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Spurs stay in touch with title contenders after hitting Everton for six

Mauricio Pochettino says his team are 'close' to challenging Liverpool and Man City after stunning performance at Goodison Park

23 December, 2018 — By Allan Ledward at Goodison Park

Premier League

EVERTON 2 (Walcott 21, Sigurdsson 51)
SPURS 6 (Son 27, 61; Alli 35; Kane 42, 74; Eriksen, 48)

MAURICIO Pochettino said Spurs are “close” to challenging for the title after a stunning 6-2 victory at Goodison Park.

After going behind to a goal from Theo Walcott, Tottenham outclassed Marco Silva’s resurgent Everton side, with two goals each for Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, and strikes from Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

Despite a performance that looked like an emphatic statement – moving Spurs two points behind Manchester City – Pochettino insisted City and Liverpool are still “the real contenders” to win the Premier League.

The Spurs boss said: “It was a very good performance. I feel so pleased. I am very proud of the performance and the energy that we showed today.

“It was a very important three points. We have four games in 10 days – it’s important to start this period with that type of performance.

“We still believe that Liverpool and Manchester City are the real contenders to win the Premier League. And then we are there with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. I think it’s still a long way to say we are contenders.

“Football is about being consistent. If we keep playing in the way we played tonight, then yes, we are real contenders, but it’s still a long way.”

After an entertaining opening 10 minutes, Spurs twice came close to taking the lead. First, when Kane beat the offside trap and lifted the ball over Jordan Pickford into the side-netting, and then when Kieran Trippier fired at the England goalkeeper after good work down the left from Son.

But it was Everton, in the 21st minute and against the run of play, who struck first, when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was allowed to squeeze a low cross in from the left and former Arsenal winger Walcott fired low past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs were level within six minutes when a defensive mix-up between Pickford and Kurt Zouma gave Son an empty net to shoot at. It was far from a simple chance for Son – who tormented Everton all evening – but he deftly curled the ball in from a wide position to give the visitors a well-deserved equaliser.

And it was Son, with a dynamic man-of-the-match performance, whose run in the 35th minute led to Spurs’ second. Released by Moussa Sissoko, he again found space down the left before his shot was pushed out by Pickford into the path of Alli to sweetly drive the ball into the net.

Spurs extended their lead shortly before half-time when a well-struck Trippier free-kick came back off the base of the post and Kane was the first to react in a packed penalty area, scoring with a typically measured finish.

The goals continued to fly in after the break when Eriksen scored the pick of the game with a stunning shot from outside the penalty area that found the bottom corner.

Three minutes later, with the home fans silenced and fearing a festive thrashing, former Spurs man Gylfi Sigurdsson clawed a goal back for the Toffees.

But Son added to a complete individual performance just after the hour mark when a perfectly weighted pass from substitute Erik Lamela put him in the clear. The South Korean showed great composure before placing the ball past Pickford for Spurs’ fifth.

Kane swept in his second and Spurs’ sixth in the 74th minute, converting yet another superb cross from the brilliant Son.

In a week when Pochettino was linked with the manager’s job at Manchester United, Spurs – and Pochettino – appear to have been completely unaffected by the speculation.

The manager added: “We are involved in four competitions. I think today was a surprise to everyone because of the energy and the quality that we showed. It was amazing. To play in a really tough game in the derby at Arsenal on Wednesday – that’s a really good point to talk about because the energy was fantastic [today].”

EVERTON: Pickford, Keane, Zouma, Gomes (Schneiderlin, 53), Sigurdsson (Tosun, 83), Walcott, Digne, Coleman, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison (Bernard,75).
Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Mina, Niasse.

SPURS: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Son Heung-Min (Skipp, 79), Winks, Kane, Sissoko (Moura, 83), Alli (Lamela, 45), Eriksen, Davies.
Subs: Gazzaniga, Rose, Walker-Peters, Foyth.

Attendance: 39,319.

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