Saturday lunchtime sees a rejeuvenated Everton take on high flying but probably exhausted Tottenham, fresh from a hugely unfortunate defeat at the San Siro.
Inter Milan may have been 4-0 up at half time, but the best second half from Tottenham in living memory gave the reigning European champions a real scare. Gareth Bale looks as lethal as ever, and he will certainly be one to watch on Saturday.
Everton however, seem to be finally yielding the results their play deserves. After convincingly thumping their neighbours from hell last Sunday, The Toffees look well equipped (if a little short of numbers) to start climbing the table. Unfortunately, they are not completely out of the woods just yet, and it is vital that they at least show the same committment this weekend, because Tottenham are the heavy favourites to win this one.
Expect a cagey midfield battle, with a few remonstrations and not a lot of concerted open play. But why poop the party? Both clubs possess a rich and cultured history, having in their own way made their marks on the footballing world throughout the years. So to get us all in the mood, here are some past encounters which dazzled and amazed us over the years:
EVERTON 2-2 SPURS
17th August 2002
It was the long awaited day that a 16-year old scally from Croxteth by the name of Wayne Rooney burst onto the Goodison Park pitch as a senior player for the very first time. As the mercury threatened to burst through the bulb, Rooney put himself both literally and metaphorically in the sun by setting up Mark Pembridge for the opener.
Tottenham however, did what they do best after half time, and threatened to put Everton to the sword yet again. Matthew Etherington’s fierce narrow-angle rocket preceded Les Ferdinand’s straight shot slipping through debtuant ‘keeper Richard Wright’s fingers. But Everton were not finished, and Radzinski managed to secure a point with minutes remaining.
EVERTON 0-2 SPURS
29th November 1997
Christian Gross had been given a baptism of fire as Tottenham manager with his debut coming in a 1-0 home defeat to eventual basement boys Crystal Palace, but his team mustered a sensational performance at Goodison Park. After a goalless first half, Ramon Vega delighted the away fans crammed into the drafty, wooden-seated and pillar-ridden Lower Bullens stand when he headed home an expertly delivered cross from Andrew Sinton.
The lead was doubled by David Ginola, who provided the only genuine touch of class that day with a blistering run and shot from wide to make it 2-0. It was a priceless win which moved Tottenham into mid-table and left Everton rock bottom..
SPURS 0-2 EVERTON
26th August 2006
This was the day Everton ended a 21-year hoodoo at White Hart Lane with a masterful performance. Tottenham were second best from the very start, and failed to capitalise on Kevin Kilbane’s sending off in a goalless first half. Callum Davenport gave Everton the initiative with a clumsy own goal after 52 minutes, and after that it was one way traffic.
Twelve minutes later, Everton’s new 8-million pound man Andy Johnson made a surging run to meet Phil Neville’s cross, finishing with aplomb past the defenceless Paul Robinson.
SPURS 1-3 EVERTON
14th August 2007
You wait a lifetime then two come along at once. Everton repeated their White Hart heroism of the previous year with an equally impressive performance. It only took two minutes for Everton to work their magic in front of the Sky cameras. Anthony Gardner gave Joleon Lescott a free header at goal from Arteta’s expertly delivered free kick before Tottenham grabbed an equaliser through Gardner in the 26th minute, heading home from a corner to seemingly tip the balance of the game.
That was however, as good as it got for Tottenham, with Everton retaking the lead when Osman picked up a loose ball ten minutes later, and lashed the ball into the roof of Paul Robinson’s net for 2-1. And on the stroke of half-time, Alan Stubbs fired in a bullet of a free kick to set up a comfortable second half for Everton.
EVERTON 2-2 SPURS
6th December 2009
Last season, Everton were truly on the ropes while Tottenham once again fought for fourth spot. As far as Everton were concerned, three straight defeats were quickly becoming four after Jermain Defoe drew first blood for Tottenham just after half time, via some awful defending. When Michael Dawson dived to head home Niko Kranjcar’s cross, it seemed as though Tottenham would romp to victory – Everton had other ideas.
