Select a Team

Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park (ATT 34,992) 10th March 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: M Halsey

Everton Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

Everton 1

N Jelavic (22)

ft

Debut delight for Jelavic

Redknapp's season crumbling; Moyes provides perfect celebration

Last Updated: 11/03/12 2:31pm

  • Share:

Nikica Jelavic marked his home debut for Everton with the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Tottenham which ensured Harry Redknapp's Premier League season continued to crumble.

Man of the match: Leon Osman worked tirelessly and created the goal Moment of the match: Nikica Jelavic's goal was the product of some brilliant build-up play which started in defence Attempt of the match: Nikica Jelavic's curling free-kick was well saved Save of the match: Brad Friedel's diving effort to deny Jelavic's brilliant free-kick in the 34th minute Talking point: Referee Mark Halsey's decision to wave away Tottenham's penalty appeals in the dying minutes after Jermain Defoe's flick inside the area appeared to catch Leon Osman's arm

The Croatian, a £5.5million January deadline day signing from Rangers who had previously played two away games for Everton, opened his Premier League account in the first half with a wonderfully precise finish.

Tottenham had struggled with their shape and in the second half, regardless of a gentleman's agreement between Harry Redknapp and David Moyes which was redundant under league rules, introduced Louis Saha.

The former Everton striker hit a post in a frantic finale but Spurs still suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time under Redknapp and critics will continue to suggest their campaign is imploding amid the reports linking their manager to the England job.

In contrast, Moyes provided the perfect Goodison Park celebration ahead of next week's 10-year anniversary as Everton manager and maintained momentum ahead of Tuesday's Merseyside derby at Liverpool.

It extended Everton's unbeaten run to 10 in all competitions and they head to Anfield just two points behind Kenny Dalglish's side.

Spurs, conversely, have North London rivals Arsenal breathing down their necks and could see the gap to the fourth-placed Gunners cut to just a point on Monday night.

For all the talent the visitors had on display it was Jelavic who stole the headlines as he opened his account just 77 minutes into his Everton career, having made just two previous substitute appearances.

When the 26-year-old arrived at Goodison Park, he was asked what he would bring to the club.

"Goals, goals, goals" was the response and he started to deliver on that promise with a sumptuous strike midway through the first half.

Goals, goals, goals

Jelavic had looked a threat from the start, generally offering a willing outlet up front, and moments before his goal he provided the knockdown from which Marouane Fellaini forced Brad Friedel to save an angled shot with his legs.

In the 22nd minute, he played a pivotal part with the sort of finish Everton have been missing since the sale of Saha in January.

The Frenchman was watching from the bench, although Moyes' claims he had a gentlemen's agreement with Redknapp was disproved in the second half when the striker was sent on.

Leon Osman broke past Younes Kaboul into the box and brilliantly took both Sandro and Ledley King out of the game with his cutback which Jelavic clinically fired first-time past Friedel.

Jelavic did not appear to be lacking in confidence and with established free-kick takers Leighton Baines and Royston Drenthe standing over the ball he whipped in a right-footed shot which was turned away by the diving Spurs goalkeeper Friedel.

Most of the threat before the match had been expected to come from Drenthe and Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.

Redknapp's decision to post the Wales international on the right meant Drenthe had to be switched to the opposite flank in order for Seamus Coleman to track Bale.

It also meant Moyes could keep a closer eye on the Dutchman who excites and infuriates in equal measure with his unpredictability.

Throughout most of the first half the Everton manager instructed, cajoled and ordered the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder into where he wanted him.

It seemed to work and only when Bale briefly appeared on his usual left side shortly before the interval did Drenthe display his less disciplined persona when well out of ear-shot of Moyes.

Wastefulness

Spurs were disappointing in the first half, Bale particularly so with his main contribution being two wide shots.

Jermain Defoe was also guilty of wastefulness as he seemed destined to score until some late pressure from John Heitinga forced him to shoot well wide.

The striker looked sharper immediately after the restart as Tim Howard twice had to save from him, the second after Sylvain Distin had backed off and given him far too much room inside the penalty area.

Luka Modric was also starting to look more threatening and he too was denied by a Distin block before also firing over.

Saha arrived in the 54th minute for the ineffectual Emmanuel Adebayor but Defoe looked Tottenham's greatest threat and his deflected shot briefly caused Howard a moment of concern before he twisted his body mid-save.

While Tottenham's pressure was growing the home side were still a threat and, when Coleman burst from the halfway line to tee up Osman, Friedel had to save again.

Redknapp's decision to persist with Bale on the right was not welcomed by the visiting fans, who sang "Gareth Bale, he plays on the left" as the game entered its final quarter.

From his right-sided position the Welshman thought he had set up the equalising goal when he turned Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross into the path of Defoe but the striker was well offside as he fired in from close range.

Saha should have scored it in the third minute of added time but hit a post. It would have been the cruellest of finishes.

EvertonTeam StatisticsTottenham Hotspur
1Goals0
11st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target5
1Shots off Target12
3Blocked Shots7
0Corners8
14Fouls11
3Offsides2
2Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
74.1Passing Success83.8
20Tackles27
65Tackles Success70.4
37.9Possession62.1
52.4Territorial Advantage47.6
321Total Passes532
9Total Crosses28
162Lost Balls162
53Recoveries73
48.11st Half Poss.51.9
24.92nd Half Poss.75.1

  • Share:

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 35 80
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 34 74
4 Arsenal 35 70
5 Everton 35 69
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 34 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 34 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 34 33
17 Norwich City 35 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

Related