Belfast Telegraph

Everton 1-1 Tottenham: A solitary point hits wrong note with Spurs aces

By Mark Ogden

Mauricio Pochettino claimed the silence in the Tottenham dressing room after Dele Alli's stunning volley had earned a point at Goodison Park proved his team have the ambition to sustain their challenge for the Premier League title.

Alli's 45th-minute goal, which cancelled out Aaron Lennon's opener for Everton against his former club, was enough for Tottenham to extend an unbeaten away run dating back to the first weekend of the season.

The failure to win, however, left Tottenham six points behind league leaders Arsenal and Pochettino revealed that the disappointment of being unable to close the gap on Arsene Wenger's team prompted his players to abandon their usual post-match routine of loud music.

"We always play music in the dressing room, but now it is very quiet because we dropped two points," he said.

"But this is a very good signal. Maybe on Monday we can feel proud and happy with the point, but it is very good that they are disappointed and is a good sign for the future.

"I think it is too early to speak of achieving at the end of the season, but we believe, we are very ambitious and the players are very disappointed.

"We dropped two points because we managed the game for 75 minutes, so we should be proud because the performance was very good. Everton created some chances in the final 15 minutes, but not very much. Our ambition, though, was to go and attack and get three points."

Alli's goal embellished an outstanding individual display by the 19-year-old England midfielder, but the summer signing from MK Dons laid the credit for the goal at the feet of defender Toby Alderweireld, whose 50-yard pass created the opportunity.

"It was a good feeling to score, but it was a pass to perfection from Toby," Alli said.

"The boys all played well, we dominated the first-half and were unlucky to go behind but showed character to come back. We could have scored three or four, but we will take the positives. We are in good form and to come away to Everton and be disappointed with 1-1, it shows where we are now."

Everton avoided a third successive home defeat but remain in the bottom half of the table. Manager Roberto Martinez claimed that the performance of his team was encouraging after the recent poor run, however.

"I thought throughout the game that we put in a very good performance," Martinez said.

"Spurs pushed us but they had long spells of possession in areas they couldn't hurt us. We have been conceding goals cheaply at home and it was something we had to rectify.

"In the first-half, we had that in our minds and we defended with intensity.

"We received an immense blow in injury time to concede and it was an immense test of character."

The second-half shows the strength we have in our squad, and the performance showed we are ready."

Belfast Telegraph


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