Everton lost ground in the race for the Champions League, falling to a 1-0 defeat away at Tottenham courtesy of a second-half Emmanuel Adebayor strike.

Roberto Martinez made three changes to his Everton side that beat Aston Villa, bringing in Coleman, Pienaar and Naismith for Stones, McGeady and Barkley, who all dropped to the bench alongside the fit-again Gerard Deulofeu and Lacina Traore.

The changes looked inspired as Everton flew out of the blocks with a flurry of early chances with Leon Osman at the centre of all of them, coming close four times inside the opening eight minutes.

Everton continued to enjoy most of the possession in a bright opening period but found themselves behind following Emmanuel Adebayor’s 64th-minute goal.

Steven Naismith had tangled with Mousa Dembélé in the middle of the pitch and the referee, Mark Clattenburg, had awarded the free-kick Tottenham´s way. Tottenham did not hang around. Kyle Walker put the ball down and he aimed the free-kick immediately towards Adebayor, who was level with the last Everton defender. The visitors switched on to the danger too late and Adebayor, having overpowered Seamus Coleman, unloaded a low left-foot shot that fizzed past Tim Howard´s right hand. The defender Phil Jagielka, chasing back across, could not get there to challenge in time.

Despite the introduction of Ross Barkley, Aiden McGeady and the fit-again Gerard Deulofeu, Everton just couldn’t test Lloris again and left North London frustratingly empty handed.

FT: Tottenham 1-0 Everton

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