Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Goals: Cenk Tosun (£5.7m) | Dele Alli (£8.4m)
- Assists: Lucas Digne (£5.9m)| Son Heung-min (£9.6m)
- Bonus: Serge Aurier (£4.8m) x3, Alli x2, Digne x1
Everton confirmed on Monday that Andre Gomes (£5.3m) has undergone successful surgery after the Portuguese midfielder suffered a “fracture-dislocation to his right ankle” in the Toffees’ 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a 79th-minute tackle from Son Heung-min (£9.6m) that ultimately led to the hideous-looking injury, with Gomes subsequently trapping his leg in the turf as he collided with Serge Aurier (£4.8m).
Son received a straight red card for his challenge which, viewed in isolation, was of the cynical nature rather than anything too malicious.
The 7.1%-owned Spurs midfielder will, pending an appeal, now miss the Lilywhites’ next three league matches, returning for the Gameweek 15 clash with Manchester United in early December.
Mauricio Pochettino joined the chorus of players, managers, fans and pundits expressing sympathy for Gomes but voiced his disappointment at the decision to dismiss Son, with referee Martin Atkinson seemingly having been poised to book the South Korea international before the consequences of his tackle became apparent.
The visitors had been leading 1-0 at that stage and Everton went on to press their numerical advantage by scoring an equaliser late in stoppage time.
Asked if Spurs would appeal the red card, Pochettino said:
I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen now, the club will see if possible or not. What we cannot change is all that happened after the red card.
We are going to talk about the VAR because the VAR need to check if it was a bad tackle from Sonny and judge the action, not judge what happened after that was very bad luck for Andre. We feel very disappointed with this type of situation on the VAR. VAR to help the referee. I’m confused more with the situation. I was talking to the referee and they need help. They need to go check on the screen. They have the screen: why not?
At the end the decision because everything changed. I think the game was under control for Tottenham and I think we really believed that we would win the game at the end. The problem is playing with one less. And then we concede a goal playing with one less and it was very, very tough. It was completely unfair for Sonny and completely unfair for Tottenham.
It has since been reported that Spurs will try to get the dismissal overturned and it’ll be interesting to see what the response from the Football Association will be.
The early signs weren’t too positive, with the FA having seemingly doubled-down on Atkinson’s decision to send off the South Korean attacker when releasing a statement just after full-time:
The red card for Son was for endangering the safety of a player which happened as a consequence of his initial challenge.
Son had earlier registered his seventh attacking return in the last eight Gameweeks, teeing up Dele Alli (£8.4m) for the game’s opening goal.
The match had been drifting towards a goalless draw at that point, with the two teams serving up one of the most forgettable encounters of the 2019/20 campaign.
Everton and Spurs have struggled for form this season and there was nervousness from both teams at Goodison Park, with Fantasy managers given little incentive to invest in either side – especially in attack.
Spurs were almost non-existent going forward, registering only four shots all evening, and even their goal stemmed from a misplaced pass from Alex Iwobi (£5.8m) rather than anything they carved out themselves.
The unavailability of Harry Kane (£10.8m) was a mitigating factor, with Lucas Moura (£7.0m) proving to be an ineffectual spearhead in his absence.
The England striker missed out with illness, with Pochettino saying ahead of kick-off:
He and his family got a virus and started to feel bad on Friday night. It was impossible for him to train on Saturday and now he cannot play.
Christian Eriksen (£8.7m) was poor yet again and, with Son suspended next weekend, owners of John Lundstram (£4.8m) and co might be growing increasingly confident of a clean sheet when Sheffield United visit north London in Gameweek 12.
Alli’s goal was at least a positive and there may be a modest bit of Fantasy interest in the former MK Dons man, who has now completed three successive 90-minute run-outs in the league and scored two goals in that time.
Everton weren’t much better, with Richarlison (£7.9m) – again leading the line – carrying what little threat the hosts posed.
The Brazilian twice tested Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.5m) and fired wide in the first half, later being denied a penalty when tumbling in the box.
That was one of three claims for a spot-kick refuted by VAR, with a challenge on Son and an Alli handball not punished.
Everton’s Fantasy assets seem to be in a “don’t buy, don’t sell” limbo at present – the Toffees next face two of the most obliging defences in the Premier League and owners of Richarlison et al may be reluctant to part ways before matches against Southampton and Norwich.
An awful run of fixtures from Gameweeks 14-18, coupled with some indifferent form, may deter many non-owners from venturing near the Toffees despite their upcoming double-header, however.
There were some success stories at Goodison, with Aurier’s 88th-minute substitution meaning that he not only banked a clean sheet before Everton’s equaliser but also claimed maximum bonus points to go with it.
Lucas Digne (£5.9m), meanwhile, was staring down the barrel of a blank before his superb volleyed cross was nodded in by substitute Cenk Tosun (£5.7m) for the hosts’ late leveller.
Indeed if any Fantasy assets could take credit from Sunday’s game, it was the two defences – although the relative solidity of Spurs and Everton’s backlines, who have only two clean sheets between them in the last nine Gameweeks, was aided by the toothlessness of their opponents in attack.
Everton XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Sidibe, Holgate, Mina, Digne; Davies (Calvert-Lewin 83′), Gomes (Sigurdsson 84′), Delph; Walcott (Tosun 68′), Richarlison, Iwobi.
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Aurier (Foyth 88′), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Ndombele (Lo Celso 73′), Sissoko; Son, Eriksen (Sessegnon 90′), Alli; Lucas.
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