A first-half own goal sent hosts Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-0 win over Everton in North London on Monday.
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Giovani Lo Celso’s shot took a wicked deflection off an unknowing Michael Keane to fool Jordan Pickford and give Spurs a much-needed win.
Spurs move onto 48 points, seven back of fifth-place Manchester United. The North Londoners are one point behind Arsenal ahead of this weekend’s big derby (though there’s still a Thursday visit to Bournemouth for Spurs).
It was the first defeat since the restart for Everton. The Toffees’ 44 points have Carlo Ancelotti’s men 11th, four points off the Europa League spots.
1. Mourinho peak-Mourinho versus Ancelotti: We can’t judge either manager’s tenure at their new club yet, but the home team’s boss used the tools at his disposal to frustrate Everton’s attack. Hopefully we get to see two Spurs-Everton duels next season with new weapons at both clubs. Odds are Spurs still might look a lot like this even with new pieces. That’s how Mou like to fight his way out of a slump.
2. Everton generates little: Maybe Richarlison isn’t at full fitness or perhaps the midfielders just didn’t have danger in them today. Maybe both, but key scorer. Dominic Calvert-Lewin joined strike partner Richarlison in struggling to produce good chances in an ugly-enough loss.
3. Tempers rise for Lloris, Son: All might seem well for a team leading a very decent visitor at halftime, but Hugo Lloris had to be restrained from Heung-min Son on the way off the field after 45 minutes. It was unclear why the South Korean star became a target of the French backstop’s ire, the broadcast team later showing that Lloris may have been angry with the forward not tracking back after a stoppage-time error.
The pair were then shown hugging in the tunnel before returning for the second half, and then again after the final whistle. In case you’re wondering, Mourinho loved all of it.
Lo Celso — And not because of the goal considering his shot was heading wide when it turned off Keane. Clearly comfortable at the PL level now, Lo Celso was a joy to watch on Monday. An early flubbed possession was an outlier, the 24-year-old Argentine showing a good range of passing while getting stuck into duels and making three tackles.
A sleepy, feeling-out first 20 minutes yield to excitement in an instant when Lucas Moura snapped a hard shot from distance past Everton keeper Jordan Pickford but also the post.
Spurs’ opener came after Everton blocked two successive shots only to see the third shot take a hard turn off Michael Keane to defy Pickford for 1-0 just before the first half water break.
Lo Celso then won a free kick off Mason Holgate on the edge of the 18, the English defender earning a yellow for his hard sliding challenge.
There was little to love in the second half, a cagey affair indeed. Pickford made a nice save on Son, while Moise Kean’s late shot through Eric Dier’s legs was scooped up by Lloris.
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