Tottenham 1-0 Everton: Player Ratings

Shaun Botterill

Despite playing well and dominating in parts, the Toffees gifted Tottenham an important victory in the fight to catch Liverpool in fourth place.

Tim Howard – 7

Didn’t have much to do in today’s game with the only two shots on target for Spurs being an excellent finish from Emmanuel Adebayor, which the American could do nothing about and a strike from Jermain Defoe well saved low to his left in the final minutes of the game. However I do remember Howard punching a few crosses away solidly and coming out of goal to slide tackle Adebayor superbly.

Seamus Coleman – 7

Wasn’t tested defensively by Christian Eriksen on his return from injury, going forward he looked as positive as ever and could count himself unlucky not to have won a penalty in stoppage time. Gave more balance to the side, particularly going forward. Although he switched off for the goal it was the only moment that diminished an otherwise excellent return to the team.

Phil Jagielka – 6

If we are looking for one culprit to blame for the Tottenham Hotspur goal then it would have to be Jagielka, even though he wasn’t the only one to switch off when Kyle Walker quickly took the free kick to assist Adebayor, he was the closest marker to the striker. Otherwise the skipper didn’t have much else to do in Everton’s dominance.

Sylvain Distin – 7

Looked solid and strong against Adebayor but was also caught ball-watching and played the Tottenham striker onside for the Spurs’ winner.

Leighton Baines – 6

Similar to Coleman, Baines wasn’t tested by the wide-men he faced in today’s encounter but in the same breath when he had the chance to cross it was not with enough quality and the same could be said with the left-back’s set-pieces; having said that there was little height in the team to aim at.

James McCarthy – 8

Instrumental to the way in which Everton played today, with his high energy ideal for the high pressing game Martinez applied. Broke up a lot of the Spurs play, a main reason of the little attacking play Tottenham had; especially in the first half.

Gareth Barry – 8

Both Barry and his centre midfield partner played very well and as pair usual if Barry plays well Everton play well because he was again a key cog in regaining possession and keeping possession.

Kevin Mirallas – 6

Slightly disappointing from the Belgian given his last few performances; Mirallas looked isolated on the right and it was the few times he found himself in a more inside position or on the left that he showed few glimpses of danger to the Spurs’ defence.

Leon Osman – 8

One of the veteran’s best performances of the season and could have had four goals in the opening 15 minutes. The midfielder played a vital part in the Everton build-up play in the final third but unfortunately just couldn’t find the pass to unlock the Spurs defence.

Steven Pienaar – 7

Should never have taken off! When Pienaar was replaced by Ross Barkley it was actually the South African’s best spell of the second half and taking him off reduced Baines' involvement in linking up with the attack to gain the elusive equaliser and it ultimately took a lot away from the Everton attack.

Steven Naismith – 7

One of Naismith’s best performances in an Everton shirt, the first half in particular. The Scot worked incredibly hard and helped provide chances for others as well as holding the line up well and making some good runs for those in possession and he also kept the ball well. It wasn’t until he was moved to the left, moments before he was substituted, that we saw the Naismith we are used to. The former Rangers man is a central player; be it the typical number 10 or the number 9 role he played today; today was again evidence of that as was his impact in the Aston Villa game.

Subs

Ross Barkley (Steven Pienaar 64’) – 6

Barkley couldn’t have much impact in the game, it’s possible he is still recovering from his toe injury but it looked like he was trying too hard to force the issue and reminded me of when David Moyes would bring him on and the youngster would try to do it all by himself to almost get more of an opportunity in the team.

Gerard Deulofeu (Steven Naismith 73’) – 6

It was obvious that this was the young Spaniard’s first appearance back from injury. The promising Deulofeu came off the bench but other than a few runs at defenders there was no notable chances for or created by the winger

Aiden McGeady (Leon Osman 73’) – 5

McGeady looks off the pace and I wouldn’t expect to see the best of him until he has a full pre-season under his belt after his exile in Russia from the Spartak Moscow first team for the past few months and today’s performance was further evidence that this is the case.

Man of the match: Gareth Barry

Osman and McCarthy could have easily been awarded the accolade but Barry was vital in regaining and keeping possession and that was the key element to the Blues’ dominance today at White Hart Lane. However Everton have nothing to show for dominance; no goals and no points and it is important that Martinez’s men regroup ahead of what will be a difficult fixture against Tony Pulis’ resurgent Crystal Palace side.

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