Everton 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

 

Croatian international Nikica Jelavic was the hero for the Toffees against Spurs with his first goal in English football

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor from Goodison Park


David Moyes celebrated his upcoming anniversary of ten years in charge at Goodison Park with a victory over Tottenham as Nikica Jelavic scored his first Everton goal.

On his full debut for the Toffees, Jelavic's first time-shot squeezed past Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel midway through the first period after Leon Osman's clever cutback. Former Liverpool stopper Friedel also saved the striker's free-kick, while substitutes Rafael van der Vaart and ex-Evertonian Louis Saha hit the woodwork for Spurs in the second period.

Everton made three changes from the side which drew 1-1 at Queens Park Rangers last Saturday with Nikica Jelavic making his first Premier League start having made two substitute appearances so far since his move from Rangers in the January transfer window. The 28-year old replaced Denis Stracquarlursi who dropped to the bench where Phil Jagielka remained. Osman was back in the starting eleven after three months out with a ongoing knee problem to replace the ineligible Steven Pienaar- on loan from Spurs for the rest of the season. Irishman Seamus Coleman- who scored the winning goal in this fixture last season- was also back after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Spurs also made three changes from their 3-1 defeat to Manchester United six days ago- having changed the side considerably for the FA Cup fifth round replay victory over Stevenage in midweek- as Scott Parker returned from a one-match ban and Gareth Bale from illness with Livermore and Lennon losing their places. Jermain Defoe- who netted twice against the League One club on Tuesday- started a league match for only the second time in seven games. Rafael Van der Vaart was only on the bench alongside Louis Saha, who only left Everton two months ago after three years at the club.

The Londoners improved after the break but have now lost three Premier League games in a row. The last time that happened - in October 2008 - former boss Juande Ramos was replaced by current manager Harry Redknapp.

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Everton have won just one of the last seven matches at Goodison Park against Tottenham- which was last season.

 

After an encouraging season so far, where Tottenham were considered Premier League title contenders, this performance was further evidence that they have a job on their hands just to stay in the top four with Chelsea's incapricious 1-0 win over ten-man Stoke City earlier in the day and Arsenal's chance to pull closer towards them on Monday night against Newcastle United.

When these two sides met previously on 11th January in the rearranged fixture from the opening day of the season, a 2-0 Spurs win elevated them to within three points of the summit but since then they have only registered two wins from eight league games.

For Everton though, this extended their unbeaten run to nine matches following that defeat at White Hart Lane and with Liverpool losing at Sunderland, the blue half of the city will be relishing Tuesday night's Merseyside derby with the Reds at Anfield.

Moyes, the Premier League's third longest serving boss, will have been in his post as Everton manager for ten years this week and with speculation that he might take over from Redknapp should the 64-year-old take the England job, it was a timely reminder of the Scot's ability to engineer a hard-working, effective team on limited resources.

Spurs, who have spent heavily in recent seasons through the likes of Rafael Van der Vaart and Luka Modric, have suffered a dip in form which has coincided with Redknapp being tipped to replace Fabio Capello as England manager- links that have continued to linger and have led to a letter being sent by the FA to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson asking him not to talk about the situation publicly.

His team of star names, with former Everton striker Saha on the bench, failed to create much before the break as the hosts took advantage of the visitors' deep midfield, which had Brazilian international Sandro sitting alongside the returning Scott Parker after suspension.

In fact, it took twenty minutes before there was a meaningful chance, Friedel saving Marouane Fellaini's angled shot from close range after good approach play in the midfield areas. But not long after the American keeper had warmed his hands, he was picking the ball out of the net.

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

The Toffees have conceded 28 goals this season, a record bettered by just three clubs: Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

 

Leighton Baines found Osman in the inside left channel and the midfielder's first touch took it past Younes Kaboul before he cleverly cut the ball back for Jelavic to side-foot in from ten yards. The former Rangers player also tested Friedel with a stinging free-kick, but it was only after the goal that Redknapp's side came to life and it took until the second half before Tim Howard had anything to concern him, with Jermain Defoe twice firing in low shots.

Saha came on to replace Emmanuel Adebayor early in the second period, with Redknapp dismissing talk of a gentleman's agreement between the two managers that he would not play.

