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’ favor before Carlo Ancelotti’s hosts – showing huge reserves of resolve and fitness – finally struck the decisive blow when Bernard fired home in the seventh minute of extra time.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who later went off with what looked like a groin injury, leveled 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 then introduced Harry Kane 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 is now a side to be reckoned with under Ancelotti and Bernard cashed in after more good work by Sigurdsson – who was involved in three goals – 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.
Ancelotti’s Everton revolution gathers pace
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 and spirit 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, Kane coming 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 was also a huge creative force and contributed hugely to Everton’s attacking threat.
Everton is 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 was rewarded.
Mourinho suffers a damaging blow
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.
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 defense, given his stock-in-trade is meant to be a rearguard that gives nothing away. This looked nothing like a Mourinho team.
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.
‘The FA Cup is the one we want’ – what they said
Everton assistant boss Duncan Ferguson to BBC Sport: “It was an exciting game. Tottenham started better than us and got the lead but we got ourselves back into the game.
“At 3-1 you’re thinking ‘get to half-time at 3-1’ and then they score to put us on the back foot. Exciting game, fantastic.
“It’s 25 years since we won the FA Cup. It would be great to get to the final. It keeps your season going. We want to do well in the Premier League but the FA Cup is the one we want.”
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, speaking to BBC Sport: “If you say it was fantastic, it was fantastic. I’m not neutral.
“When you score four goals, you have to win. The way we played, we should win comfortably. Attacking football and defensive mistakes.
“The players gave everything. I have to admit for some of them it was not easy because you play so well and one, two, three mistakes and you’re losing 3-1.
“OK, I take positives. Amazing to watch.”
Kane closes in on Greaves – the stats
- This was the highest-scoring FA Cup game between two top-flight teams since February 1961 when Sheffield Wednesday won 7-2 against Man Utd.
- In what is the 981st match of his managerial career, this is the first time a Jose Mourinho side has both scored and conceded at least four goals in a single game.
- Mourinho has seen his team concede five goals in a game for the first time since January 2015, when his Chelsea side was beaten 5-3 by Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs in the Premier League.
- There were just seven minutes and 26 seconds between Everton’s first and third goals against Tottenham. While it was the first time a Mourinho-led side conceded three first-half goals since Man Utd away at Brighton in August 2018.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 50th goal in all competitions for Everton (159th app), with 26 of his goals for the Toffees coming under Carlo Ancelotti.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson became the first Everton player to assist three goals in a single match since Steven Pienaar against Fulham in a Premier League tie in April 2012.
- Nine of the 12 goals in all competitions scored by Colombian players for Premier League sides this season have come at Goodison Park (James Rodriguez – four, Yerry Mina – three, Davinson Sanchez – three).
- Harry Kane has now scored 209 goals in 318 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham, making him the second-highest scorer in the club’s history behind only Jimmy Greaves (266 goals in 379 apps).
- Son Heung-min has provided 12 assists in all competitions this season – his most in a single campaign for Spurs.