Hammering the final nail into Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest coffin, Tottenham made it back-to-back wins in the top flight with a resounding success at the City Ground to open gameweek 17, despite having to see out the final 20 minutes with just 10 men on the pitch.
With seconds remaining in the first half, Dejan Kulusevski provided an on-the-money cross for Richarlison to open the scoring before capitalising on a defensive error from Matt Turner, who could only clear the ball out to the Swede under pressure from Son Heung-min and was then beaten at his near post by the ex-Juventus man.
Yves Bissouma’s second red card of the new term was a needless blot on the notebook for Spurs, but the Lilywhites comfortably rode out the win which proved to be Cooper’s final match in the Forest dugout, while Ange Postecoglou is now cutting a happier figure on the Tottenham touchline, even if his stoic demeanour suggests otherwise.
Having firmly pulled themselves out of their November rut, fifth-placed Tottenham will break back into the Champions League places with victory this weekend, as Manchester City – who are only one point better off – are vying for Club World Cup glory over in Saudi Arabia and are not back in Premier League action until December 27.
By putting four past a jaded Newcastle United crop in their last home fixture, the hosts have now scored in each of their last 17 Premier League matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and have also netted in 29 successive top-flight fixtures in total, the longest current run in the division
Everton have proven particularly adept both in front of goal over the past few weeks too, and the Toffees travel to North London with an unforeseen 100% record – both points-wise and clean sheets-wise – after four Premier League games in December so far.On the back of successive beatings of Nottingham Forest,
Newcastle United and Chelsea – where Sean Dyche’s crop found the net six times and did not concede once – the ex-Burnley boss once again barked orders from the Turf Moor touchline last weekend, where strikes from Amadou Onana and Michael Keane put Burnley to the sword.
The 16th-placed Toffees now possess a healthy seven-point buffer over the demotion zone thanks to their wonderful winter run, but Onana went from hero to zero in midweek as one of two Everton players to fluff their lines from 12 yards against Fulham, seeing a tame effort saved by Bernd Leno before Idrissa Gueye struck the post as the Toffees woke up from their EFL Cup dream.
There is little time for Dyche’s contingent to dwell on a missed shot at silverware as they bid to stretch their winning top-flight run to five matches, and each of Everton’s last four Premier League games on the road has also ended in victory; not since their title-winning 1969-70 campaign have the visitors won five on the bounce away from home.
Everton came up trumps at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as recently as September 2020, albeit with no fans present during the COVID-19 era, and the Lilywhites have since strung together a five-game unbeaten run against the Toffees, winning both of their last home fixtures by an aggregate score of 7-0