Gylfi Sigurdsson salvages late draw for Tottenham against Everton
Last Updated: 07/04/13 7:45pm
Gylfi Sigurdsson's late goal salvaged a 2-2 draw for Tottenham Hotspur against Everton after a topsy-turvy encounter at White Hart Lane.
Emmanuel Adebayor broke the deadlock after just 34 seconds for Spurs but Everton quickly levelled thanks to Phil Jagielka's header.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Phil Jagielka scored Everton's opener with a well-taken header and defended well throughout the match with a number of crucial blocks and tackles.
- Goal of the match: Kevin Mirallas' sublime solo effort made it 2-1 to Everton as he showed great skill and speed to beat a couple of defenders and then fire a great finish past Hugo Lloris.
- Moment of the match: Emmanuel Adebayor's opening goal after just 34 minutes was a bolt from the blue as he turned in Jan Vertonghen's delightful cross.
- Save of the match: Tim Howard somehow managed to react when Mousa Dembele's shot from 20 yards took a deflection and pushed the ball on to the crossbar.
- Talking point: Has this draw ended Everton's hopes of a top-four finish? Did Tottenham do enough to show that they can perform without Gareth Bale?
Kevin Mirallas made it 2-1 to the visitors with a wonderful solo effort for the second time in as many weeks, but Sigurdsson snatched a point for Tottenham three minutes from time.
Tottenham may have been without talisman Gareth Bale due to an ankle injury, but they made an ideal start as Adebayor tucked away a delightful left-wing cross from Jan Vertonghen inside the opening minute after Sylvain Distin had missed the interception.
Everton responded strongly and equalised in the 15th minute when Jagielka climbed above Vertonghen and powered a header through the legs of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Spurs finished the first half on top and felt they should have had a penalty when Clint Dempsey's cross crashed into Darron Gibson, who had his arms raised above his head, but the officials waved play on and replays suggested the ball had hit his chest or shoulder.
Everton went in front in the 53d minute when Mirallas, who scored a wonderful winner against Stoke last weekend, worked his magic again, weaving one way and then the other past a couple of defenders before firing a terrific low finish through the legs of Steven Caulker and past Lloris.
There was almost a leveller for Tottenham moments later as Mousa Dembele's shot from 20 yards took a deflection which could have easily wrong-footed Tim Howard, but the keeper managed to get something on it and parry the ball onto the crossbar.
Spurs kept pressing but were becoming frustrated by Everton's resilient defending and were restricted to long-range strikes from distance as Adebayor, Dempsey and Kyle Walker all tried their luck.
Eventually the hosts were rewarded in the 87th minute as Walker darted down the right wing and cut the ball back for Adebayor, whose shot hit the post but fell kindly for Sigurdsson to score.
The result keeps Spurs six points clear of sixth-placed Everton, having played a game more, as the race for UEFA Champions League qualification goes down to the wire.
Everton manager David Moyes insisted after the match that his side were still in contention for a top-four finish, despite Chelsea's victory over Sunderland later in the day leaving them six points off the pace.
He said: I don't know if a point does a great deal for us. If we'd won we'd have been right in it
"I don't think we're too far away but I just hope the games don't run out. Tottenham are one of the top teams who have been fighting for fourth all season and we have taken four points off them this season so it is not a bad return."
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is also expecting a tight finish this season, but was proud of his players' efforts after a gruelling 2-2 draw with Basel in the Europa League on Thursday.
"It's going to go down to the wire as it stands with Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham all in the frame for that Champions League qualification," said Villas-Boas.
"In games like this you can really see how much desire is in both teams to get those objectives."
Barclays Premier League
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Tottenham v Everton
Lewis Holtby is confident that Tottenham can qualify for the Champions League despite dropping points against Everton.
Phil Jagielka insists Everton's UEFA Champions League hopes remain alive despite Sunday's draw at rivals Tottenham.
Clint Dempsey knows there is little chance of the tension around White Hart Lane dissipating between now and the summer.