Spurs rue wasteful finishing in goalless draw against Everton
Tottenham were left to rue some wasteful finishing as they were held to a goalless draw against Everton in an entertaining encounter at White Hart Lane.
Spurs had 20 shots on goal to the visitors’ eight, including a one on one for Harry Kane and two good chances for Ryan Mason inside the Toffees’ box – but goalkeeper Tim Howard saved on each occasion.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side consequently go into the international break without a win in their opening four games of the Premier League campaign and lying 15th in the early-season standings, having only managed three goals.
They will be pleased with their first clean sheet of the term and will hope that new signings Clinton Njie and Heung-Min Son - who was introduced to the home crowd before kick-off - will give them an extra cutting edge when they return to action.
But there will be concern about Mousa Dembele, who was stretchered off early in the second half after appearing to hurt himself while playing a routine pass.
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Danny Rose started at left-back, making his first appearance of the season, while Nabil Bentaleb returned to the side in central midfield, allowing Mason to push forward into the No10 role in the absence of the injured Christian Eriksen.
Spurs had the first notable attempt on goal as Nacer Chadli teed up Bentaleb, whose low shot just curled away from the far post.
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At the other end, Kyle Walker’s clumsy touch on the edge of his own box allowed Tom Cleverley to steal the ball and fire at goal, but Hugo Lloris dived to palm the effort over the bar.
However, Tottenham took control and began to create regular chances. Rose cut the ball across the box for Mason, who got his feet in a muddle and was unable to get a clean contact on his first-team shot.
Dembele then dispossessed Bryan Oviedo in the Lilywhites’ half and Mason instantly freed Kane, who ran through one on one with Howard, only to be denied by the American’s legs.
Soon after, Chadli cut inside from the left and played a neat through ball to Mason, who also saw his shot saved – and Toby Alderweireld’s header from a Mason corner was tipped over the bar.
Everton lost Cleverley to injury before half-time after a crunching sliding tackle from Eric Dier, who won the ball but trapped the Everton man’s ankle with his trailing leg, resulting in an awkward fall – and Cleverley stayed down in obvious pain before being stretchered off.
Spurs continued to apply pressure after the break, with Chadli shooting wide from the edge of the box – but they suffered an injury of their own as Dembele hurt himself while simply passing the ball into the box from the by-line, leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
The Belgian was replaced by Dele Alli, who instantly made an impact, nicking the ball away from Gareth Barry on the edge of Everton’s box to set up a golden opportunity for Mason. The midfielder was 10 yards out but, again, Howard saved.
Alli scuffed another shot at Howard from a tight angle before Chadli teed up Kane, whose low shot was blocked. The ball came back to Chadli but he fired wastefully over.
Tottenham were nearly hit with a sucker punch at the other end as Oviedo delivered an inswinging cross for Arouna Kone, who got up well but sent his header just wide of the bottom right corner with Lloris beaten.
The tension rose as Toffees substitute Steven Naismith went down in the box as he tussled with Kyle Walker, while Kane had a goal disallowed for offside at the other end.
Pochettino brought Alex Pritchard off the bench in the closing stages as both sides sought a winner, but an engaging contest ended goalless.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Bentaleb, Dembele (Alli 54), Mason (Pritchard 85), Chadli, Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs