LONDON, United Kingdom- Cenk Tosun made his first appearance in a Blues shirt but Everton FC returned empty-handed from their trip to Tottenham Hotspur’s temporary home of Wembley Stadium.
The Turkish striker got through just over an hour’s worth of work in the Toffees’ 4-0 defeat against the fifth-placed Londoners.
Harry Kane struck a brace after the break – the second goal converted from a debatable offside position – to add to Heung-Min Son’s first-half opener.
And a miserable evening in the capital was rounded off when Christian Eriksen fired home with nine minutes remaining.
Wayne Rooney went close twice in the first half but it was a game to forget at the national stadium.
Having worked with Tosun for a week at USM Finch Farm, Allardyce had seen enough in training to make the decision to start the Turkey international.
“We’ve thrown him in at the deep end,” Allardyce explained in his pre-match interview. “He has got to understand how quick the Premier League is and he’ll find out today for the first time.”
Also back in the team was Idrissa Gana Gueye as the midfielder and Tosun replaced Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Morgan Schneiderlin in the side from the previous outing at Anfield eight days earlier.
Phil Jagielka led the Blues out at a near-full to capacity Wembley. This venue, of course, had been the scene of one of the captain’s most memorable moments in an Everton jersey when he stepped up to net the clinching penalty in the shootout victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final of 2009. Here, at the same end of the pitch, Jagielka was needed to make three early headed clearances as Spurs began on the front-foot.
Forward Son had netted in Tottenham’s previous four home Premier League matches. He almost extended that sequence to five with a quarter of an hour played when he glanced Eriksen’s wide free-kick just over the bar.
Everton responded with a chance of their own, put narrowly past the post by Rooney. Just as Allardyce had alluded to prior to kick-off, Tosun provided evidence that he had much more than just an eye for goal by winning an aerial flick-on and guiding the ball into the path of former England skipper Rooney.
This move sparked an encouraging period of pressure for Everton which, after a couple of corners, resulted in the forward duo combining once again. From a Gylfi Sigurdsson cross, Tosun glanced the ball on to Rooney who nodded in from close-range. The Toffees number 10 wheeled away in celebration but these were cut short when the assistant referee correctly flagged for offside.
Instead, it was the home fans cheering minutes later when Son got the breakthrough goal. Jordan Pickford had made three low saves in quick succession – two from England colleague Kane – but there was little he could do when right-back Serge Aurier escaped down the right and delivered a powerful cross-shot which was tapped in by the South Korean.
The closest Everton came to levelling before the break was a headed opportunity for Tosun which the former Besiktas man, at full stretch, steered over the bar. Still, it had been an eye-catching first half from the new signing who had already shown on several occasions a willingness to run the channels and put himself about – as Jan Vertonghen discovered to full effect moments before referee Craig Pawson’s half-time whistle.
However, with the first meaningful attack after the restart, Kane doubled the hosts’ lead – a goal that had more than a hint of offside.
Son was this time the provider, beating Kenny to the ball, carrying it down the left wing and delivering a pass for Kane to prod in from just a few yards out. The England man looked to have strayed slightly behind Cuco Martina but the goal was given.
Spurs’ lead could have got even greater when Son again carved out another opening, this time for Dele Alli who shot into the side-netting under pressure from Jagielka.
Aaron Lennon received a standing ovation from the home fans when he entered the action as a 58th-minute substitute for Bolasie. The winger made 364 appearances during his decade-long spell at White Hart Lane.
After Son struck the post from long distance, Tottenham netted a third when Kane this time got on the end of a cross from the right. It wasn’t the cleanest of finishes but enough to deflect the ball past Pickford who could do nothing to prevent it from trickling into the net.
Cenk’s evening was brought to an end with a little over 25 minutes remaining. He left to a good reception from the 3,000 travelling Toffees who had seen a hard-working debut performance from the striker.
Pickford might have conceded four goals but the England keeper again impressed at a venue he’ll be hoping to grace many more times at international level. Late on, he made a fine double stop to firstly deny Son and then Alli from the rebound.
He could do little about Spurs’ final goal on 81 minutes, either, as Son again turned provider, playing a ball into Alli. The England international produced a backheel on the edge of the area and Eriksen tucked home from 15 yards out to cap a forgettable evening for Everton.
–Material used to compile this report sourced from official Everton FC website, read more here