Everton grab victory at the death
Everton scored twice in the last couple of minutes to snatch a well-deserved victory over a Tottenham side who looked to have escaped the Goodison Park fortress with all three points. Despite dominating, David Moyes' side found themselves trailing to Clint Dempsey's 76th-minute deflected strike.
With the injured Gareth Bale out of the team Tottenham did not have the same attacking thrust down their left as Dempsey was in no way a like-for-like replacement. As a result Everton were able to take advantage, particularly in the first half, by pouring forward down their right side.
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. Coleman 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 Steven Pienaar both missed Nikica 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 a left-footed cross-shot wide from a Fellaini lay-off as Everton dominated.
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 should have made an immediate impact but when Leighton Baines' shot from a free-kick rebound flew into the penalty 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-foot drive from Baines' 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 it was almost inevitable the visitors would produce a sucker-punch and it duly arrived 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 hit the crossbar with a curling shot as gaps opened up with Everton pressing for the equaliser their performance deserved.
It duly came in the last minute when Coleman crossed and Pienaar headed past Lloris. And 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 took him onto the pitch.