Tottenham Hotspur continued their run of terrible form with a 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park. Spurs, who just a few weeks ago were looking like possible title contenders, have lost three Premier League matches in a row for the first time in the Harry Redknapp era and now find themselves in a real battle with Arsenal and Chelsea for the last two Champions League spots.
It wasn't just a case of Spurs playing poorly (although they did). Everton were excellent throughout the opening period and well worth their goal, which came after fine work from Leon Osman let the midfielder square for Nikica Jelavic, who opened up his body and sent a lovely first-time shot past Brad Friedel from 12 yards. The American goalkeeper was kept busy for most of the first half, putting in some excellent stops to keep the score manageable as the hosts ran rampant, but thanks to him Tottenham remained in touching distance and nearly managed to fight back.
The second half saw the visitors regroup and hammer Everton's defence. Spurs were pressing hard and it seemed like a matter of time before the home team cracked. Jermain Defoe did manage to get the ball in the back of the net only to see his strike ruled out (correctly) for offside, and the pressure only increased. Everton's failure to make the most out of their rare chances to break out meant a very tense ending to the match, and the hosts were very lucky to see former Toffee Louis Saha's close-range strike rebound off the post and to safety rather than level the score as the game moved into injury time.
Ultimately, however, Everton saw off the threat and earned another impressive scalp at Goodison Park. David Moyes' men rise to ninth in the table, just two behind arch-rivals Liverpool. Meanwhile, Spurs see their margin over their London rivals drop to just four points.