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Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Everton: 5 talking points | Premier League 2020-21

Everton picked up an excellent opening weekend win over Tottenham today.
Everton picked up an excellent opening weekend win over Tottenham today.
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 13 Sep 2020, 23:44 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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In their first opening game loss since 2015, Tottenham Hostpur fell to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Everton today.

Chances were few and far between in a tight first half, but the second half saw Everton largely dominate the game, particularly in midfield. Spurs always looked dangerous on the break, but it was Carlo Ancelotti's Toffees who were able to get the key goal.

A free-kick in a wide left area was pinged into the box by Lucas Digne, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin rose above Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld to aim a powerful header into the net.

Tottenham huffed and puffed but were unable to find an equaliser, giving Everton an excellent three points to open their 2020-21 campaign.

Here are five talking points from the game.


#1 Tottenham looked painfully sluggish, particularly in the second half

Tottenham
Tottenham's players looked sluggish to a man today.

With Tottenham facing some serious fixture congestion due to their participation in the Europa League and EFL Cup, Jose Mourinho was probably hoping for an energetic display from his side today. Unfortunately, he got the total opposite.

Tottenham simply lacked any kind of spark throughout the game, with their midfield duo of Harry Winks and new signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg struggling to retain the ball in the first half in particular.

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Dele Alli – who was substituted at half-time – was largely anonymous. Harry Kane was starved of service, while Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier appeared to lack pace in the centre of defence.

Everton didn't look particularly great in this game, but even their slight improvement from this fixture in July was enough to earn them a win.

It should go without saying, but if Mourinho is going to end Tottenham's long wait for a trophy, his side will need to perform far better than this. Quite what went wrong here is a massive question mark.


#2 Everton's new signings have added the quality they were lacking

In the form of James Rodriguez, Everton have added some serious quality to their team.
In the form of James Rodriguez, Everton have added some serious quality to their team.

Once again, Everton have ventured heavily into the transfer market this summer, bringing in three new midfielders in the form of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez. And it was immediately clear from this game that the trio has added some much-needed quality that the Toffees lacked last season.

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Both Doucoure and Allan had relatively quiet games, but the fact that they largely went unnoticed was actually impressive. The two men screened Everton's defence so well that the centre-back pairing of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina barely needed to do a thing.

Of course, that was partially due to Spurs' inept attacks, but previous Everton sides would've found a way to lose here. Allan and Doucoure have added a toughness the Toffees never had before.

As for Rodriguez, some of the touches he showed were outstanding. And while he had no part in Everton's goal, he looked dangerous throughout the match and occupied Ben Davies for the majority of the game.

The Colombian is likely still rusty too – meaning the best should hopefully be yet to come from him. If he can reach the heights he did during the 2014 World Cup – and he showed flashes of that here – then Premier League fans are in for a treat.

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Published 13 Sep 2020, 23:44 IST
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