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Everton 5-4 Tottenham Hotspur: 5 talking points from a wild Cup tie | FA Cup 2020-21

Everton defeated Tottenham Hotspur in an instant classic in the FA Cup.
Everton defeated Tottenham Hotspur in an instant classic in the FA Cup.
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 11 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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In one of the best FA Cup ties in recent memory, Everton defeated Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 after extra time in a nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park.

The match went back and forth from the off. But in the end Everton’s Bernard Anicio scored in the first period of extra time, and Tottenham Hotspur could not muster a response.

It was Tottenham Hotspur who took the lead early on, with Davinson Sanchez scoring a flicked header from a third-minute corner. At that stage, it looked like Jose Mourinho’s side would run away with the game, but late in the half,f Everton hit with a three-shot sucker-punch.

First, Dominic Calvert-Lewin took advantage of a rare error from Pierre-Emile Hojberg to fire past Hugo Lloris, before some good work just moments later allowed Richarlison to score too.

A controversial penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson then appeared to put the game beyond Tottenham Hotspur, only for Erik Lamela to pull a goal back on the stroke of half-time.

After Harry Kane and Dele Alli were introduced in the second half, Tottenham Hotspur found an equaliser from another corner, again from Sanchez. Richarlison then added his second goal before a diving header from Kane sent the game to extra time.

In this period, it was Bernard who was able to find the winner before Everton closed shop to seal the nine-goal thriller.

On that note, here are five talking points from Everton’s dramatic win over Tottenham Hotspur.


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#1 Everton and Tottenham Hotspur serve up an all-time classic

For the neutral fan, this game was a stone-cold classic.
For the neutral fan, this game was a stone-cold classic.

After a horrible damp squib of a game last night between Manchester United and West Ham, hopes were high for a more entertaining match in the FA Cup. Well, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur delivered that beyond anyone’s expectation.

Sure, the defending on both sides was relatively poor at times – the game could easily have gone either way and could’ve been at least 7-7 – but when a match is this crazy, it’s easy to look past that kind of thing.

At the end of the day, a Cup tie is about finding a way to win, not settling for a draw, and both sides clearly understood that on the night.

From Tottenham Hotspur’s blistering start to Everton’s eventual winner, both teams went back and forth and provided football’s equivalent of two prize-fighters trading haymakers in the centre of the ring.

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If anything, it almost feels unfair that both sides couldn’t advance to the quarter-finals, but such is the nature of the FA Cup.


#2 Can Tottenham Hotspur play like this going forward?

Tottenham Hotspur attacked with more verve than in recent weeks.
Tottenham Hotspur attacked with more verve than in recent weeks.

Tottenham Hotspur have been criticised heavily in recent weeks for their poor form, particularly in the final third of the pitch. Sure, they defeated West Brom comfortably at the weekend, but prior to that they had failed to create any chances in three straight losses.

The general feeling was that Jose Mourinho’s side needed Harry Kane to give them any kind of offensive spark; so when Kane was named on the bench against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur fans had reason to be worried.

However, Jose Mourinho’s side surprised everyone by flying out of the blocks, putting together wave after wave of attacks and scoring early through Davinson Sanchez.

Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min and Steven Bergwijn all looked dangerous, while Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg looked to keep things ticking over from the middle.

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While Tottenham Hotspur looked better with Kane on the pitch, they certainly didn’t look lost without him in the first half.

Sure, Tottenham Hotspur ended up losing on the night, largely due to their defensive sloppiness. But it’s hard to disagree with the idea that if they play like this going forward, they’ll definitely frighten opponents.

Tottenham Hotspur fans will hope that Mourinho sticks with this expansive style, but can Spurs close shop at the back in the same breath remains to be seen.

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Published 11 Feb 2021, 05:37 IST
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