Tottenham 5-0 Everton: Spectacular Spurs put woeful Toffees to the sword
Photo by Getty Images/Tottenham Hotspur FC

On a viciously cold night in north London, Tottenham Hotspur won with a flourish and a fabulous performance as they overcame Frank Lampard's desperately poor Everton side.

It was an awful start for the visitors at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Michael Keane prodded into his own net after 15 minutes, an event which set the trend for the rest of the first-half. Heung-min Son and Harry Kane then got in on the act with two pretty effortless goals as the Everton defence crumbled before them.

And it didn't get any better after the break either, as Sergio Reguilon added a fourth less than a minute into the second-half before Kane completed the rout with a superb volley in the 55th minute to send Antonio Conte and the Spurs fans home smiling.

The result sees Tottenham climb level on points with West Ham United in 6th but behind them on goal difference, while Everton remain looking perilously over their shoulders in 17th.

Story of the game

Everton moved the ball well in the opening stages, keeping Spurs pegged in and around their own box through a combination of intricate passing and intense pressure when they lost it — but the final ball let them down on a number of occasions.

The first clear chance of the match, however, fell the way of the hosts. Kane picked out his partner in crime Son one-on-one with Seamus Coleman and it looked for all the world that the forward would shift the ball onto his right foot and curl it home, but Anthony Gordon nipped in with the timeliest of challenges to avert the danger. It was a real let-off for the Toffees, who had been caught napping.

Spurs had the breakthrough on the 15-minute mark with a well-worked goal which they were unfortunate not to gain final credit for. Ben Davies clipped a ball in behind the Everton defence for Ryan Sessegnon which looked to be heading out of play, but the wing-back applied the afterburners and met it on the touchline before supplying a vicious cross into the area which Keane turned into his own net with Kane breathing down his neck.

It wasn't long before one became two. Dejan Kulusevski played a neat ball into the feet of Son, who turned goalwards and atoned for his previous hesitancy by getting his shot away immediately from just outside the box — birthday boy Jordan Pickford should probably have done better, but it had enough power to beat the goalkeeper and nestle in the net.

Having struggled at home of late, not winning a league match here in 2022 prior to tonight, such a bright start did Spurs the world of good.

Just before the half-hour mark, it should've been three. Son was played through by a perfectly weighted pass from Rodrigo Bentancur. The forward sized up his finish and took aim at goal but Pickford did brilliantly to save with his leg before Kane blazed the follow-up just wide of the post.

Everton just couldn't keep Spurs at bay. Five minutes later Son drifted into the box before spreading the ball to Matt Doherty in acres of space on the other side of the area. The wing-back feinted past Jonjoe Kenny and powered an effort at goal, but it was straight at Pickford who tipped it over.

The leaky Toffees defence was breached again when an expertly disguised pass from Doherty put Kane one-on-one with Pickford, and the striker summoned up a deft finish into the bottom corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.

A quick VAR check confirmed the legitimacy of the goal, but that was, surely, game, set and match, even after just 40 minutes of football.

There were two changes at half-time, with Reguilon and Jarrad Branthwaite replacing Sessegnon and Keane respectively, and one of those two would have their name announced on the tannoy again very soon indeed.

Within seconds of the restart, Son drove forward and spread the ball out to Kulusevski in acres of space on the right. The Swedish international powered a vicious delivery into the box first-time which was missed by the entire Everton defence and eventually dropped for Reguilon at the back post to fire home. That won't have been exactly the response Frank Lampard was hoping to see from his side.

As leaky as their defence was, some degree of attacking threat remained in Everton's tanks. They nearly pegged a goal back when Dominic Calvert-Lewin strode into the box and tried to pick out the far bottom corner, but it whistled just wide of the post.

Those moments were few and far between — the story of this match concerned the penetrability of the visiting defence. Two chances fell Tottenham's way within a matter of moments when Kulusevski's clever reverse pass played Son in one-on-one only for Branthwaite to block on the line, before Eric Dier hit the crossbar with a glancing header from Kane's cross as the Toffees back-line watched on like statues.

It did become five soon enough, though. A superb looping ball into the box from Doherty met Kane who took it on the volley, first-time, to summon up a wicked strike across goal which wrong-footed Pickford and nestled in the far bottom corner. It was a goal which summed up Tottenham's night: they were really having fun of it here.

Spurs were presented with a great opportunity to make it six when Kulusevski, superb all evening, clipped a ball into the path of substitute Steven Bergwijn in the box, the forward stinging the palms of Pickford with a powerful half-volley.

The game petered slowly and uneventfully towards its conclusion in the final 15 minutes, with the Toffees visibly lacking motivation and Tottenham seemingly content to stop at five — not that asking for even more would have been greedy given just how well they played tonight. It was an embarrassing Everton performance, the visitors unable to contain the supremely good Spurs.

Takeaways from the match

Spurs feel home comforts again

Even though they'd lost only two home matches in a row, the fact that Tottenham's last victory here came on Boxing Day against Crystal Palace — and that they'd played nine league matches since then — made it feel as if it had been an awfully long time since they collected three points on home soil.

This was a very welcome result in that regard, made all the better by just how well Tottenham played on the night. Confidence, grit, clinical edge in the key moments: Spurs had it all in a truly complete display from the hosts. It was five-star to say the very least.

The performance of the Doherty-Kulusevski duo down the right flank will be particularly pleasing for Conte. The first goal may have come from the left but the pair were involved in all of the rest, picking up a couple of assists each. Kulusevski could easily have had more, while Doherty's lobbed pass for Kane's second was exquisite — the Irishman looks to have made that starting spot his own as Emerson Royal watched on from the bench.

A brilliant start to Conte's reign was followed up by a stutter or two, but Spurs look to be well and truly back on track.

Lampard still has work to do with Everton no where near good enough

But for the comfortable dispatching of fellow relegation candidates Leeds United in Lampard's second league match at the helm, Everton haven't been at then races for far, far too long now, with tonight's result — and, more pertinently, performance — making it crystal clear that the Toffees are still very much part of that scrap at the foot of the table.

Their defence was at sixes and sevens, but it was the performance of their number five, Keane, which stood out for all the wrong reasons. His early own-goal set the tone for what was a miserable first-half display, with all three goals in that period arguably related to the centre-back be it his positioning or strength in the tackle.

But to pin the blame for this result on one player would be to undermine what a truly dreadful performance it was on a collective level. Tonight was always going to be tough, but Everton offered absolutely nothing to reassure their fans that they have what it takes to get out of their current predicament, and that's what will cause the most concern.

Teams

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris [c]; Romero (Sanchez 51'), Dier, Davies; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon (Reguilon 46'); Kulusevski, Kane, Son (Bergwijn 66').

Unused subs: Gollini, Emerson, Rodon, Winks, White, Lucas.

Everton: Pickford; Coleman [c], Holgate, Keane (Branthwaite 46'), Kenny; Doucoure, Allan, van de Beek (Mykolenko 59'); Gordon, Calvert-Lewin (Dele 69'), Richarlison.

Unused subs: Begovic, Gomes, Iwobi, Townsend, Rondon, El Ghazi.

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 59,647

Up next

Following this crucial victory here, Tottenham travel north to face Manchester United on Saturday.

Everton, meanwhile, play on Sunday as Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Goodison Park.

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