Harry Kane leads Tottenham’s thrashing of Frank Lampard’s inept Everton | Premier League


Frank Lampard might have arrived in north London hoping to end Everton’s woeful away record, perhaps even, in some of his more feverish dreams, to hear the entire ground rise as one to acclaim his expertise. In the end he kind of got some of the way there. His decisions to bring on first the Ukrainian Vitalii Mykolenko and then the former Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli were greeted with the unique generosity of a crowd that got to cheer five unanswered home goals and enjoy repeated choruses of “Lampard’s going down”.

Everton’s display of defensive haplessness helped Antonio Conte’s unpredictable Spurs side appear like world-beaters, and ended in a scoreline so emphatic it left the club with a goal difference more than doubled in improvement, from plus three to plus eight.

Spurs had not won consecutive league games since early December. Now they return to Manchester, where they beat City last month, to face United on Saturday having won three out of four. Everton meanwhile had not won a Premier League away game since August, part of a run of three wins in their first four since revealed to be the falsest of dawns. By the time they get another chance it will be April.

Before kick-off a local youth choir took to the pitch to sing One Day, an uplifting plea for peace. “It’s not about win or lose,” they sang at one point, as a collection of highly paid athletes gathered in the tunnel for whom it still very much is, “because we all lose when they feed on the souls of the innocent.” The songwriters will not have had Michael Keane and Mason Holgate in mind when they wrote this bit, and the singers were concentrating on a conflict that makes this one look embarrassingly trivial, but some sympathy for hapless centre-backs is probably warranted when Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are in the mood and ready to tuck in.

The home side, who took last week’s FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough seriously but lost it, made one change to that side, with Rodrigo Bentancur displacing Harry Winks on his return from injury. Everton, who took their Cup game against Boreham Wood less seriously but won it, made six changes to that team but just one to the side that lost to Manchester City in their last league outing, Dominic Calvert-Lewin forcing Alex Iwobi onto the bench.

Michael Keane’s own goal gives Tottenham a 1-0 lead over Everton
Michael Keane’s own goal gives Tottenham a 1-0 lead over Everton. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Everton’s England striker was never more than occasionally involved in a first half that turned fast and hard away from the away side from the 11th minute, when Tottenham set up the game’s first clear chance. Everton had been bright enough in the opening exchanges, snapping into challenges and denying Tottenham space as they tried to play out of defence, but they would be less successful at denying the hosts space when Spurs tried to play into theirs.

Two goals in three minutes squeezed the spirit out of Lampard’s side. First Ben Davies played the ball down the left for Ryan Sessegnon, who accelerated away from Séamus Coleman with cruel ease before sending in a cross that was missed by Kane at the near post but ricocheted into the top corner off the knee of Keane, his marker. Then in the 17th minute Dejan Kulusevski drew Holgate away from Son before playing in the South Korea forward, who finished hard and low beyond Jordan Pickford.

Few would have been surprised to see Kane and Son spearhead Tottenham’s attack, but it was at this point that Matt Doherty more unexpectedly took over. First he released Son down the left, only for Pickford to save his shot and Kane to volley the rebound wide, then the pair reversed roles when Doherty blasted an effort at the Everton keeper having been teed up by Son. Finally Doherty produced a splendid first-time defence-splitting pass to send Kane clear to extend Spurs’ lead to three.

At this stage Everton’s chances, such as they were, relied on Lampard masterminding a stunning half-time transformation. Just 40 seconds after the restart Spurs scored their fourth. Sergio Reguilón had only just come on, replacing Sessegnon who had ended the first half with the physios, and his first task was to run entirely unnoticed on to Kulusevski’s low cross and pass it into the net.

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In the 53rd minute Calvert-Lewin had the visitors’ best chance of the night thus far, albeit not a terribly good one, sending a low shot across goal and wide. Perhaps this, finally, was the first green shoot of an Everton recovery? Absolutely nobody held their breath, but if they had it might have lasted through two decent Spurs chances and a fifth goal, all of which came within the next 90 seconds.

First Son’s shot hit Jarrad Branthwaite, another half-time substitute – it was taking a Holgate clearance full in the head, rather than the mental tortures of life at the heart of this Everton defence, that did for Keane – then Eric Dier headed over. Finally, Everton gave the ball away midway into their own half, Doherty crossed and Kane scored with a beautifully measured left-foot volley.



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