Cenk Tosun saved Everton a 1-1 draw with Tottenham in the 97th minute after Andre Gomes suffered a horrific ankle injury, for which Heung-Min Son saw red.
Sub Tosun’s bullet header cancelled out Dele Alli’s opener (63), but the game will unfortunately be remembered for Gomes’ injury (79), which forced 12 minutes of stoppage time.
Gomes got his ankle stuck in the turf as Serge Aurier approached after the Portuguese was tripped by Son, and though the South Korean was initially booked, he then was given a red and left the field distressed and shocked.
Everton manager Marco Silva said after the game that he was 100 per cent sure it was not Son’s intention to injure Gomes, while Mauricio Pochettino said some Everton players, including captain Seamus Coleman, approached Son after the game to console him.
The draw doesn’t help either struggling side, leaving Spurs without an away league win since January, and Everton in 17th.
Both sides’ poor form and lack of confidence was gleamingly obvious in a first half lacking in any chances.
Everton: Pickford (6), Sidibe (6), Digne (7), Holgate (6), Mina (6), Gomes (7), Delph (7), Davies (6), Walcott (5), Iwobi (5), Richarlison (5)
Subs: Sigurdsson (7), Tosun (7), Calvert-Lewin (NA)
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (6), Davies (7), Aurier (5), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (6), Ndombele (6), Sissoko (6), Eriksen (5), Alli (8), Moura (6), Son (5)
Subs: Lo Celso (6), Foyth (NA), Sessegnon (NA)
Man of the match: Dele Alli
Tottenham constantly had Ben Davies as an outlet in space on the left, but struggled to use him, their only meaningful effort coming when Aurier’s cross had to be tipped away under his crossbar by Jordan Pickford.
Richarlison tried his best, shooting straight at Paulo Gazzaniga and then blazing over the bar from an angle, but in truth, it was turgid. The loudest cheer came from a Christian Eriksen booking and a fan succeeding in the half-time crossbar challenge.
The game did come to life after the break, firstly through a controversial VAR call as Son turned in the box and went down under Yerry Mina’s challenge. Both Martin Atkinson and then the VAR said no penalty, before another check from a different angle moments later. By the time played continued, both sets of fans were jeering.
Richarlison forced a diving save from Gazzaniga, before Spurs took the lead through an improved Alli. It came from Alex Iwobi’s slack pass in midfield, however, as Son took over and fed Alli, the England man skipped past Lucas Digne and slotted coolly into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
There was no Harry Kane in the Tottenham squad due to illness, while Ben Davies captained the side in for the suspended Danny Rose. Tanguy Ndombele started in place of Harry Winks, while Lucas Moura replaced Kane.
For Everton, Gylfi Sigurdsson was again on the bench, while Yerry Mina was passed fit in place of Michael Keane. Fabian Delph replaced Bernard in midfield.
There was another controversial VAR call at the other end as Alli looked to handle in the Everton box from a corner, but after around four minutes of replays, VAR deemed it not enough.
Then came Gomes’ horror injury as a tussle with Son on the touchline resulted in the Portuguese twisting his ankle under Aurier. There was then anger from both Everton fans and players, before shock at seeing Gomes injury. Son departed the pitch with his hands to his face in a state of shock, while Aurier was soon subbed off after a few minutes of play.
Sub Tosun then produced a bullet header past Gazzaniga from Digne’s left-wing cross, and Everton felt Davinson Sanchez should have been sent off for a last-man trip on Richarlison, but VAR again said no.
There was an unusual air around Goodison Park as the full-time whistle went, with both sets of players still seemingly processing Gomes’ injury, while some Everton fans directed their anger at the officials.
From the players, managers and pundits on Super Sunday, we gathered all of the reaction to Gomes’ horrific injury and Son’s subsequent dismissal…
Marco Silva: “My opinion will not change anything, I have to be fair with Son, it was a strong tackle, but I am 100 per cent sure when Son did that, he did not do it with intention to do something bad to Andre.”
Mauricio Pochettino: “Football is not important, he is important and the situation and we can talk about football but always feeling bad, feeling sorry and very devastated for the action because it was so difficult.
“It was clear it was never the intention of Son for what happened. It is unbelievable that he saw a red card.”
Everton boss Marco Silva: “We as a group need to keep that spirit and togetherness that we showed after that moment (Gomes injury). All the game, but after that moment as well.
We showed fantastic team spirit. Really good. We reacted and we reacted well. There were some chances to equalize and we showed that spirit to score and then we kept trying to score the second as well.”