Everton 1 Spurs 1: Keane strikes lightning to take Toffees’ crucial point after giving away Kane’s opener penalty
PERHAPS Antonio Conte was right.
The fiery Italian torched Spurs in his first press conference just before the international break, branding his players “selfish” and “heartless”.
It had come after seeing his side somehow give up a 3-1 lead at basement boys Southampton and draw 3-3 thanks to an equalizer in injury time.
Conte left nine days later and his assistant Cristian Stellini was put in charge until the end of the season.
But the swap didn’t stop the bad habits from being repeated here as Tottenham once again conspired to drop points in the final moments thanks to Michael Keane’s thunderbolt.
It was no more deserved than Spurs, who looked very similar under Stellini, playing for Conte for most of the season.
They had been given a huge piece of luck just before the hour when Abdoulaye Doucoure was sent off for madly attacking Harry Kane.
Kane then seemed to have sealed the points when he put down a penalty that was missed when Keane knocked down Cristian Romero in the box.
But instead of bringing home their man and goals advantage, the spineless Spurs went into their shells, giving Sean Dyche’s side the confidence of an unlikely comeback.
Team numbers were inflated as Sub Lucas Moura’s terrifying tackle on Keane earned him a direct red.
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Then the Toffees defender was asked to take a shot in the 90th minute – and promptly found the corner with a 25-yard cracker.
It aided the Dyche revival, with the Toffees’ unbeaten run now extended to four games.
Despite the relegation battle being so ridiculously stretched, they remain in the bottom three with nine games to play.
The next three of these will also do without the influential Doucoure, and one wonders how much his loss will affect their struggle for survival.
But there’s no doubting the disorganization at this Dyche side – nor its organization, as the ex-Burnley manager named the same side that scored a last-minute draw against Chelsea last time out.
Kane loves playing against Everton as he has scored 14 goals in his last 11 games against Everton before this clash.
He came close with an early swivel and shot that was thwarted by Keane’s goalkeeping intervention.
Keane then had an even better opportunity in the air in the 16th minute.
The 29-year-old has scored nine goals per header in the Premier League this season, equaling the record set by the towering Duncan Ferguson when he played for Everton in 1997/98.
But when Ivan Perisic found Kane with a spot-on shot, Tottenham’s number 10 could only fire the ball wide.
There was a drinks break just before the half-hour mark to allow Everton’s Muslim midfield trio of Doucoure, Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye to break their fast.
Moments later, Doucoure had the best opportunity of the hosts in the first 45, but his free header aimed well over the bar.
There was plenty of effort from Spurs but a well-known lack of cutting edge and quality.
Their fans have regularly shown who they think is most at fault this season by taking aim at Daniel Levy.
Here the traveling support continued with chants calling for the chairman to “get out of our club” as well as eulogies for former boss Mauricio Pochettino, to whom they would like to return.
Everton really should have broken the deadlock minutes in the second half.
Onana brilliantly deflected the ball from Eric Dier, allowing Gueye to drive towards the box.
He had Doucoure on his right, Gray on his left but instead shot high over Hugo Lloris’ goal, much to Dyche’s frustration.
Then, just before the hour mark, came Doucoure’s moment of madness.
The ex-Watford man had scored a 50-50 with Kane, who had just pooled over Grey, then reacted angrily by first poking the Spurs man in the chest and then unforgivably pressing his hand to his face.
Kane hit the deck and although Doucoure and Dyche tried to claim England’s record goalscorer milked it, there was no way referee David Coote would do anything but show a red card.
Kane was also booked for his role in the altercation, which really seemed to come out of nowhere.
The penalty came ten minutes later, which also came out of the blue.
Keane grounded Romero in the area and Kane scored 15 Premier League goals against Everton by sending fellow Englishman Pickford the wrong way.
Spurs should have had it in the bag back then but were shy.
Moura’s cowardly foul on Keane saw Spurs reduced to ten with two minutes to go.
And there was still time for the Toffees defender to find his place from 25 yards.
It gave Everton new hope and Tottenham that familiar sinking feeling that Conte couldn’t take anymore.
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/10465704/everton-tottenham-keane-kane-doucoure-moura/ Everton 1 Spurs 1: Keane strikes lightning to take Toffees’ crucial point after giving away Kane’s opener penalty