Premier League action returned after the closing of the summer transfer window and the international break as Everton welcomed last season’s runners-up, Spurs to Goodison Park.
And it was the visitors who turned up and put on something of a clinic in possession football and finishing, and but for Jordan Pickford the margin of victory could have much greater and embarrassing for Everton.
Ronald Koeman selected his starting line-up: Pickford, Baines (c), Williams, Keane, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gana Gueye, Klaassen, Sigurdsson, Ramirez and Rooney.
Counterpart Mauricio Pochettino lined up a strong Spurs: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli and Kane.
The man in the middle with the big whistle was Graham Scott.
Tottenham took control of this encounter with strikes from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, and could have had four before half time if Alli and then Kane hadn’t wasted gilt-edged chances.
Williams was booked inside five minutes for pulling Kane back, the England man making a meal of the challenge to see the yellow card waved.
A nice right wing move involving a one-two between Martina and Rooney saw Ramirez get on the end of the cross but put his shot wide at the near post.
Alderweireld was next to see yellow for bringing down Ramirez, but the free kick from Sigurdsson was over hit and sailed to safety.
Spurs gave warning of their offensive threats when a Ben Davies cross fell nicely for Sissoko whose shot was blocked and Kane put the follow up wide.
A good left wing move saw the cross from Baines headed out and fall nicely for Sigurdsson, but he hurried his volley and Lloris wasn’t troubled.
Spurs took the lead somewhat fortuitously when following a corner that wasn’t cleared far enough, Kane collected on the right and his mishit cross deceived Pickford on 28 minutes.
Kane next outmuscled Williams to get free and cross for Sissoko who was denied by Pickford at close range. Everton tried to respond with another right wing cross from Martina that fell for Ramirez but his powerful shot was blocked and cleared.
Spurs doubled their advantage when Alli got free on the right and his cross to the back post saw a woeful attempt to clear by Martina fall sweetly for Eriksen and the Dane made no mistake.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Alli totally miscued on a cross from Kane and right on the half time whistle a shocking header from Martina gave Kane an opportunity he normally buries, but thankfully, he screwed his shot wide.
Half Time: 0-2
Tom Davies for Klaassen and DCL for Ramirez were Ronald Koeman‘s half time reaction changes to the first half… and barely had the announcement been read than Kane found Davies in space on the left to make his way into the box for the return ball and bag his second and finished the game as a contest.
Spurs threatened to run riot as Alli found Kane and his dinked ball over the top found Eriksen and it needed an acrobatic save to deny the Dane a second marker. Moments later and Alli found Kane with Pickford again making the save to keep things relatively respectable.
Gana Gueye was booked for a foul on Eriksen and then summed up Everton’s woes when he failed to find the empty net as Lloris made a hash of a clearance.
Further late changes saw Dembele and Winks replace Eriksen and the limping Sissoko respectively before Nikola Vlasic came on for an energetic cameo role replacing Gana Gueye.
Tom Davies sent Baines free on the left only for Rooney to air shot on the cross with DCL forcing a corner. The game had long since petered out and the final ignominy saw Rooney yellow carded for a foul on Alli to complete a thoroughly miserable afternoon for Everton.
Full Time: 0-3
Speaking afterwards, Ronald Koeman noted, “Yes, I’m very disappointed because I thought for the first 20-25 minutes we were okay, made a few chances but when we went behind to the lucky goal, we lost domination and control. The diamond formation of the Tottenham midfield was difficult to control and organise against defensively.”
“We had a good feeling to start the second half, even though it’s difficult two-nil down, and then straight away the third goal. That killed the confidence in the team, and they grow in confidence”.
“The frustration is the second half, I don’t want yellow and red cards, but in some situations we were too nice. The Tottenham players were really clever and we were too nice, too weak in the second half and that’s down to confidence”.
“We need to learn from today, we knew that Tottenham are a really strong side, play good football. Good players with good technique and high performance, that was the difference today.
Asked about aspirations of breaking into the highest level of the league, Koeman added, “Today, we are far away. But I know how it works in football. Everyone is talking about Everton and the top six, but you see the qualities of the players in the top six, so it’s a challenge, it’s our ambition but we need to realise it’s difficult. It’s not to get too down after today, learn from today and react, and we have enough games coming up in which to react”.