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Spurs flex muscles in frightening power play

Everton 2 Tottenham 6

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Harry Kane slots home Tottenham’s sixth goal against Everton yesterday. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

Harry Kane slots home Tottenham’s sixth goal against Everton yesterday. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

Harry Kane slots home Tottenham’s sixth goal against Everton yesterday. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

On this devastating form, with this kind of belief and power and with Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur are in the Premier League title race. Make no mistake.

They brushed aside Everton, dismissed them, overwhelmed them, humiliated them after going one down and are now just two points behind Manchester City, and six adrift of leaders Liverpool. At times, when they attacked it was almost frightening.

This was a bad day for Everton, shambolic in defence, and for Jordan Pickford, who was at fault for two of Spurs' first-half goals and was guilty of an ugly lunge on Dele Alli for which the goalkeeper should have been sent off.

Alli did not come out for the second half, which was a concern, although Mauricio Pochettino suggested it was more to do with tiredness and maybe a tight hamstring.

The result means Everton stay 11th on a run of just one win in seven games and manager Marco Silva needs to turn this around quickly as his team were booed off by what remained of the home fans.

At the final whistle Pochettino again strode across to the Spurs fans, warmly taking their acclaim.

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Alli is caught late by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Alli is caught late by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Alli is caught late by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

"He's Tottenham, you know, Mauricio Pochettino," they sang, again and again, pointedly.

Long may that last, they will hope, in the face of Manchester United's undoubted interest in trying to take their manager at the end of the season.

Admire

There is so much to admire about Pochettino, about his approach, about his team and it is summed up in one statistic: they have won more games, 18, and taken more points, 70, from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League.

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Kane celebrates scoring his third goal with Dele Alli. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Kane celebrates scoring his third goal with Dele Alli. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Kane celebrates scoring his third goal with Dele Alli. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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That is not very Spursy. The Argentine alchemist has emphatically transformed them.

Kane was outstanding, in every aspect of forward play, but so were Son Heung-min, Alli, Christian Eriksen and, once again, Moussa Sissoko, who has undergone such an extraordinary transition as a powerful midfielder that he appears indispensable.

The result means that for the first time since 1985 three teams go into Christmas having amassed at least 40 points.

Spurs are the outsiders, clearly, and they will like being in that position.

"I think everyone is talking about Liverpool and Man City but there is still a long way to go," Kane later said.

"We are in a good period. December has been good for us. We have games coming thick and fast but games we can win.

"We've had a good month and hopefully we can take that into January now - and February - and we'll see where we're at come April time."

We will. Everton may feel it could have been very different if a "goal" by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, when they were leading 1-0, had stood but instead his fine header was ruled out for a perceived push on Davinson Sanchez. It seemed a harsh decision by referee Paul Tierney. But, even then, would they really have denied Spurs?

Tottenham had gone behind when Calvert-Lewin got in behind Kieran Trippier. He crossed low and Theo Walcott fired home, ahead of Ben Davies.

But Spurs, who had already threatened, then destroyed Everton with wave after wave of relentless attack even if their equalising goal came from a Pickford blunder.

Recklessly he charged from goal as Son chased down a hooked pass forward by Kane, with Pickford running into defender Kurt Zouma.

The ball rebounded off Son who still had much to do. He was wide, it was a tight angle, but the forward wrapped his right foot around the ball and it flew across goal and high into the net.

There was more. Sissoko exchanged passes with Alli before sending an astute ball wide to Son, whose powerful shot was beaten out by Pickford - only for Alli to run on to the rebound.

Everton were in deep trouble, and Spurs capitalised once more. A free-kick was won, Pickford got the placement of his wall all wrong and Trippier took advantage to curl a right-footed shot that had the goalkeeper scrambling.

It thudded off his near post and fell to Kane, who did well to adjust and steer home his first-time shot.

Soon Kane was helping create another. Early in the second half he collected the ball and crossed with Seamus Coleman heading it out but only as far as Eriksen, who hit a crisp half-volley past Pickford from 20 yards out.

Silenced

They Everton were silenced, if only briefly. Gylfi Sigurdsson collected a pass from Richarlison on the edge of the Spurs area and moved to his right, evading three defenders before angling a low shot back across Hugo Lloris, who got a hand to it, to reduce the deficit just as it was beginning to embarrass Everton. But that embarrassment would come.

Alli's replacement, Erik Lamela, threaded the ball through to Son, who had held his run and he deftly collected possession before calmly rolling his shot between Pickford's legs for his second goal.

Spurs added another when Son crossed low for Kane to guide another controlled finish across Pickford. There were 18 passes in the build-up.

The stadium began to empty long before the end. Maybe those Everton fans had headed off to do some shopping. Spurs had already gone on their own spree. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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