When Michael Keane nudged a cross over the head of Mason Holgate and the ball dropped to the man currently leading the Golden Boot race, you couldn’t help but roll your eyes at the misfortunes that led to the game’s opening tally. Forty minutes later, Erik Lamela sent an arching cross from the right wing that floated between the two center-backs. This time, Holgate was leaning back, and Keane was rushing forward. The result: Keane sending a header into his partner’s back, which caused the ball to drop to Harry Kane in front of goal. When England’s number nine crushed the ball for his second goal of the affair, all you could do was let out a chuckle in disbelief at how two comical errors cost the Blues two points.
After being blanked by Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, it was fair to wonder where the scoring would come from on a team that was desperately missing Dominic Calvert-Lewin and his 14 league goals. Nobody answered the question against the Gulls, but Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped up against the North London club, his former side.
He sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the penalty spot, calmly placing his shot into the net. The Icelandic midfielder also linked up with James Rodríguez in the first half for a key chance. Then there was Everton’s second goal of the night: creative link-up play on the wing saw Seamus Coleman drive down the right flank in acres of space. The captain played a curling cross to the top of the 18, and Sigurdsson hit a rocket of a shot off the bounce with his left foot — Lloris didn’t even move as the ball sailed past him.
A sweet strike. A bittersweet night.— Everton (@Everton) April 16, 2021
The performance didn't match the result, but there were plenty of positives to take into the final games. Onwards, Evertonians. pic.twitter.com/NAz7rQFgSA
A Missed Opportunity
The blind-stat-sheet game would have many believe Team A (Everton) — that had seven to three shots on target, 53-percent possession and six to three corners — had defeated Team B (Spurs). Alas, as is the case with the Blues, superior stats do not always equate to three points. The Merseyside outfit will look back on Friday’s contest and rue missed opportunity after missed opportunity. Save the defensive errors, Tottenham troubled Jordan Pickford in net only one other time — credit a tactical change for a more robust defensive effort (other than two unfortunate gaffes). The home side, yet again, looked hapless offensively outside of Sigurdsson’s brace. Shots were either fired directly at Lloris or over the net and nobody got on the end of a James cross that landed six feet from Spurs’ goal. It’s now five matches without a win and one win in the last nine home fixtures for the Toffees.