A 3-2 scoreline makes it look like a far from regulation victory when in fact, apart from a couple of scrappy minutes at the end, it pretty much was.
The win was based on Kane’s double before the hour was up but in truth he should have completed his third hat trick in a fortnight whilst Eriksen missed a couple where he might have done better and Vertonghen forced Robles and the Toffee defence into last second action on several occasions. With half an hour left we should’ve been way out of sight.
In return Everton offered nothing until at 2-0 down and with the game virtually out of reach they made a couple of subs and shook off their sit back and stupefy tactics and actually looked to attack. They started to get some possession and were rewarded when Vertonghen slipped and Lukaku gained the space to score his first ever goal against us.
This engendered a nervy last ten minutes where the unlikely possibility emerged that the Scousers might get something they didn’t deserve from a game we’d dominated but thankfully Dele’s deft flick from Winks’ clever free kick (won by Janssen) killed off that thought and made Valencia’s late late effort irrelevant.
Harry’s latest goals. For the first, after about 20 minutes, he won a physical battle on our left before turning inside and took advantage of the lack of a challenge by cracking a shot past the keeper’s right hand from well outside the box. Robles should have done better. For the second the ball fell to him after Dembélé and Alli had mugged Schneiderlin and Funes Mori. He finished sweetly through Robles legs this time.
The second goal prompted long choruses of “He’s just a one season wonder” from the Park Lane. :-)
Apart from periods around the goals the game was pretty low key. Neither set of fans got behind their team solidly throughout; referee Michael Oliver’s reluctance to discipline those players in blue who felt they needed to resort to unfair challenges to cope with us roused the crowd but didn’t get much reaction from Oliver who was happy to let Coleman in particular niggle and backchat his way through the ninety minutes. How one hack by Funes Mori on Kane didn’t earn yellow I’ve got no idea.
The sun shone, the rain rained, the hail hailed and we overpowered and outplayed a good, well organised team. Kane was excellent of course but Walker, Vertonghen and Dembele deserve extra praise also.
We sit second but we’re being chased by Man City rather than attempting to catch Chelsea.
We have a weekend away from the league next week as we ‘welcome’ Millwall to the last ever FA Cup game at White Hart Lane.
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