Eriksen ensures final-day parity for Tottenham and Everton
Tottenham 2 Everton 2
Another of those majestic Christian Eriksen free-kicks saved Spurs from the anti-climax of a third straight home defeat at their new stadium.
But this was not a day when the stakes ever felt that high on an afternoon of bursting pride and nursed hangovers.
In truth, after the week Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had, the outcome today hardly mattered – with that fourth Champions League slot already effectively sewn up before kick-off and the afterglow of qualification for the Champions League final creating a ‘pinch yourself’ atmosphere.
Tottenham fans were determined to enjoy the moment, basking in thoughts of that unexpected shot at glory in Madrid after their dramatic comeback against Ajax in midweek.
They hailed Amsterdam hat-trick hero Lucas Moura before kick-off when his name was announced, and a vibrant start suggested Spurs had captured the mood.
With less than three minutes gone, a simple inswinging corner from Erik Lamela proved enough to unsettle a defence that has built a bit of a reputation for vulnerability at set pieces.
Eric Dier took advantage of the ball bouncing kindly after no-one got a decisive touch and the midfielder, deployed in defence in the absence of an injured Jan Vertonghen, lashed the ball past England colleague Jordan Pickford.
But after all the nervous energy expended in that emotional win, it was no surprise that Spurs slackened to allow the visitors to get back into the contest.
Two goals in three minutes midway through the second half had Everton in front. Theo Walcott tied it up after 70 minutes, taking delivery of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s finely-weighted pass to angle a precise low shot across Lloris.
And just a few moments later, with fans in the away end celebrating Man City goals at Brighton that were ensuring the league title would not be heading to city rivals Liverpool, Cenk Tosun bundled in at a corner after Michael Keane’s initial header had been blocked on the line.
Luckily, the party was not quite spoiled altogether though, and Eriksen’s shot, curved around a wall, and finding a tiny piece of unguarded net inside the far post, ensured parity on 75 minutes.
Both sets of fans could take much from the final day of the league season – especially Evertonians, who found out they had been spared the horror of seeing the Red half of the city party all summer long.
They found time to offer up chants of: ‘You're gonna win the cup’ to their Madrid-bound opponents, who will be hoping they can deny Liverpool the other big club trophy to come. Needless to say, the sentiment went down well with home fans.
Tottenham supporters will be dreaming between now and June 1 that their heroes can deliver on the biggest club stage of all to prove the blue half of Liverpool correct.
Line-up: Lloris – Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Davies – Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli (Wanyama h/t) – Moura, Lamela (Skipp 77) – Llorente (Janssen 77). Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Aurier, Marsh.