And the change came during an improved period for Tottenham, as Luka Modric fired over and soon after Saha's effort was blocked by Sylvain Distin's face. Outside of Osman's breakaway, Everton rarely threatened and once Van der Vaart replaced Sandro after 68 minutes, Redknapp had his full range of resources on the pitch. Defoe had the ball in the net but it was rightly ruled out for offside, and Van der Vaart hit the bar late on when the Everton defence was pressed deeper and deeper to preserve a valuable lead.

Saha then almost earned a point in the dying stages when he hit the post from close range but Everton hung on, allowing Moyes to reflect that Jelavic is already proving an able replacement for the Frenchman as it was another transfer managerial masterstroke from the Scotsman who has had a decade to remember and one that he will cherish for the rest of his footballing career- wherever he ends up.

 

 

Saturday 10th March 2012

Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park

 

Everton 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur                              KO 5:30pm                (HT 1-0)

Jelavic 22

 

Everton:  24 Howard- 8/10, 18 Neville (C)- 7/10, 5 Heitanga- 6.5/10, 15 Distin- 7.5/10, 3 Baines- 7/10, 23 Coleman- 7/10 (Jagielka 82- 1.5/10), 21 Osman- 7.5/10, 25 Fellaini- 6.5/10, 10 Drenthe- 6.5/10 (Rodwell 65- 3.5/10), 17 Cahill- 6.5/10, 7 Jelavic- 8.5/10 (Stracqualursi 78- 2/10).

Subs not used:  1 Mucha, 2 Hibbert, 19 Gueye, 28 Anichebe

Booked:      Heitanga (79), Howard (90+4)

 

Tottenham:  24 Friedel- 7.5/10, 28 Walker- 7/10, 4 Kaboul- 6.5/10, 26 King (C)- 6/10, 32 Assou-Ekotto- 6/10, 14 Modric- 7.5/10, 30 Sandro- 6/10 (Van der Vaart 68- 3.5/10), 8 Parker- 6.5/10 (Livermore 86- 1/10), 14 Walcott- 7/10, 10 Adebayor- 6/10 (Saha 54- 4.5/10), 18 Defoe- 7/10.

Subs not used:  23 Cudicini, 33 Nelsen, 25 Rose, 21 Kranjcar

Booked:      Assou-Ekotto (59), Defoe (60)

 

My Man of the Match:   Nikica Jelavic (Everton)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:   Ledley King (Tottenham)- Rating 6/10

 

 

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)- 9/10
Attendance: 34,992

 

 

Match Facts

Possession: Everton- 39%                  Tottenham- 61%

Shots: Everton- 9                         Tottenham- 22

Shots on target: Everton- 5                     Tottenham- 9

Shots off target: Everton- 4                     Tottenham- 13

Corners: Everton- 0                        Tottenham- 8

Fouls: Everton- 13                       Tottenham- 11

Offside: Everton- 3                         Tottenham- 2

Assists: Everton- Osman                       Tottenham- None

 

 


Everton manager David Moyes

"We have been starting to pick up our home form again of late and certainly it has been coming against the better teams- after beating Manchester City here a few weeks ago. At the start of the season, we were struggling here. Harry (Redknapp) will be more than aggrieved that they haven't got more than a point from the game which would be a fair thought to have because they bossed us in the second half. We were good in the first half but in the second we got a wee bit of luck and sometimes you need that to get results. Goodison Park is never an easy place to come to for anybody and our defensive organisation has helped us again. It was probably the best set of players we have played here all season- they have a fantastic side- so it shows how well we have done today. Nikica (Jelavic) has had his fair share of injuries since coming in but he took his goal well out of nothing really and is perhaps providing that something extra in the box that we have missed so far this year."

Click here for the full interview with Toffees boss David Moyes

 

 


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

"I think a draw was more than a deserved result for us- that was probably one of the most one-sided second halves of football you are ever going to see. We battered them non-stop and couldn't have done anymore really but we have ended up being done. I am not really that bothered about the run of three defeats on the trot in the league- it is a concern of course- but it is the manner it has come today that is annoying. We haven't done a lot wrong in the game. In the first half, we created one or two chances. We just need that stroke of luck- we were better defensively today than perhaps against United last week and conceded just the one goal but we are Tottenham Hotspur vying for the title and we want as many clean sheets as possible. We have to look at the overall picture rather than picking and choosing which games we should have done better in- it was just one of those things today. To dominate away at Everton and get nothing is disappointing."

Click here for the full interview with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp

 

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