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WSL Recap: Everton Women 1-0 Tottenham

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Blues are two for two, now sit in second in the WSL

Bristol City Women v Everton Women: Barclays FA WSL Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

On what was a beautifully sunny day on Merseyside, Everton displayed crisp passing and clinical finishing as they picked up their second win of the season, defeating Tottenham Hotspur at home to earn the three points.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Early in the match, defender Ingrid Moe Wold was caught in possession, affording Tottenham an opportunity to break. Had it not been for a bit of stellar defending by center-back Megan Finnigan, Spurs might have taken an early lead.

Despite a few nervy moments early on, Everton settled into the game. In the sixth minute, winger Hayley Raso picked up an errant pass just outside the 18, but was stifled by Spurs’ goalkeeper Becky Spencer, who made an excellent save.

Several minutes later, on the opposite flank, Scottish winger Claire Emslie glided down the wing past two Spurs defenders and was able to put a cross in, which would be cleared by Tottenham’s defense.

In the 18th minute, Raso was taken down at the half-way line and Spurs jumped on the counter. Right back Lucia Leon found Ria Percival on the wing, who weaved her way past Everton central defender Rikke Sevecke. Percival hit a low cross into the box, but it was expertly dealt with by Abbey-Leigh Stringer, who was a dominant defensive force in midfield all game long.

Even though the Toffees dominated play, Spurs applied pressure in the latter stages of the first. A late corner saw the ball bounce out to Tottenham captain Josie Green, who put in a decent shot, forcing a diving save from Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver — it would be the one true save Spurs asked of her.

At the 42nd minute mark, Everton captain Lucy Graham — who had a quiet game — saw the ball drop to her feet inside the six, but failed to convert as she smashed the ball over the net.

Continuing the trend of excitement on the stroke of halftime, Izzy Christiansen and Raso had a split moment in which a two-on-one was developing, but failed to break down Tottenham’s defense.

At the half, Spurs had produced one shot on net to Everton’s two, with the Liverpool outfit having favorable possession (53/47).

The start of the second saw Nicoline Sørensen subbed on in place of Emslie, a move that would turn out to be fruitful for the Toffees — the Danish international played a sublime ball to Christiansen for the only goal of the affair.

Sørensen was lively in the second half, consistently driving forward and getting her teammates involved. After notching an assist last weekend at Bristol City, it was a surprise to see her on the bench.

As the game wore on, Tottenham had a five-minute stretch starting in the 70th where they looked dangerous, but smart defending from both Finnigan and Sevecke kept Everton ahead.

In the 78th minute, Everton Head Coach Willie Kirk brought on striker and French international Valérie Gauvin, who immediately got involved with a header that went straight at Spencer.

Spurs had several looks at goal late in the contest, but never truly made life difficult for MacIver. The lone blemish on an otherwise spirited affair was the injury of Graham, who was forced off in the 91st with what looked to be an ankle injury.

The second also saw several Everton players booked — Finnigan for an errant tackle, Magill for diving in the box and Wold for a late challenge.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Raso — who was the spark on the pitch for Everton throughout the afternoon — picked up the ball in the final third and laid it into the path of Sørensen, who played a perfectly weighted cross into the box, brilliantly finding the head of Christiansen who deftly placed the ball into the back of the net.

Another team goal by the Toffees was the difference in win number two.

THREE STARS

1. Izzy Christiansen

Coming back from an ankle injury that forced her to miss significant time, Christiansen is a do-it-all type of midfielder. She can play defensively, making tackles and picking up the ball in her own half and she can move the team forward from an advanced position. It was her goal that proved the difference-maker against Spurs as the all-around midfielder led Everton to a thrilling win.

2. Hayley Raso

The Australian has certainly taken to life at Everton. She didn’t feature in any games for the Toffees last season due to an injury suffered pre pandemic, but has displayed why she was brought in last winter. Her pace on the wing makes her a constant threat off the dribble and she even got back to defend several times. She was the catalyst for Everton’s goal and will surely be a key piece for the Blues this season.

3. Nicoline Sørensen

The Dane is proving to be a fine bit of business in the summer transfer window. She started against Bristol City last weekend, driving down the wing and assisting on Lucy Graham’s first goal. Against Tottenham, she started on the bench, but came on to set up the game-winning goal against the North London club. Whatever role Sørensen plays moving forward, she brings creativity and flair on the left wing.

Everton (4-2-3-1): 1-Sandy MacIver; 2-Ingrid Moe Wold, 3-Danielle Turner, 20-Megan Finnigan, 22-Rikke Sevecke; 8-Izzy Christiansen, 11-Claire Emslie, 13-Abbey-Leigh Stringer, 16-Hayley Raso, 17-Lucy Graham (c); 10-Simone Magill

Substitutes: 14-Nicoline Sørensen for Emslie 46’, 19-Valérie Gauvin for Magill 78’, 7-Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah for Raso 90’, 21-Maéva Clémaron for Graham 93’

Unused Substitutes: 12-Damaris Egurrola, 15-Molly Pike, 23-Tija-Riikka Korpela, 26-Grace Clinton, 30-Poppy Pattinson

Goals: Christiansen 51

Bookings: Finnigan 64, Magill 67, Wold 82

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): 22-Becky Spencer; 2-Lucia Leon, 3-Shelina Zadorsky, 5-Kerys Harrop, 29-Ashleigh Neville; 4-Josie Green (c), 12-Ria Percival, 14-Angela Addison, 16-Kit Graham, 18-Alanna Kennedy; 10-Rachel Williams

Substitutes: 23-Rosella Ayane for Leon 46’, 19-Lucy Quinn for Williams 46’, 7-Gemma Davison for Addison 46’, 8-Elish Sulola for Green 81’, 9-Rianna Dean for Harrop 86’

Substitutes not used: 15-Siri Worm, 25-Hannah Godfrey

Goals: N/A

Bookings: Green 61, Harrop 77

Attendance: N/A