If Mauricio Pochettino is to confirm every Tottenham fan’s worst fears and head off to pastures new this summer, a thrilling victory at Goodison Park at least hinted that he may do so having delivered the Premier League title for his club.
Two goals from Harry Kane, two from the brilliant Son Heung-Min and others from Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen – if this is how Poch and his players respond to rumours of his pending move to Manchester United, Tottenham should hope that happens every week.
Jordan Pickford had another game to forget but not even his struggles could detract from a performance that hauled Spurs to within two points of a suddenly faltering Manchester City and half a dozen off leaders Liverpool.
Pickford’s uncomfortable afternoon began with the Spurs equaliser on 27 minutes as the England keeper rushed from his area, unnecessarily to deal with Kane’s through ball, colliding with team mate Kurt Zouma who could have dealt with it comfortably.
The pair watched as the ball broke for Son who chipped a magnificent finish into the open net, a piece of skill that was far more difficult than he made it appear.
It was a deserved equaliser ad non-Evertonians could have little disagreement when the visitors took the lead just eight minutes later, with questions again being asked of the home keeper.
Alli and Moussa Sissoko passed their way through the Everton midfield before the latter sent Son racing into the area for a shot that was saved by Pickford.
The keeper might have done more to turn the ball away from goal instead of directing the rebound into the centre of the home penalty area where Alli, having followed up the attack, was unmarked and able to steer a shot through Pickford.
Spurs were well in control, Everton – and their keeper in particular – looking desperately susceptible at the back. And it was about to get far worse, with goals either side of the interval.
On 41 minutes, Kieran Trippier lined up one of his trademark free-kicks on the edge of the Everton area, his excellent delivery striking the right-hand post and rebounding back into play for Kane to steer the ball into an empty net from a dozen or so yards.
Then, with Alli replaced at the interval by Pochettino, Spurs maintained their domination just three minutes after the restart as Kane’s cross-shot into the area was blocked by Seamus Coleman.
The ball fell kindly to the unmarked Eriksen who struck an exemplary 20-yard finish past the dive of Pickford and into the goal for a 4-1 lead.
It was astonishing how quickly the afternoon had unravelled for Marco Silva’s side, not least because they had the audacity to have taken the lead after 20 minutes.
A poor clearance by Davinson Sanchez was headed back by Zouma, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s precise through ball found Dominic Calvert-Lewin and his cross from the by-line was turned in at the near-post by Everton’s former Arsenal star Theo Walcott.
Three minutes later, Everton thought they had doubled their lead, when Calvert-Lewin’s header from a Walcott cross was ruled out for a clear push on Sanchez – a decision which home supporters claimed changed the momentum of the game with the Spurs equaliser following soon after.
But, down 4-1 early in the second half, at least Everton made a contest of it, pulling a goal back just three minutes after Tottenham’s fourth.
Richarlison’s pass found Sigurdsson outside the area, but with four white shirts around him. Yet the Icelandic international did an excellent job of shedding the attention before scoring from 12 yards with a shot into the far corner.
The second Everton goal offered brief hope but it was a short-lived thing. Just after the hour, substitute Erik Lamela played through Son, as Everton pushed up, and the South Korean raced through before beating Pickford for the fifth time.
There was something of a reprieve for the home side, for the next 13 minutes at least, but eventually Ben Davies linked with Son whose left-wing cross was turned in by Kane from eight yards.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford 4; Coleman 5, Keane 5, Zouma 5, Digne 4; Gomes 5 (Schneiderlin 52, 6), T Davies 5; Walcott 7, Sigurdsson 8 (Tosun 83), Richarlison 5 (Bernard 74); Calvert-Lewin 5. Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Mina, Niasse.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris 6; Trippier 7, Alderweireld 7, Sanchez 6, B Davies 7; Winks 7, Sissoko 7 (Moura 83); Son 9 (Skipp 79, 6), Alli 8 (Lamela 45, 6), Eriksen 8; Kane 8. Subs: Gazzaniga, Rose, Walker-Peters, Foyth.
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