Spurs secure Champions League qualification

Sunday 12th May 2019  Tottenham 2-2 Everton

A late Christian Eriksen free-kick ensured that the points were shared at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium today, as Spurs confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League with a 2-2 draw.

With both eyes on their first ever Champions League final next month, Mauricio Pochettino’s men knew they only needed a point to finish in the top four above bitter rivals Arsenal.

And, despite being outplayed for periods of the game, a draw was probably a fair result for Spurs as both sides took an attacking approach to their final league game of the season.

There was a party-like atmosphere at the new stadium following on from Wednesday night’s heroics in Amsterdam, and the players were greeted with an almighty roar as they took to the pitch.

And the Spurs fans were given even more to cheer after just three minutes when Eric Dier, making a rare start at the heart of the Tottenham midfield, converted an Erik Lamela corner from close range after some sloppy defending by the visitors.

Far from kicking on from there, though, the early goal seemed to be the catalyst for Everton to take the game to Spurs. As the hosts took their foot off the gas, perhaps still replaying that famous comeback against Ajax in their heads, Everton pressed forward, searching for an equaliser.

But, despite a handful of half-decent chances, they didn’t pull themselves level until the 69th minute. It was old foe Theo Walcott, who had his run ins with Spurs fans during his spell with Arsenal, who raced on to a through-ball from Gylfi Sigurdsson before finishing neatly into the corner, much to his delight.

And Spurs had barely finished licking their wounds from the first goal when Everton hit their second, just four minutes after the restart.

Question marks could be asked of the Spurs defence after they again struggled to deal with a ball into the box. Michael Keane rose highest to meet Sigurdsson’s corner and, when Lloris saved from his header, Cenk Tosun was there to bundle home the ball for his first goal in 16 games.

This seemed to act as a wake up call to Spurs, though, and just two minutes later the ball was in the back of the net again, this time at the Everton end.

Great Dane rescues point

The goal came courtesy of a Christian Eriksen free-kick, the Dane having a relatively quiet afternoon aside from the goal. Many believe that he could be destined for pastures new next season and, if true, perhaps this was the perfect way to sign off from a six-year stay in North London.

Poch’s Verdict

“This group of players deserve so much credit. They have put so much unbelievable effort in. There have been many positives this season. The players and staff have shown so much character. We broke down all the doors when the circumstances were against us with the new stadium stuff.”

“So to see their capacity to fight again makes me so proud. I think this is our best season in our five years. “I am so happy, so pleased. What we have achieved this season – top four and final of Champions League – it is difficult to assess now but in time the people will realise what we achieve.”

Spurs v Everton Man of the Match

In a game where more than a few Spurs players clearly had the Champions League final on their minds, Walker-Peters showed composure beyond his years to put on another assured, confident display in the right back position.

A moment to celebrate

All in all, there were certainly some concerning moments from today’s game to give Mauricio Pochettino some thought, but with the Champions League final fast approaching the players could be forgiven for a relatively subdued performance. The fact we managed to grind out a draw despite being below our best will have pleased the manager, and he can now put all of his efforts into what is undoubtedly the biggest game of his managerial career. For the players, staff and fans alike, securing a top 4 finish with a Champions League final on the horizon is more than they could have dreamed of, and today’s occasion was an opportunity to reflect and celebrate a huge achievement.


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