Villas-Boas: we must learn to see off games

EVERTON 2 vs TOTTENHAM 1

TOTTENHAM boss Andre Villas-Boas admits that his side must stop conceding late goals, having seen Spurs drop another three points during injury time yesterday.

A deflected Clint Dempsey effort appeared to send Tottenham on their way to a crucial victory with just a quarter of an hour to go at Goodison Park, yet stoppage time winners from ex-Spurs player Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic left the north Londoners empty handed.

“It’s something we’re aware of,” Villas-Boas said. “We have to improve by seeing off the game. It’s not really easy to explain.”

Ten of the 25 goals that Spurs have conceded in the Premier League this season have come between the 80th minute and the final whistle.

“We tried to be on top of them to avoid those balls coming into our box – we did that for most of the second half, apart from in the final minutes,” the manager added.

High-flying Everton started the game energetically, threatening Hugo Lloris’s goal on several occasions. Yet Spurs soaked up the pressure and came out after the break with renewed belief.

On 76 minutes it looked as if Tottenham could steal all three points as Dempsey had a crack from distance which deflected off Sylvain Distin and past Tim Howard.

But in injury time a Seamus Coleman cross was met by Pienaar’s head and Everton took the game straight back to Spurs after the kick off. Substitute Apostolos Vellios tried an overhead kick and the ball fell kindly for Jelavic to convert.

The win takes Everton up to fourth place, above Spurs – who drop to fifth – on goal difference.