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

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 11 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

#3 Did the referee make the correct call with Everton’s penalty?

Referee David Coote made a strange penalty call that appeared to have been swept under the carpet in terms of VAR.
Referee David Coote made a strange penalty call that appeared to have been swept under the carpet in terms of VAR.

Easily the most controversial moment of the night came when referee David Coote decided to award Everton a penalty late in the first half for a supposed foul from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

On first viewing, it didn’t appear that Hojbjerg touched the England striker, who tumbled to the ground for what looked like no reason. Coote, however, decided that there was some contact and pointed to the spot.

What made things so strange was that despite VAR being active in the game, the decision was checked within seconds and the referee’s decision stood!

On television, viewers were treated to two replays – neither of which was in slow-motion – and it was still impossible to tell quite where the foul was supposed to have come from.

The feeling from the commentators was that Hojbjerg had apparently stepped across Calvert-Lewin, but that was definitely not clear. And given that every decision now seems to be checked with a fine-toothed comb, it was bizarre to see this one brushed over in such a manner. Tottenham Hotspur have reason to feel aggrieved.


#4 How far can this Everton team go?

Everton looked fabulous in spurts, but were also wide open in defence.
Everton looked fabulous in spurts, but were also wide open in defence.
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The nine-goal thriller showed the best and worst of Tottenham Hotspur, but it also showed the best and worst of Everton too.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side looked fabulous going forward at times, and the moves that led to their second and fifth goals, in particular, were phenomenal.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had a tremendous game in the centre of the pitch, Tom Davies never stopped running, and Bernard and Richarlison both looked bright going forward.

However, the Toffees were woeful at the back at times, and seemed to take an age to get out of first gear early on.

Their marking on the two Tottenham Hotspur corners that led to Davinson Sanchez’s goals was non-existent. And quite what Yerry Mina was attempting to do prior to Erik Lamela’s goal is something only he can answer.

On paper at least, Everton are a side with very few weaknesses. But while it’s great fun to win a 5-4 thriller like this, on other days they could well have been 3-0 down within 15 minutes.

It’s quite clear that if Ancelotti wants to turn Everton into genuine contenders, even for a trophy like the FA Cup, he has quite a lot of work to do.


#5 How much did this match take out of both sides?

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Will both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton be exhausted for this weekend
Will both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton be exhausted for this weekend's Premier League games?

The big question coming out of this FA Cup game has to be about exactly how much it took out of both sides.

This was a breathless game that started at a hectic pace, and it didn’t really slow down for its entire 120 minutes. And while Tottenham Hotspur used five substitutes and Everton used three, even the players who were introduced late on did some serious running.

In this crazy season though, the games are still coming thick and fast.

Tottenham Hotspur face off with league leaders Manchester City in a huge Premier League game on Saturday evening. While Everton will have an extra day’s rest, their already depleted squad may find things tough against Fulham on Sunday evening.

From a neutral fan’s perspective, there would be few complaints about such a wildly entertaining game of football.

But if both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton go into their key Premier League matches looking exhausted at the weekend, then fans of both sides may feel more than a little frustrated.

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Published 11 Feb 2021, 05:37 IST
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