Spurs knocked out of FA Cup in nine-goal thriller
Extra-time winner sees Tottenham lose 5-4 away to Everton in memorable FA Cup classic
10 February, 2021 — By Dan Carrier
FA Cup: Fifth Round
EVERTON 5 (Calvert-Lewin 36, Richarlison 38, 68, Sigurdsson 43 pen, Bernard 97)
SPURS 4 (Sanchez 3, 57, Lamela 45+3, Kane 83)
SPURS fans have recently been lamenting the loss of a free-flowing style where they could be guaranteed plenty of action.
Tonight (Wednesday), they were provided with a reminder of the type of fare they were used to in years gone by – plenty of attacking, plenty of goals… and plenty of horrible defending, ending ultimately in defeat.
Goodison Park hosted a nine-goal thriller that Jose Mourinho will not be used to, and that saw Everton eventually sneak home 5-4 winners.
But if there is a silver lining, it was the manner in which Tottenham attacked. They created a hatful of chances, played some glorious football, and the margins between the two teams was less than wafer-thin.
Spurs started so well and could have put the tie to bed in the first 10 minutes. On one minute, Erik Lamela forced Toffees keeper Robin Olsen to save from a header, and then Lucas Moura blasted just over. It was an uncharacteristically bright start from Mourinho’s men.
With just two minutes on the clock, and two efforts already on target, Spurs won a corner that was whipped in by Heung-Min Son. Davinson Sanchez leapt head and shoulders above his markers and directed a wonderful header home.
It was one way traffic with the visitors creating chances every time they went forward: Olsen dived to deny Son, Lamela went close again, and then Steven Bergwijn forced Olsen into another top stop. Everton were on the ropes and looked like they simply had no answer.
But answer they did – and in an incredible fashion that left Tottenham cursing all the opportunities they let go begging.
On 35, Dominic Calvert-Lewin threw his side an unlikely lifeline after some sloppy play from Spurs. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg lost the ball, and Calvert-Lewin drove into space before unleashing a rocket to even the score.
Two minutes later the England forward produced a clever flick to play in Richarlison to make it 2-1. Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for Spurs, Calvert-Lewin was judged to have been clipped by Sanchez as he raced after a ball in the box.
Referee David Coote pointed to the spot, allowing Ex-Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson to make it 3-1 with a composed finish.
But this ding-dong first-half still had more drama to dish up: on the stroke of the whistle, Lamela’s tigerish attitude saw him thump home a second for Spurs to make Mourinho’s half-time talk a little brighter.
Harry Kane made his entrance from the bench on 50, and Spurs laid siege. They were soon level when Toby Alderweireld nodded down Son’s corner. Olsen produced a good save, but Sanchez was on hand to tuck the ball home and claim his second goal of the evening.
But Everton’s resilience was admirable. And on 67, Richarlison wriggled on to a through ball from the industrious Tom Davies and from a tight angle fired a shot across Hugo Lloris and into the far corner to make it 4-3.
Mourinho’s team, however, continued to throw themselves forward with a reckless abandon, as if the ghost of Ossie Ardiles had possessed their usually defensively-minded manager.
It paid off on 83 when Son got down the left and put the ball on a plate for Kane to dive in low and power a header home to make things even and send the match into extra-time.
Six minutes into the added 30, Bernard raced on to a dinked ball by Sigurdsson and the substitute fired past Lloris to restore Everton’s lead.
Tottenham did all they could to respond, but Everton defended resolutely. Shots were blocked, headers sent narrowly wide, and Olsen got his knees muddy and his hands stung as he made three decent saves.
It was to be Carlo Ancelotti’s night. Spurs will be desperately disappointed, considering the chances they created – but the silver lining must be this was a game that reminds the fans what football, and supporting Tottenham, is all about.
Thrills, spills and plenty of goals – just not always in the net they would like.
Everton: Olsen, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne (Holgate, 107), Doucoure, Iwobi (Bernard, 70), Davies, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (Coleman, 50)
Substitutes not used: Virginia, Nkounkou, Tyrer, Onyango
Tottenham: Lloris, Doherty (Sissoko, 98), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Hojbjerg, Ndombele (Winks, 90), Lamela (Vinicius, 98), Bergwijn (Kane, 53), Moura (Alli, 77), Son
Substitutes not used: Hart, Dier, Rodon, Tanganga