Soldado ends goal drought as Spurs beat Everton
LONDON (AP) — Roberto Soldado scored his first Premier League goal since March as Tottenham staged another comeback to beat Everton 2-1 on Sunday.
After 593 minutes without a league goal, the struggling striker netted his first goal of the season in first-half stoppage time, after Christian Eriksen had already canceled out Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas’ well-struck opener.
“It hasn’t been easy,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “It’s always frustrating for a striker when he doesn’t score ... he’s (been) feeling the pressure.”
By coming from behind to win 2-1 for the third time in four league games, Tottenham climbed above Everton from 10th to seventh — just two points from the top four.
The performance, high on intensity and pace, is just what Tottenham was looking for when Mauricio Pochettino was hired in May as the third manager in a year.
“Today was fantastic, our mentality our spirit,” Pochettino said. “It’s a little bit more than three points because we broke a bad run of results.”
While victorious on the road, Tottenham has struggled in front of its own fans. With a more cohesive performance, this was only Tottenham’s third win from seven league games at White Hart Lane.
For once Tottenham couldn’t use playing in the Europa League on Thursday as an excuse given Everton had also played in the competition, and also secured qualification to the knockout phase with a game to spare.
These are two clubs, however, with ambitions for an upgrade to the Champions League. An entertaining and high-tempo game started with Everton in the ascendency.
Although Romelu Lukaku’s finish was weak after being set up by Ross Barkley, Mirallas seized on Tottenham’s slack defending, shook off Soldado on the edge of the penalty area and curled the ball into the roof of the net in the 15th minute.
But Tottenham was soon back in the contest as its attacking verve produced an equalizer.
Harry Kane weaved through defense, goalkeeper Tim Howard parried his shot, but Eriksen met the loose ball and lifted it into net from tight angle in the 21st minute.
Kane was a constant threat going forward, although when he darted through Everton territory on the half-hour, Howard was untroubled by the striker’s shot.
“We’ve been working on pressing higher up the pitch and creating opportunities,” Kane said.
As Tottenham maintained the pressure, Eriksen saw a shot deflected just wide of post, and Soldado ended his goal drought in stoppage time after being released by Aaron Lennon.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris protected Tottenham’s win in the later stage, denying Seamus Coleman with a fine save before Lukaku struck wide.
“We lacked a bit of intent to try to get the second goal,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said.