Roberto Soldado scored his first Barclays Premier League goal since March as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
Roberto Martinez's men led in the 15th minute thanks to Kevin Mirallas's shot into the top corner from outside the area but Everton's advantage was short-lived as Christian Eriksen, scorer of Spurs' last-gasp winner against Hull City last weekend, converted the rebound when Tim Howard had saved from Harry Kane. Soldado got the decisive goal in first-half stoppage time, converting Aaron Lennon's through-ball to help Spurs bounce back from consecutive home league defeats by Newcastle United and Stoke City.
Vlad Chiriches, Nabil Bentaleb and Aaron Lennon came into the Spurs team who triumphed at Hull, while Everton welcomed back Leighton Baines and Gareth Barry from respective hamstring and ankle complaints.
Ross Barkley pulled apart the Spurs defence with a mazy 11th-minute run before Romelu Lukaku steered the loose ball at goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Another moment of brilliance gave Everton the lead when a Mirallas free-kick was cleared back to the Belgian and he cut inside Soldado, shifted the ball on to his right foot and curled an unstoppable strike into the top far corner via the crossbar.
Spurs responded with conviction and they were level in the 21st minute. Aided by an intelligent Soldado run, Kane drove at a backpedalling Everton defence and Howard could only push his shot towards Eriksen, who lifted a fine finish beyond the goalkeeper and defenders rushing back to the line.
Kane was an energetic presence at the heart of most of Spurs' good work and tested Howard in the 30th minute before the Everton goalkeeper was glad to see a deflected Eriksen shot skip narrowly wide after he had been wrongfooted.
A weak back-header from Muhamed Besic almost allowed Soldado to capitalise in the 37th minute but he could not get enough on the ball and Howard gathered. The forward made no mistake with his second chance on the stroke of half-time. Barry was dispossessed by Kane, allowing Lennon to surge forward and slip a perfectly weighted pass for Soldado to finish first time down the right.
Defender Federico Fazio could have scored his maiden Spurs goal after the break but failed to connect with Eriksen's inviting cross following a well-worked corner routine.
Ryan Mason was the next man to be teed up by Eriksen and he blasted over with an hour played.
Barkley struck back by slotting Seamus Coleman in behind the Spurs defence in the 71st minute but Lloris sprung from his line quickly to avert the danger.
Everton's final chance was when Lukaku had a header blocked from Baines' 89th-minute free-kick by Fazio's arm in the area but referee Michael Oliver was unmoved.
The result means Spurs lie seventh in the Barclays Premier League table, three points better off than their opponents, and Mauricio Pochettino's team have won six of their past seven matches in all competitions ahead of Wednesday's short trip to face leaders Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "Our mentality and our spirit were fantastic. This is what we want. We need to keep this feeling. It is impossible always to win but with the spirit and mentality we showed, it will be easier to win games. Everton have a very good squad and for us it is not only three points, it is a little bit more than three points. It is important to grow and build on the victory."
On goalscorer Roberto Soldado: "You need to give confidence to the player to keep working hard. It has not been easy for him but you need to motivate the player - it is always frustrating for a striker who does not score. He scored and he is happy, he is more free because he feels the pressure. It is important for the team that the striker scores goals."
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "We're really disappointed because I don't think the players deserved to finish with that empty feeling at the end. We started the game really brightly, we scored a magnificent goal, which is the hardest thing in football - scoring that first goal away from home.
"I did feel at that point we could have just killed the game and gone for the second goal but we couldn't really find that rhythm. Then the game went into a little bit of a strange moment where Spurs ended up hitting the back of the net twice in a fortunate manner. You'd then think that Spurs were going to come out, dictate things and take the game away from us, but it wasn't the case.
"We reacted extremely well, we had to be expansive, we had to put in a lot of effort, and I thought the performance in the second half put us in good positions, and we should have taken advantage. But, overall, I'm pleased with the performance, because it's not an easy place to come and the energy levels that we showed, the commitment, even some phases of our football were really, really good. It's a tough scoreline to take when I didn't think our performance deserved that."
|03 Dec 2014||v Chelsea (A)|
|06 Dec 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|14 Dec 2014||v Swansea (A)|
|20 Dec 2014||v Burnley (H)|
|26 Dec 2014||v Leicester (A)|
|28 Dec 2014||v Man Utd (H)|