Final Score: 1-1
Schematic & Player Movements:
The first half can be described as being dominated by Spurs in both possession and number of quality chances created. Everton set themselves up very defensively and made an attempt to get everyone behind the ball. Their line of confrontation was at the half-field line and I was pretty surprised with this amount of respect considering Everton are a very good footballing team and that they were at home. To me this approach was a big mistake and when you’re willing to concede that much possession to Spurs you will be in trouble. The other problem with this approach for Everton is that they aren’t really set up to be a countering team. They are a good team at building out of the back and create chances from getting the ball wide to their outstanding attacking full backs who can supply service to the powerful Lukaku. This mistake of an approach was also made evident when you compare their performance to that in the second half, where they were so much better. Granted Besic provided more defensive cover and work-rate, so that Barkley could end up moving higher-up and pressing a bit more, but this is how they probably should have started.
Contray to Everton, I loved several things that Spurs showed in the first half. Spurs where patient and deliberate in their build-up and at many times showed very well worked intricate passing sequences that would end up freeing Alli or Lamela. Defensively they also pressed well together in units, which is something Everton wouldn’t do particularly well when trying to win the ball in their own half. In particular, Dier was excellent. He did two things very well that allowed Spurs to relentlessly attack. First was this cover for Walker in the RB spot. Walker loves to bomb forward, so in the buildup Dier would slide across allowing Walker to get higher and wide up the field in a more attacking position. Second was Dier's connectedness to his CB's. Vertonghen would do an excellent job closing Lukaku down and then because Dier was connected, he could mop up the loose ball and look to get Carroll or Eriksen on the ball going forward. In the first half, I thought Spurs did an excellent job exposing Everton in transition, especially through Alli but a lot of credit goes to Dier.
Credit to Martinez for changing Everton's approach in the second half. In the second half, Everton started off pressing higher up the field and this was triggered by Barkley. This half-time change was necessary to get something out of the game. Not only was Besic a needed defensive presence that allowed Barkley more focus to attack, but Deulofeu was also lively. He impacted the game very positively and seemed more determined to get involved then Lennon.
All in all, a tie was the fair result. Tottenham weren’t able to create enough in the second to deserve the win. Either team could have grabbed the win in the last 10 minutes if their final passes were better. In the last 10 minutes, Tottenham seemed to lose their patience in possession that they demonstrated in the first half and forced too many balls.