Premier League

Spurs salvage Everton draw

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Sun, 07 Apr 2013 18:45:00

Gylfi Sigurdsson's late goal salvaged a 2-2 draw for Tottenham Hotspur against Everton after a topsy-turvy encounter at White Hart Lane.

Emmanuel Adebayor broke the deadlock after just 34 seconds for Spurs but Everton quickly levelled thanks to Phil Jagielka's header.

Kevin Mirallas made it 2-1 to the visitors with a wonderful solo effort for the second time in as many weeks, but Sigurdsson snatched a point for Tottenham three minutes from time.

Tottenham may have been without talisman Gareth Bale due to an ankle injury, but they made an ideal start as Adebayor tucked away a delightful left-wing cross from Jan Vertonghen inside the opening minute after Sylvain Distin had missed the interception.

Everton responded strongly and equalised in the 15th minute when Jagielka climbed above Vertonghen and powered a header through the legs of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Spurs finished the first half on top and felt they should have had a penalty when Clint Dempsey's cross crashed into Darron Gibson, who had his arms raised above his head, but the officials waved play on and replays suggested the ball had hit his chest or shoulder.

Everton went in front in the 53d minute when Mirallas, who scored a wonderful winner against Stoke last weekend, worked his magic again, weaving one way and then the other past a couple of defenders before firing a terrific low finish through the legs of Steven Caulker and past Lloris.

There was almost a leveller for Tottenham moments later as Mousa Dembele's shot from 20 yards took a deflection which could have easily wrong-footed Tim Howard, but the keeper managed to get something on it and parry the ball onto the crossbar.

Spurs kept pressing but were becoming frustrated by Everton's resilient defending and were restricted to long-range strikes from distance as Adebayor, Dempsey and Kyle Walker all tried their luck.

Eventually the hosts were rewarded in the 87th minute as Walker darted down the right wing and cut the ball back for Adebayor, whose shot hit the post but fell kindly for Sigurdsson to score.

The result keeps Spurs six points clear of sixth-placed Everton, having played a game more, as the race for UEFA Champions League qualification goes down to the wire.

Everton manager David Moyes insisted after the match that his side were still in contention for a top-four finish, despite Chelsea's victory over Sunderland later in the day leaving them six points off the pace.

He said: I don't know if a point does a great deal for us. If we'd won we'd have been right in it

"I don't think we're too far away but I just hope the games don't run out. Tottenham are one of the top teams who have been fighting for fourth all season and we have taken four points off them this season so it is not a bad return."

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is also expecting a tight finish this season, but was proud of his players' efforts after a gruelling 2-2 draw with Basel in the Europa League on Thursday.

"It's going to go down to the wire as it stands with Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham all in the frame for that Champions League qualification," said Villas-Boas.

"In games like this you can really see how much desire is in both teams to get those objectives."

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