Spurs End Europa League Hangover Hoodoo

A Roberto Soldado winner gave Tottenham a much-needed win over Everton, and boosted their top-four hopes. It was a scrappy game, with not much action of note.

However, Everton took the lead with a moment of magic. An Everton freekick fell to Kevin Mirallas on the edge of the box, and the Belgian took one touch, cut inside on his right foot, and curled a fantastic effort beyond Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham hit back almost instantly, as Harry Kane’s shot was parried by Tim Howard into the path of Christian Eriksen, who produced a very nice finish to even it up. Howard should have done a lot better, though.

Spurs took the lead just before half-time, when Roberto Soldado produced a clinical finish after a Tottenham break. The second half was stunningly boring — the only notable incident being a late handball appeal after the ball struck Federico Fazio’s arm.

Still, Spurs fans won’t mind at all, as the three points is all that matters.

Tottenham ratings:

Lloris 7 — dealt with everything well, could do nothing about the goal

Chiriches 4 — terrible at right-back, beaten all day long by Mirallas and Baines

Fazio 6 — not great but better than he has been recently

Vertonghen 6 — looks to be coming to terms with the defence change

Davies 6 — decent enough, not much to say

Mason 6 — fairly anonymous

Bentaleb 6 — see Mason

Lennon 6 — threatened on occasion but more often than not let down the team

Kane 7 — very good link between the midfield and the attack, great running

Eriksen 7 — well-taken goal, always looked dangerous

Soldado 8 — StaRating man of the match — this could be the start he needed, looked very good and a constant threat

Subs:

Lamela 4 — lost the ball repeatedly, booked, terrible performance

Dier 5 — not much better than Chiriches

Paulinho 6 — shored up the midfield when needed

Everton ratings:

Howard 5 — poor performance, at fault for Eriksen’s goal

Coleman 6 — caught out of position a few times but did threaten attacking-wise

Jagielka 7 — defended well, unlucky to concede two

Distin 6 — showing his age but can still produce a good performance when needed

Baines 7 — not up to his usual standard but still a threat

Besic 6 — fouled a lot, was fouled a lot

Barry 6 — tried to control the midfield, worked occasionally

Barkley 6 — had some moments of magic but not as many as he’d have liked

Mirallas 7 — superb goal, played well

Eto’o 6 — fairly anonymous

Lukaku 6 — dangerous and tame in equal measure

Subs:

McGeady 6 — some cute passes but not much end product

Osman 5 — lot of endeavour but a lack of quality

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