Louis Saha pulled one back with ten minutes remaining, and seven minutes after that, Tim Cahill popped up with a trademark header to seal a point. However, Everton were forced to survive EIGHT minutes of stoppage time, during which Jermain Defoe saw a poor penalty saved by Tim Howard. It was that match which saw Everton turn the corner, going on an unbeaten run to climb the table in the new year.
EVERTON 0-1 SPURS
15th April 2006
In the endgame of 2005/06, Tottenham were winning the race to beat Arsenal to fourth spot in the table, and once again made Goodison their own turf with a win which fully demonstrated their credentials as a Champions League team. Everton were already safe and stuck in mid-table respectability by this time, but nothing can detract from a performance which saw Tottenham complete a fifth Premier League ‘double’ over their submissive hosts.
After long periods of domination during which a rugby score looked possible, Robbie Keane converted a 33rd minute penalty which proved to be decisive in this game, but sadly not the race for a Champions League spot.
EVERTON 1-0 SPURS
12th April 1997
Following the resignation of Joe Royle, player-manager Dave Watson found his Everton team up a certain creek without a paddle ahead of this one. At the turn of the year, Everton’s form dived unbelievably as they fell from being the dark horses for title contention to very strong relegation candidates in the space of four months. Having only won 2 games in 16, it was time to stand up and be counted.
A more nerve wracking and nail-biting match could hardly be imagined as Everton went ahead through Gary Speed’s header in the 11th minute, and proceeded to hold off wave after wave of opposing pressure throughout the remainder of the match. Neville Southall and Dave Watson were of one mind as the defence came under attack, but saves and last ditch tackles and clearances saw Everton achieve mathematical safety.
SPURS 3-2 EVERTON
5th September 2000
The classic comeback; Tottenham were out of it after 42 minutes, but a spirited comeback stunned Everton, who could only watch as their lead evaporated in the space of just two minutes after the restart. Francs Jeffers got Everton off the mark after 25 minutes, capitalising on defensive blunder by Ben Thatcher to pick his spot past the helpless Neil Sullivan. The lead was doubled fifteen minutes later, when maligned Ghanaian midfielder Alex Nyarko crashed home a searing 20-yarder.
Tottenham pulled one back just before half time, with striker Sergei Rebrov repaying some of the £11m splashed out for his services. The second half was self-destruction for Everton, a handball on the hour resulted in a penalty which Rebrov converted, and the comeback was completed when Les Ferdinand (who has an exceptional record against Everton) converted a Stephen Clemence cross less than a minute later.
EVERTON 3-1 SPURS
9th April 2004
For this Good Friday match, Everton crucified Tottenham in a first half display which was one of few highlights that season. Having not experienced a win over the North Londoners for seven years there were nerves aplenty on Merseyside, but Evertonians needn’t have worried. After just 16 minutes Thomas Gravesen’s short corner found Gary Naysmith, the Scottish defender found Steve Watson who in turn nodded to David Unsworth who fired home to give Everton the lead.
Eight minutes later, Naysmith’s Beckham-esque free kick was curled around the Tottenham wall for 2-0, and a third was added when another free kick was poorly defended, goalkeeper Kasey Keller’s save falling to the unmarked Joseph Yobo. The second half was much more even, with Tottenham pulling a goal back through Stephen Carr, but Everton fully deserved the vital three points.
SPURS 5-2 EVERTON
1st January 2005
Eventual Champions League qualifiers Everton may have been flying high in the league, but their good form was rendered meaningless as Tottenham demolished them at White Hart lane on New Year’s Day 2005. Young and deceptively inexperienced midfielder Dean Marney got two goals, the first of which was Tottenham’s opener after 16 minutes with an impressive lob over Richard Wright. The game ebbed and flowed, but eleven minutes later Reto Ziegler lashed home a volley for 2-0. Everton did pull one back through Tim Cahill, but were still relieved by the half time whistle.
However, the onslaught continued after the break, with Pedro Mendes producing another ‘special’ into the top corner of Wright’s net. Robbie Keane then added a fourth, before Marney capped an impressive performance with a 40-yard thunderbolt. James McFadden did net a consolation, but the hosts could easily have plundered six or seven – it was undoubtedly the performance of the season from Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
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