- Everton vs Spurs

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Sunday 9 December 2012 | Goodison Park | Referee: Kevin Friend | Attendance 36,494

  • Steven Pienaar (90)
  • Nikica Jelavic (90+2)
2 - 1
  • Clint Dempsey (76)

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Match report

To see the best pictures from the match, click on the box on the top left and scroll to “Photostream”. Scroll down for manager reactions.

Everton scored twice in the last two minutes to snatch a last-gasp 2-1 victory over a Tottenham side who looked to have escaped the Goodison Park fortress with all three points.

Despite dominating, David Moyes’s side found themselves trailing to Clint Dempsey’s 76th-minute deflected strike.

However, Steven Pienaar headed a 90th-minute equaliser and Nikica Jelavic turned home the winner in added time to extend their unbeaten home league record to 12 matches. It was a late turnaround that ended a dismal sequence of seven draws in nine Barclays Premier League matches.

With the injured Gareth Bale out of the team Tottenham lacked a large degree of attacking thrust down the left flank and Everton were able to take advantage, particularly in the first half, by pouring forward down their right.

It also gave midfielder Darron Gibson the opportunity to display his extended range of passing as full-back Seamus Coleman exploited plenty of space created by Kevin Mirallas, back after four matches out with a hamstring injury.

He was able to get to the byline with alarming regularity as far as Spurs were concerned but they would have been thankful no real chances came from it.

Leon Osman and Pienaar both missed Jelavic’s cut-back from the left with the Croatia striker himself denied by Gallas after Mirallas broke down the right.

Coleman fired into the side-netting, Marouane Fellaini headed over a corner and Osman clipped left-footed cross-shot wide from Fellaini’s lay-off as Everton dominated without threatening.

Everton had to replace Mirallas with Steven Naismith at half-time after the Belgium international aggravated the hamstring injury which had sidelined him for a month.

And the Scot might have made an immediate impact, but when Leighton Baines’s shot from a free-kick rebounded into the penalty area both Jelavic and Naismith failed to get the decisive touch which would have brought the opening goal.

It took until the 54th minute for Spurs to properly test Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard with Jan Vertonghen’s swerving shot tipped over by the United States international.

Osman’s side-footed drive from Baines’s cut-back sailed just over the crossbar before the England international also drew a low save out of Hugo Lloris.

Having soaked up so much pressure throughout the match the visitors produced a sucker-punch in the 76th minute.

Dempsey received the ball with his back to goal 30 yards out, turned and hit a shot which took a slight deflection off Sylvain Distin to send it dipping over Howard.

Substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson then hit the crossbar with a curling shot as gaps opened up with Everton pressing for the equaliser they at the very least deserved.

It duly came in the last minute when Coleman crossed and Pienaar headed past Lloris.

But there was further late drama as Gibson’s pass was touched on by substitute Apostolos Vellios and Jelavic struck to the delight of Moyes, whose exuberant celebrations saw him encroach onto the pitch.

Everton manager David Moyes: "It is as good a finish as we've had. We've had a few like that where we've lost and felt low so we were due one. I remember a season where we used to score late goals and win games 1-0 but recently it has not been the case.

"If Everton hadn't won we'd have been saying 'How not?' because we played terrifically well, especially in the first half with Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman.

"We just couldn't find the final pass or touch to finish it off and Tottenham got better in the 15 minutes after half-time, but I thought we had grown into it again when they scored.

"Our poorest period was in the last 10 minutes when we were changing players around and we had tried everything to get an opening, but they kept at it and we got it in the end.

"It can lift you, it shows the belief and persistence in keeping going and the players showed great character to keep going.

"The position [fourth] doesn't shame the way the players have been playing, they have been doing that well. But we could quite easily have slipped out and been in the bottom half of the league. It feels good today but we have to make sure we maintain that."

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas: "It was a disappointing result bearing in mind we were leading taking the game into the last minute. It has been quite an adventure in the Premier League this season; if we count the number of results that have been going for us before the last minutes we would be first.

"There are so many different reasons. It is not really easy to explain because a couple of them come from different situations. It is something we are aware of, which is why we speak about it openly, and it is something we have to improve, seeing off games.

"It is not a mental thing, it is the nature of the game because it was our best period for quite some time in the second half. You kind of knew as soon as the kick-off went for the 1-1 they would go and have a go and they certainly did. It is a difficult blow to take."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
24. Tim Howard - -
6. Phil Jagielka - -
3. Leighton Baines - -
15. Sylvain Distin - -
23. Seamus Coleman - -
22. Steven Pienaar - -
4. Darron Gibson - -
11. Kevin Mirallas - -
21. Leon Osman - -
25. Marouane Fellaini - -
7. Nikica Jelavic - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
20. Ross Barkley - -
1. Ján Mucha - -
8. Bryan Oviedo - -
5. Johnny Heitinga - -
16. Thomas Hitzlsperger - -
27. Apostolos Vellios - -
14. Steven Naismith - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
25. Hugo Lloris - -
13. William Gallas - -
33. Steven Caulker - -
28. Kyle Walker - -
5. Jan Vertonghen - -
2. Clint Dempsey - -
7. Aaron Lennon - -
19. Mousa Dembélé - -
30. Sandro - -
18. Jermain Defoe - -
10. Emmanuel Adebayor - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
27. Iago Falqué - -
29. Jake Livermore - -
24. Brad Friedel - -
31. Andros Townsend - -
16. Kyle Naughton - -
22. Gylfi Sigurdsson - -
6. Tom Huddlestone - -

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