Sigurdsson denies Toffees
Published 07/04/2013 | 16:26
Gylfi Sigurdsson's late strike prevented Tottenham from slipping to another defeat, but Spurs' reliance on Gareth Bale was laid bare as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Everton at White Hart Lane.
The Toffees looked like taking all three points from north London after Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas scored following Emmanuel Adebayor's 35th second opener.
But Sigurdsson, charged with the task of playing in the hole where Bale has been so effective this season, salvaged a point for the hosts by scoring a crucial goal three minutes from time.
Despite finding the net twice, Tottenham sorely missed the scoring talents of Bale and the creative wizardry of Aaron Lennon. All the pre-match talk had been about how Spurs would struggle without the Welshman's goals, but they gave the perfect response by breaking the deadlock with the second quickest goal of the season.
In the first move of the match, Everton's defence backed off Jan Vertonghen, he delivered a teasing ball across the box, and Adebayor stuck his right leg and prodded the ball past Tim Howard.
Everton were shell-shocked by the goal, but it did not take them long to come back in to the game. Michael Dawson almost gifted them a 10th-minute equaliser when he passed the ball straight to Leon Osman 15 yards out, but he curled high and wide.
Dawson then cut out Victor Anichebe's cross as a row of Everton attackers lined up to convert, but unfortunately for the Tottenham captain, his defensive colleague Vertonghen let him down from the resulting corner. The Belgian lost Jagielka at the back post and he nodded Leighton Baines' cross in to the bottom corner.
Spurs thought they should have had a penalty on the half hour when Clint Dempsey's cross brushed Darron Gibson's arm, but Andre Marriner waved play on. Everton sounded an early warning just after the restart when Gibson struck a curling shot just wide, and with 52 minutes on the clock, they were ahead.
Mirallas drifted in from the right flank and drifted past Scott Parker and Steven Caulker before slotting the ball beyond Hugo Lloris. Spurs went straight on the attack and almost scored an equaliser through Mousa Dembele, whose 20-yard shot ricocheted off John Heitinga's foot and Howard's arm on to the bar.
Heitinga almost sealed the win at the other end soon after but Dawson put in a crunching goal-saving tackle to deny the Dutchman. Spurs' hopes of an equaliser looked to have faded but with three minutes left, Adebayor's shot came back off the post and Sigurdsson converted.