Just looking at the box score from Sunday’s away match, it would be easy to assume Everton would emerge victorious; the Toffees outshot (11:9, 6:5), out-possessed (58:42) and out-passed (491:360) Tottenham.
However, none of that mattered, and the London-based club earned the full three points ahead of a two-week international break. Tottenham remained locked in third place with 20 points, while Everton still finds itself struggling in the lower half of the table — the Blues sit in ninth place with 11 points.
The visitors started the affair brightly as Izzy Christiansen, Toni Duggan, and Anna Anvegard looked dangerous within 10 minutes. For all their work, though, the three attackers failed to log an attempt on target.
The first half mainly featured the Merseyside outfit. Academy graduate Grace Clinton had a shot blocked in front of the net; Duggan was stymied by Tottenham goalkeeper and former Toffee, Tinja-Riikka Korpela; and Anvegard nearly gave her side the advantage, but Korpela again was alert to the danger.
Spurs’ most dangerous chance of the half came when Ria Percival found Rachel Williams at the near post, but the 33-year-old’s header narrowly dipped over the crossbar.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the hosts took control through Jessica Naz. The English winger picked up the ball 40 yards out and drove towards Everton’s goal. Naz moved the ball to her left foot and stung a shot past a diving Courtney Brosnan to break the deadlock and give her team the afternoon’s only tally.
Anvegard, who was the Toffees’ best player on the day, nearly leveled the score, but her effort struck the woodwork.
In the 68th minute, Naz again was involved on the offensive side; the 21-year-old fired a low-driving cross to Cho So-Hyun, but the South Korean international failed to make contact with the pass.
With no more fixtures scheduled for 2021, the focus for Everton turns to the international break. There have been marginal improvements under recently-appointed Manager Jean-Luc Vasseur. Still, halfway through the season, the Blues look like a team just trying to survive as opposed to one fighting for the Champions League, which was the expectation going into the campaign.
After being held goalless by Tottenham, Everton now has failed to score in half of its league fixtures (five of 10). The Blues have scored nine goals through 10 games, and six of those markers came in wins over Birmingham (twelfth) and Reading (eighth). In other words, Everton’s attack has now netted an abysmal three goals in eight matches.
The Merseyside club’s top scorer in league fixtures is Simone Magill, who missed several games early in the season through bereavement. According to fbref, which compiles WSL statistics, Magill has played just 160 minutes this season.
Other than Nicoline Sorensen (torn ACL), Brosnan (backup goalie) and Poppy Pattinson (depth defender), Magill has logged the fewest minutes of any first-team player, and yet, the Northern Ireland international leads the team in goals.
Not exactly a recipe for success on the offensive end.