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Richarlison apologises to Everton as three Tottenham players dazzle for Ange Postecoglou | Football | Sport

Two clinical first-half goals from Richarlison weren’t enough to inspire Tottenham to a win over his former club Everton at Goodison Park. The game was just four minutes old when he volleyed home from Destiny Udogie’s cut-back before Jack Harrison levelled from close range after Dwight McNeil’s corner. But just before half-time Richarlison was at it again after being teed up by James Maddison, whipping a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area – only for Jarrad Branthwaite to head in from close range in injury time.

Richarlison remembers just in time

When the £51million signing hammered a left foot half-volley past Jordan Pickford early on, he straight away held up his hands to apologise.

The Brazilian striker seemingly forgot he previously spent four years as an Everton player and, comically, had to stop himself from celebrating when he scored against them last year but there was no such repeat here. Instead, he held out his hands almost apologetically – and did similar when he again finished clinically later in the half.

The gesture appeared to go down well with the Gwladys Street Stand faithful. But what it doesn’t detract from, is a man previously mocked for being a £51million waste of money is currently as deadly as anyone in the Premier League, having scored nine goals in his last eight top-flight games.

Calvert-Lewin denied end to goal-drought

While Richarlison already appeared reborn, the striker at the other end of the field today started the game in desperate need of resurrection.

It was 16 Everton appearances without scoring for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, before James Tarkowski’s nod back across goal presented him with a header he simply couldn’t miss. And the resultant smile signified understandable relief as well as elation.

Cruelly, though, closer analysis revealed it was Jack Harrison who had the defining touch. The drought continues for Everton’s No.9, and while Jarrad Branthwaite saved his side late on, if his team are to survive Sean Dyche desperately needs his key forward to start finding the net.

Strange rule explained

When the Toffees first levelled with a goal eventually credited to Jack Harrison, Tottenham fans were left crying out for an offside flag.

Again, Richarlison was central to the drama, as he was back over his line and essentially tangled up in his own net. However, what many supporters didn’t realise, is that doesn’t actually render him off the field – not in the eyes of the referee anyway.

If a player is off the pitch without seeking the permission of the officials first, then he is considered as being on the goal-line. Therefore, the equaliser rightfully stood, and a few supporters learnt something new. And to rub salt into the wounds of away fans – Brathwaite’s goal was the subject of a lengthy VAR check but then deemed onside.

Vicario cornered again

While on the subject of the first Everton goal, Tottenham keeper Guglielmo Vicario was left complaining vociferously to the referee after he felt he was impeded at a corner. Beginning to sound familiar, isn’t it?

The home players were all over the Italian at corners, and while you could argue their tactics were borderline, VAR ruled in favour of Jack Harrison for the home goal despite him clearly nudging the away keeper. Vicario has received widespread praise since arriving in the Premier League and at 2-1 denied Harrison from point-blank range, but opposition teams have identified a weakness. And he better work on it, as he’ll be tested relentlessly in that department between now and May.

Tottenham summer signings shine

When pundits discuss the signing of this Premier League season, the names Micky van de Ven and James Maddison should be firmly in the mix.

Again, the former Wolfsburg man was classy and composed in possession, shackling Calvert-Lewin and in the second half, showed off his searing pace to hunt down James Garner as he looked to break into the area. Maddison’s contribution was also key, creating the winning goal, and the recent return from injury of both players has been critical to Big Ange.

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