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Their inability to grab a winning goal of late is costing them vital points and they are now without a top flight victory since New Year’s Day – even if they remain undefeated during that period.
Spurs’ season looked in severe doubt after Harry Kane’s New Year’s Day hamstring injury was followed by Mourinho being left frustrated at going the whole January transfer window without being able to find a replacement.
Carlo Ancelotti’s methods may be starting to bleed into the Toffees though, who were up against it twice at Watford.
But at Tottenham it took a puzzling two minutes to award a certain looking penalty in Manchester City’s favour after Serge Aurier brought down Sergio Aguero. Both decisions were correct though. This is a positive case for VAR’s use and indicates that the format just needs better implementation from those using it.
After a Yerry Mina double in first half stoppage time saw them come from 2-0 down, the Toffees rallied again following Fabian Delph’s red card to grab a winner at Vicarage Road through Theo Walcott’s first goal of the season. They do have the ability to rough it out after all.
Tottenham have been treading water since Jose Mourinho took over, but there are encouraging signs that the north London side are heading in the right direction under the ‘special one’.
But consecutive wins at the Vitality Stadium first over Brighton and then over Aston Villa suggest Eddie Howe’s side are not ready to let their five-year Premier League stay come to an end just yet. Of course they are anything but safe but they look like they may have finally turned a corner.
Most of its controversy involves how it is being implemented, but we are seeing improvements in this area. Andy Madley’s use of the pitch-side monitor helped him make the correct call to rescind his red card for Joel Ward in Crystal Palace’s clash with Sheffield United.
The setbacks have been ludicrous even by Everton’s standards this term. Recently they have thrown away 2-0 leads in stoppage time against Newcastle, while also losing to bitter rivals Liverpool despite the Reds putting out a reserve side in an FA Cup clash.
The debate over VAR has fast become a cliche following a season of controversial decisions regarding millimeters for offside calls and inconsistency in its use.
Only unbeaten Liverpool have lost fewer than Arsenal’s six games this term but a division high of 13 draws means they are 10 points off Chelsea heading into the winter break.
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