Everton reached the FA Cup quarter-finals after edging out Tottenham Hotspur in a nine-goal classic at Goodison Park.


Everton reached the FA Cup quarter-finals after edging out Tottenham Hotspur in a nine-goal classic at Goodison Park.

A magnificent contest swung in both teams’ favour before Carlo Ancelotti’s hosts – showing huge reserves of resolve and fitness – finally struck the decisive blow when substitute Bernard fired home in the seventh minute of extra time.

Spurs dominated the early exchanges and were rewarded when Davinson Sanchez headed in from a corner in the third minute before Everton sprang to life with a three-goal burst inside eight minutes before half-time.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who later went off with what looked like a groin injury, levelled nine minutes before the break with a shot Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris should have saved, before Richarlison’s fine low drive and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty looked to have put Everton in command.

But Erik Lamela scored in the closing seconds of the first half to put Spurs back in contention and Sanchez pounced again after more chaos at a corner to drag Jose Mourinho’s side level just before the hour.

Mourinho had introduced Harry Kane as a substitute just before that equaliser but it was Everton who edged ahead again as more brilliant individual work by Richarlison restored their advantage after 68 minutes – but it was inevitable Spurs’ main man would have a say.

It came with seven minutes of normal time left as Everton were undone by the old firm, Son Heung-min’s cross the perfect invitation for Kane to score with a far-post header.

All the momentum appeared to be with Spurs but Everton are now a side to be reckoned with under Ancelotti and Bernard cashed in after more good work by Sigurdsson – who claimed three assists – to beat Lloris with an angled finish.

There was still time for Spurs to respond but Everton saw out an outstanding victory in relative comfort, certainly given what had gone before, to secure a place in the last eight.

Ancelotti, the manager who has seen it all, was the calmest man amid the mayhem inside Goodison Park – celebrating what turned out to be the winner from Bernard by simply blowing on his cup of coffee while his backroom staff reacted wildly.

This was perhaps the Italian’s finest moment since coming to Everton, his side – without the injured James Rodriguez, Andre Gomes and Jordan Pickford – showing remarkable energy, spirit and a capacity to recover from adversity to outlast their visitors.

Ancelotti will be concerned about some of Everton’s questionable defending – especially from corners – and the injury to Calvert-Lewin, but he will also be justifiably proud of how they fought back to win when, at several stages, the tide seemed to be turning against them.

The sight of Calvert-Lewin going off, Spurs danger man Kane having just come on and losing a two-goal lead as the hour mark approached could have undermined Everton but they carried a threat throughout, with Richarlison back to his menacing best after a season where he has not been in peak form.

In midfield, both Tom Davies and Abdoulaye Doucoure were outstanding, the latter demonstrating remarkable fitness and still running non-stop until the final seconds, while his young team-mate continues to flourish under the sympathetic guidance of Ancelotti.

Sigurdsson, who scored calmly from the spot after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg tripped Calvert-Lewin, was also a huge creative force and contributed hugely to Everton’s attacking threat.

Everton are seeking their first trophy since they won the FA Cup in 1995 – they beat Spurs in the semi-finals on that occasion – and this victory will raise hopes not just of further progress in the competition, but for their long-term development under of one of Europe’s most decorated managers.

The scenes of elation at the final whistle were understandable and fully deserved. Everton gave everything and were rewarded.

Mourinho would have hoped to build on Sunday’s Premier League win against West Bromwich Albion after three successive defeats – but he was left to survey the end of Spurs’ FA Cup ambitions after a dramatic night on freezing Merseyside.

It all looked good for Spurs for the first half-hour as they had a deserved lead, but the manner in which they capitulated for those crucial minutes to concede three goals just before the break, and then continued to look vulnerable, meant this was a very damaging night.

Spurs, after criticism of Mourinho’s perceived conservative approach in recent weeks, were positive and played with attacking intent throughout with some sparkling passing but were let down by dreadful defending and another expensive error from Lloris, who should have saved Calvert-Lewin’s equaliser but only helped a powerful drive that was straight at him into the net.

Mourinho did not risk Kane from the start after his return from an ankle injury at the weekend, but when he was introduced it was with Spurs looking the more likely winners.

He will be particularly frustrated with his porous defence, given his stock-in-trade is meant to be a rearguard that gives nothing away.

This looked nothing like a Mourinho team in a defensive context.

This was the first time a team managed by Mourinho has conceded five goals since his Chelsea side lost 5-3 to his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham in January 2015.

And another sub-plot to this FA Cup exit was the absence of Gareth Bale, who Mourinho said had complained of a muscular issue so was not even on the bench.

Bale’s return to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid, hailed as a coup when he arrived, has turned into a huge anti-climax. It will continue to be a distraction if results do not improve.

This was a night where there was very little in the way of good news for Mourinho and Spurs – and next they face a visit to rampant Manchester City on Saturday.