With a hard-fought 2-1 home victory, Richarlison scored for the third straight game to haunt old opponents Everton and guarantee Tottenham would spend Christmas in the Premier League’s top four.
It was cruel on Sean Dyche’s guests, who had the best of the opportunities in the capital and, more importantly, had a Dominic Calvert-Lewin shot disallowed in the 51st minute after a VAR review that might have altered the course of the game.
Arnaut Danjuma, an Everton replacement, also struck the crossbar far into added time, but goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario stopped his shot before it could cross the line. Danjuma was just barely onside, thus even though the offside flag was raised, the goal would have been awarded on a VAR review.
Richarlison and Son Heung-min’s goals in the first half gave Ange Postecoglou’s club its third consecutive victory; Andre Gomes’ late attempt was merely a consolation for the away team’s wasted chances.
In north London, Dyche’s team was off to a strong start, having won their previous four league games. Vitalii Mykolenko, who had recovered from injury, tested Vicario early on, and Cristian Romero came in to stop Calvert-Lewin.
In the ninth minute, an Everton old boy made up for Postecoglou’s team’s careless opening half.
Pape Sarr made a brilliant team move to bring Brennan Johnson in, and his cross found Richarlison, who scored with a spectacular flick at the near post but chose not to fully celebrate against his former
After falling behind, Everton fought back, with Dwight McNeil scuffing his shot and Calvert-Lewin’s header superbly deflected wide by Vicario. However, Tottenham punished their carelessness once more after eighteen minutes.
Pedro Porro’s short corner routine was effective as Jordan Pickford had no chance of stopping Johnson’s shot, but Son was there to scramble home from eight yards.
Son’s goal was his 11th Premier League goal of the season, surpassing his total from the previous campaign, and Everton’s woes grew when Idrissa Gueye hobbled off shortly after.
By now Spurs were well in control and had come close to a couple of fantastic team goals, only to see carelessness seep in towards the conclusion of the half.
Despite their warning, the hosts disregarded it and went into halftime up by two goals thanks to timely saves from Vicario against James Garner and Jack Harrison.
However, Everton persisted in applying pressure, and they believed they had closed the score in the 51st minute—until VAR stepped in.
Emerson Royal gave way to substitute Gomes, who found Calvert-Lewin, who raced home, but referee Stuart Attwell was instructed to look into the incident.
Pitchside monitor replays revealed that Gomes had made slight contact with Emerson’s left ankle, but it was judged sufficient to call off the play.
After Garner wasted yet another opportunity after Harrison’s exquisite outside-of-the-boot pass, Postecoglou had had enough and, with 27 minutes remaining, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was brought on in place of Richarlison.
At first, it appeared to be working, as Dejan Kulusevski came close to ending the match in the 75th minute, but Pickford made an incredible save with his fingertip.
Eight minutes remained, and Gomes scored his first goal for Everton in eighteen months after Garner’s corner was cleared. This gave the Toffees the lead.
Minutes later, former Spurs loanee Arnaut Danjuma had a chance to make it 2-2, but Vicario expertly diverted his left-footed shot.
Everton was firmly established in the hosts’ half after six more minutes, but in the last seconds Danjuma could only watch helplessly as the ball painfully missed the mark entirely before Vicario cleared.