Harry Kane’s scoring drought came to an end as he brought up a century of Tottenham goals, netting twice as Spurs beat Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park.
Tottenham enjoyed a comfortable victory, thanks to goals from Harry Kane, at Goodison Park against a sloppy Everton side. Wayne Rooney’s appearance for the home team attracted undue attention, just days after being charged for drunk-driving, but he did his duty diligently and put up a brave fight.
Kane, who scored against Malta after his unusual goalless August slump, struck his 100th for Tottenham when an unintentional cross-shot swooped into the top corner. Hhen clipped home from close range early in the second half, with Christian Eriksen on target in between.
It was a controlled and clinical display from the London side, for whom Ben Davies excelled at left-back, and they have now taken six of their seven points away from their temporary Wembley home. For Everton though, this will act as a bitter learning curve ahead of their upcoming fixtures. THT takes a look at the talking points from the game:
Tottenham thrive despite Mousa Dembele’s absence
Dembele was a surprise absentee from the starting eleven when the lineups were announced. It seemed like Mauricio Pochettino was saving the 30-year-old for their Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley – an important fixture that can set the tone for Spurs in Europe.
Pochettino was short of central midfielders and he took the unusual decision to play with only one – Eric Dier. While it was assumed that Moussa Sissoko would join Dier in the middle, the Frenchman spent his time alongside Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in an attacking midfield trio.
It looked like an odd strategy in the early stages but it was Spurs who gradually got on top. Once the goals started pouring in, it was difficult to question Pochettino’s selection or tactics. After adding a third goal, Pochettino was able to swap Christian Eriksen for Dembele with 20 minutes left.
Davinson Sanchez’s instant impact
Davinson Sanchez had appeared in the final moments of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Burnley, and he got the opportunity to make his first start on Saturday. The Colombia international was deployed in the middle of Spurs’ back-three, between Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
The move to play Sanchez only showed how much faith Pochettino has in the youngster, and the player truly lived up to his billing. Barring the fact that he gave away a couple of early free kicks and scuffed one attempted clearance into a dangerous area on the edge of the box, he was otherwise solid.
The youngster was extremely quick and strong, and gave his colleagues few causes for concern. All in all, it was an impressive full debut and, judging by his outing, Spurs’ record signing is indeed a talented individual who can go a long way for the Lilywhites.
Harry Kane notches up 100 goals for Tottenham
Tottenham’s main striker put infamous August jinx behind him as he netted twice on Saturday, notching up 100 goals for Spurs in the process. In fact, Kane looked deadly in front of a shoddy Everton defence and the home side could really do little to stop him from surging forward.
Kane drifted into a deep position on the right touchline in the 28th minute and hoisted a big, hanging cross into the area. Jordan Pickford was not far off his line but as the trajectory became apparent, the £30 million keeper was helpless to prevent it from sailing over his head and into the net.
The Englishman’s plays were extremely effective for Tottenham. Kane then went forward to double his tally moments after half time, and it appears normal service has been resumed just in time with their European commitments starting this week.
Ben Davies at his resurgent best
Davies has often been viewed as a limited deputy to Danny Rose – solid but unspectacular. Such criticisms may have been justified earlier but yesterday, the Welshman allayed all doubts. He appears to have developed an attacking sense and has started the season very well.
The 24-year-old set up two of Spurs’ goals against Everton. When Dele Alli’s cross reached him beyond the far post, Davies did well to get his foot round the ball and force Pickford into a harder save than he might have expected. Pickford had to go to ground to palm the ball away from his bottom corner, and that gave Eriksen an easy finish.
Then, just after half time, Davies’ perfect low, curling cross between Pickford and his defenders gave Kane a simple tap-in. In addition to the assists, he also created other opportunities, capping an immensely satisfactory day at work. Davies has added a new layer to his game for which he truly deserves credit.
Another disappointment Moussa Sissoko
Sissoko was expected to leave during the summer but he stayed back instead and was handed a start in Saturday’s match. While some aspects of his performance deserve praise, at other times he looked out of place. With a bit more poise, Sissoko could have had a couple of goals and assists from the right flank.
The Frenchman got into good areas, but was unable to finish. And for every one of his positive contributions, there was a careless error. When Davies pulled the ball back to him at 0-0, his shot was blocked. Then, when he burst free down the flank, he unnecessarily started his run too early and was flagged offside.
Sissoko was also involved in the build-up to Spurs’ second goal but when he had the chance to head home himself from Kieran Trippier’s delivery in the second half, he put his effort over the bar. This should have been a better day for him but unfortunately for Sissoko, it was a rather lukewarm display.