Tottenham moved within striking distance of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City after coasting to victory over Everton last night thanks to goals from Aaron Lennon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Knowing a win would put them level with second-place Manchester United, Tottenham started nervously, but former Leeds United winger Lennon cut in from the right after getting on the end of Assou-Ekotto’s brilliant crossfield pass and slotted past Tim Howard to settle the home crowd’s nerves.
The full-back then added a second just after the hour when he blasted a 30-yard shot which flew past Howard off Tim Cahill’s backside to seal the success.
The win marks another chapter in a remarkable resurgence for Spurs, who began the season with two hidings but have recovered to go on a run of one defeat in 18 games. They are now level with champions Manchester United and within three points of leaders Manchester City.
Spurs have a real chance of cracking the Manchester clubs’ grip on the league summit this weekend when they would move joint top if they beat Wolves, with City not playing until Monday. United are at home to Bolton on Saturday.
Shortly after Rafael van der Vaart had fired a warning shot to Everton by curling a wicked shot on to the roof of the net, Spurs upped the pressure and took the lead with Lennon’s fourth goal of the season.
The winger picked up Assou-Ekotto’s cross-field pass, drifted past two Everton players and squirted a shot that beat the wrong-footed Howard.
Spurs doubled their lead in the 63rd minute through Assou-Ekotto’s first goal since the opening day of the 2009-10 season.
The full-back cut inside from the wing and after being given time by the Everton defence, cracked a 30-yard shot which deflected off Cahill and flew in.
Leighton Baines then flung himself in front of Emmanuel Adebayor to deny the striker as Spurs kicked in to top gear.
A silly tug on Royston Drenthe’s shirt saw Lennon enter the book before he was substituted for former Everton player Steven Pienaar.
Drenthe thought he should have had a penalty after he went down under pressure from Pienaar but the referee disagreed.
A clumsy tackle from Younes Kaboul on Drenthe led to another penalty shout but again the referee waved play on, summing up Everton’s night.