Frank Lampard blamed individual errors rather than tactical disarray or poor attitude for Everton’s 5-0 thrashing by Tottenham after another miserable away performance from a side that last celebrated a league victory outside Goodison Park in August.
In their last home game Everton restricted Manchester City to a close-fought and contentious 1-0 win, but in their last two away matches they have not produced a single shot on goal. In a one-sided match in north London they allowed Harry Kane to score twice while Son Heung-min, Sergio Reguilón and an own goal from Michael Keane completed a miserable evening.
“It’s night and day,” Lampard said. “Really good last week – discipline, gameplan, work ethic. And we started the game well today. The first 15 minutes looked like I wanted it to, but the crucial part of Tottenham’s game as a counterattacking team is to find space behind you and the players were aware of that and didn’t deal with it. If you’re going to do that you make your own problems.
“The main issues were mistakes and bad defending for the goals. It wasn’t just the defensive situations – at the top end of the pitch we didn’t show enough. Even when we were in relative control we didn’t threaten their backline. There’s a clear discrepancy in home and away form, issues that were there before me and don’t take care of themselves overnight. But rather than being about home and away, if you make those mistakes you’re going to struggle. It’s important to remain positive but we can’t shy away from the mistakes we made tonight.”
Tottenham now go into Saturday’s game at Manchester United on a high, and knowing that victory would take them above their opponents in the hotly contested chase for the final Champions League place.
“It was an important performance tonight, a really good performance,” Antonio Conte said. “We scored five goals, we create chances to improve the final result, and I have seen that when we have more time to prepare, to play against us is difficult for everybody.
“From tomorrow we have to start to think about Saturday, a crucial game for us. I put this target to my team – we have to try to stay until the end, very close to the top teams. From my arrival to now we are stronger, and I think that we can fight for this target. It’s important to have this ambition. To finish in the top four for us would be like we won the Champions League, like we won the Premier League this season.”