In a dramatic Premier League showdown, Everton salvages 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to Jarrad Branthwaite's last-minute equalizer. Richarlison, the former darling of Goodison Park, scored a brace in the first half, seemingly securing a win for the visitors. However, Everton's resilience paid off as Branthwaite's header found the back of the net, leaving Spurs with a share of the points.
Everton's Jack Harrison also contributed to the scoreline, ensuring that the Merseyside club stayed competitive throughout the game. Despite Tottenham's dominance early on, they failed to seal the victory in the second half, allowing Everton to claw their way back into the match.
Tottenham currently sits in fourth place on the Premier League table with 44 points from 23 games, narrowly missing the opportunity to level with second-placed Manchester City, though they have played two more matches. In contrast, Everton struggles in the relegation zone with just 19 points from their 23 games.
Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou expressed disappointment, saying, "I'm pretty disappointed, particularly conceding so late. I thought we had chances to kill them off in the second half."
The match was not without controversy, as Everton fans protested against the Premier League, displaying yellow placards reading 'You don't know what you're doing,' in reference to the club's 10-point deduction for an alleged breach of profit and sustainability rules.
Richarlison opened the scoring early for Tottenham, capitalizing on Destiny Udogie's well-placed pass. Everton responded with a goal from Jack Harrison, who redirected a corner kick into the net, with VAR confirming the goal despite claims of a foul on the goalkeeper.
Richarlison regained the lead for Tottenham just before halftime with a superbly placed shot beyond Jordan Pickford, his former teammate.
Everton remained dangerous from set-pieces, and their persistence paid off as Branthwaite capitalized on a Christian Romero clearance, ensuring Everton a well-deserved point.
Reflecting on the match, Branthwaite said to BBC:
It is a massive point, we have had a rough patch recently. We took our chances, obviously a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded but it is a good point and shows the fight we have as a team. We worked putting pressure on the keeper [at set-pieces] through the week and it worked well.- Jarrad Branthwaite
Despite Everton's winless streak in the Premier League, this valuable point lifts them out of the relegation zone, while Tottenham missed an opportunity to strengthen their position in the top four.
Richarlison took center stage early in the match, stepping up in the absence of Heung-Min Son. His volleyed goal, following a clever run by Destiny Udogie, set the tone for Tottenham. Everton responded with an onslaught of crosses into the penalty box, causing uncertainty for Tottenham's goalkeeper, Guglielmo Vicario. The pressure ultimately led to an equalizer, as Jack Harrison's presence disrupted Vicario's clearance attempt, allowing Dominic Calvert-Lewin to head the ball into the net.
Richarlison continued his heroics by scoring a second goal with a skillful curling shot, placing the ball perfectly into the far corner. Everton's inability to generate the same pressure in the second half allowed Tottenham to come close to extending their lead, with Jordan Pickford making crucial saves.
Tottenham manager Sean Dyche expressed satisfaction with his team's commitment and quality, stating, "The commitment to the cause was evident, and some of the quality... I thought we played very well."
Dyche emphasized his team's intention to be competitive on set-pieces, a strategy that paid off with Branthwaite's late equalizer.
In contrast, Tottenham's manager Ange Postecoglou believed his team needed to secure a third goal to seal the victory and acknowledged the difficulty of playing at Goodison Park. He also noted the reluctance of referees to make calls, leaving VAR to intervene.
Ultimately, Everton's late equalizer proved to be a bitter blow for Tottenham, who conceded their eighth 90th-minute goal of the season. The match statistics highlighted Everton's struggles, including a winless streak and a long period without a goal in the Premier League.
The Premier League continues with Everton facing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday, while Tottenham hosts Brighton on the same day.