Everton snatched a crucial point at the death in Monday’s encounter with Top 4 contenders Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a 90th-minute belter from none other than Michael Keane. The result pushes Everton up to 16th at the time of publishing, having played the same number of games as every relegation rival other than West Ham who have two games in hand.
With a trip to Old Trafford next on the schedule, Everton have nearly escaped the most difficult three-game stretch left in the season without much harm, as they’ve already stolen points from both Chelsea and Spurs thanks to moments of brilliance in the dying moments of the respective matches. Here are 5 Telling Stats from Everton’s miraculous draw against Tottenham.
1. Killer Keane
Each of Michael Keane’s last two goals for Everton have been crucial. His previous instance on the scoresheet was in the famous victory over Crystal Palace last May when his imaginative left-footed trivela sparked a comeback for the ages. This time, Keane scored an absolute screamer from 32 yards out which knuckled past a helpless Hugo Lloris and nestled in the side netting. His strike had an xG of just 0.02, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever score a better goal nor one as important. Keane becomes Everton’s 14th different goalscorer of the season, the joint-most in the league despite Everton having scored the joint-fewest goals.
Michael Keane's equaliser against Tottenham was the first time Everton scored a goal in the 90th minute after being a goal down and having a player sent off since against Birmingham in August 2002. #EFC— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) April 3, 2023
2. Harry Hoodoo
Harry Kane haunted Everton in more than one way on Monday night, as he not only drew the red card from Abdoulaye Doucoure in the 58th minute but also confidently dispatched the penalty which gave Spurs a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes later. Although the Tottenham captain’s reaction to Doucoure’s face-push was genuinely embarrassing, his record against Everton certainly isn’t. The Toffees are his second-favorite opponent from a goal-scoring perspective, as shown by the fact he scored in both fixtures against us this year. His goal on Monday marked the 250th Premier League goal contribution of his historic yet trophyless career (Oscars don’t count).
Harry Kane’s favourite Premier League opponents:— William Hill (@WilliamHill) April 3, 2023
⚽️ 18 vs Leicester
⚽️ 15 vs Everton
⚽️ 14 vs Arsenal
⚽️ 12 vs Southampton
Loves a bit of toffee.
3. Red Mist Returns
Somehow, Lucas Moura’s red card just 6 minutes after his introduction to the game was the first time Everton have seen an opponent dismissed in 2.5 years. In that span, the Toffees have had players sent off rather unfairly without ever having karma swing their way. My mind immediately jumps to Allan’s ridiculous VAR-given red card against Newcastle last year and when Jarrad Branthwaite was sent off for DOGSO on the same play that Richarlison should’ve been awarded a penalty for getting his shirt practically ripped off of his back against Brentford. Lucas’ challenge on Michael Keane was a potential legbreaker, however, and the correct decision was surprisingly made by the referee. Besides, Keane certainly got the last laugh.
Lucas Moura was the first opposition player to be sent off in an #EFC game since West Brom's Kieran Gibbs in September 2020, ending a run of 118 consecutive games in all competitions without an opposition player getting sent off.— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) April 3, 2023
4. Abdoulaye’s Asininity
Sean Dyche’s main problem to solve after this match will be the replacement of Abdoulaye Doucoure, who will now serve a three-match ban after his utterly idiotic behavior rightly sent him for an early shower. The return of James Garner is certainly encouraging and it’s possible that he slots straight in, although his skill set is considerably different than Doucoure’s. Another option is Ellis Simms, who could come into the squad up top. As a result, Demarai Gray could be moved to his natural position on the wing and Alex Iwobi could return to center midfield where he was so successful earlier this season. Regardless, Dyche’s team selection will be a point of interest heading into the match at Old Trafford.
Abdoulaye Doucouré has been sent off for the first time in his senior club career. #EVETOT— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) April 3, 2023
5. Man-Down Momentum
Although Abdoulaye Doucoure should certainly still be scolded for his selfish decision which put his side down a man in a crucial match, the fact of the matter is that Everton surprisingly played remarkably well after he was given his marching orders. Aside from Michael Keane’s clumsy challenge on Cristian Romero which awarded Spurs a penalty they didn’t really deserve, Everton dominated the last half-hour of the game despite playing with ten men.
Everton certainly deserved something from the game, as stated by pundits such as Alan Shearer and Ian Darke as well as Tottenham fans themselves all across social channels. The fight shown by this Everton team is certainly encouraging, but the Toffees still have a mountain to climb to achieve survival in what will go down as one of the tightest relegation races of all time.