Tottenham 1 Everton 0 match report: Emmanuel Adebayor's striking instinct makes wasteful Everton pay

Spurs leapfrog Everton after the victory at White Hart Lane

White Hart Lane

For the Tottenham Hotspur coach Tim Sherwood this was one to get out of the way, look at the table and raise a toast, or maybe a Lucozade, to Emmanuel Adebayor. Had the previous regime at White Hart Lane been inclined to do the same, Sherwood might still be coaching the kids.

So frustrated had he become with Tottenham’s laboured movement he kicked a bottle of energy drink over his counterpart in the Everton technical area. It was that kind of afternoon for Roberto Martinez, meeting an undeserved end on and off the pitch. Up to that point it was the only shot on target registered by Spurs. That would change emphatically just past the hour.

Everton dominated possession but lacked a striker. Spurs absorbed the pressure then stole the points via the agency of a centre-forward. Adebayor might have been invisible for much of the match but he is no false 9 with the goal posts in view. A free-kick by Kyle Walker sought ought Adebayor, who chested it down on the edge of the box and crashed the ball past Tim Howard with his left boot.

“With Ady it is all about how he is being managed,” Sherwood observed. “How do you get the best out of him? I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. He is a good character and shows the right application. I’m just delighted with him at the moment.”

Not so with the way his team are playing at home. “We started slow again. We have to find the reason why. Hugo [Lloris] kept us in game early on. I have to address it. At half-time I managed to sit them down and have a little chat. I told them we were just waiting to get beat. The contrast between the halves was encouraging. But I’m not pleased with the way we are starting games.

“I want to play with risk. I want them to move the ball, to see some rotation in the middle of the park, give the ball to players when they are marked. So there is stuff to work on.”

And for Martinez, too. His side were enterprising enough but did not threaten Lloris enough for the possession they enjoyed. Martinez has won plaudits this season for the style of his team. They are easy on the eye but of the top six sides, Everton have won the least, only 12 times, and posted nine draws.

Leon Osman had Lloris at full stretch in the first ten minutes, the first of three shots on target in the opening half. Osman, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas were allowed far too much space by the Spurs midfield. The prinicipal culprit was Mousa Dembélé, a fine footballer with the ball at his feet but too easily outmanoeuvred without it.

As the first half wore on Pienaar became increasingly influential down the left, his movement utterly unchecked by Dembélé. Everton should have been in front at the break and again shortly before the hour when Seamus Coleman escaped down the right only to pick out the boot of Jan Vertonghen instead of the blue shirts flooding into the box.

It was a flaw that afflicted both teams all afternoon, the ball in from overlapping full-back too easily intercepted by the outstretched limbs of defenders. The Everton wide men could argue that there was not enough of a target in Steven Naismith, who looked a world beater against Stevenage in the FA Cup.

In this setting Naismith does not offer anywhere near the incisive threat required of a lone striker. It took Martinez 72 minutes to acknowledge the problem before replacing the Scot with Gerard Deulofeu. The upswing in impetus was immediate, Deulofeu combining well with Ross Barkley, who had replaced Pienaar. The possession count increased towards 65 per cent in Everton’s favour. Unfortunately there are no points awarded for style.

“It is fair to say that in football it is better to be lucky than good,” said Martinez, lamenting the bounce of the ball. “Today was a case in point. We had to hit the back of net when we were dominant in the first half. We restricted Spurs to very little. I would have taken one shot on target from Spurs before game, but if we can take this kind of performance into the next 15 games we are going to get a lot of points.

“Hopefully the game won’t be this harsh on us. The first goal is always important. We tried everything but Spurs put players behind the ball and hit us on the break. But the performance tells us a lot. It shows that we can go to difficult grounds and be ourselves. But when you are the better side you need to win. We didn’t do that. The lapse in concentration cost us.”

Like Sherwood, Martinez believes his team must look inward for solutions, and work out the answers on the pitch. “To perform in the manner we did and not get the result means we need to look internally. It is developing into one of most exciting endings ever in the Premier League, it’s unique the way it is developing at the bottom, in the race for the Champions League and for the title. It is down to us to produce this level of performance every week while making sure we get the result.”

So Everton trade places with Spurs, who assume fifth spot three points shy of Liverpool and two clear of yesterday’s visitors. Spurs sent on Jermain Defoe in the closing stages. He didn’t make the scoresheet but he leaves the Lane a winner en route to a quieter life in Canada.

Read more
Premier League Sunday as it happened
Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit