth Bale's hat-trick. Despite Wednesday's exertions, Tottenham began the brighter, with Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart conjuring all sorts of odd angles and openings which Everton were struggling to fill. Modric almost scored with a shot that Tim Howard saved well.

David Moyes' side landed a sucker punch when they took the lead after 17 minutes. Yakubu Ayegbeni exaggerated a challenge by Younes Kaboul to earn Everton a free-kick that the left-back Leighton Baines dispatched with a superbly flighted effort hit with enough dip to fly into the corner of the Tottenham goal.

Tottenham's response was swift, although it relied on a large slice of luck when Everton's normally reliable goalkeeper Howard misread the flight of a deep cross from Spurs' right back Alan Hutton. Howard punched at the air, the ball struck Tottenham's Peter Crouch and fell into the path of Van der Vaart, the Dutchman scoring for the fourth successive home game.

The scruffy goal was at odds with much of the football played by Tottenham, but despite the artistry of Modric and Van der Vaart, Spurs' greatest threat remained the aerial ability of Crouch, who should have put them in front just before the interval from Hutton's cross but headed the ball into Howard's hands.

Moyes reflected afterwards on just how difficult it is to play against this Tottenham team. "They have got good footballers all over the pitch," the Everton manager said. "They have pace with [Gareth] Bale and [Aaron] Lennon down the flanks, great footballers in Modric and Van der Vaart and the aerial threat of Crouch. You can't just focus on one thing."

Everton defended resolutely, and also played their part going forward with Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar outstanding in midfield, looking to get into the Tottenham defence when the situation arose.

However most of their work was defensive, as Everton grafted for the point. Both managers singled out Phil Neville for special mention for the way he coped with man of the moment Bale. Redknapp said: "Gareth has been murdering everybody recently but Neville knows what he is doing," while Moyes spoke of Neville's influence on the rest of the team. He said: "There was consideration about his position in the team but the team seems to function better when he is in the side. He dealt well with Bale."

Attendance: 35,967

Referee: Mike Jones

Man of the match: Modric

Match rating: 7/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power