Spurs secure fourth place with Everton draw


Champions League finalists Tottenham sealed a fourth-place finish in the Premier League as they ended their campaign with an entertaining draw with Everton.

Tottenham knew a point was enough to secure one of the Champions League places for a fourth successive season under manager Mauricio Pochettino, but Spurs missed the opportunity to record back-to-back third-place finishes as Chelsea were held by Leicester.

Eric Dier capitalised on poor Everton defending to open the scoring after just three minutes as he was given ample time and space to convert Erik Lamela’s corner.

The visitors recovered well from their slow start but took until the 69th minute to level through Theo Walcott’s fine finish.

Cenk Tosun put Everton ahead three minutes later, but Christian Eriksen’s sublime free-kick after 75 minutes earned Spurs the point they required.

The result sees Everton match their eighth-place finish of the previous campaign in Marco Silva’s first season in charge.

A fourth consecutive top-four finish in the Premier League is Tottenham’s best run in the competition since 1964.

Add to that the possibility of European triumph and Mauricio Pochettino, manager of a club who spent no money on players this season, continues to achieve the miraculous.

Spurs players could have been forgiven on Sunday for being lost in “a dream” – the word used by Pochettino to describe the aftermath of his side’s semi-final comeback against Ajax courtesy of Lucas Moura’s hat-trick on Wednesday, completed in the 96th minute and delivering Tottenham’s first ever Champions League final.

Man of the moment Moura was cheered by the home crowd with every touch, as Spurs seized the early initiative against a lukewarm Everton through Dier’s close-range finish.

The Champions League final, against Liverpool, is still three weeks away and Spurs appeared determined to maintain their momentum at their new stadium having endured a terrible recent run in the league.

The hosts eased off, however, allowing Everton a route back into the game. It took two preventable goals in three minutes from the visitors for Spurs to refocus.

And it was Eriksen, absent for much of the game, who stepped up to deliver a moment of quality from his free-kick to ensure Tottenham would not depart for Madrid with defeat.

Manager Pochettino has said he would be “stupid” to stay at the club if he’s expected to maintain his current levels of success without the club changing the way it operates, and this campaign – regardless of the outcome in three weeks’ time – means Spurs must do whatever it takes to keep the Argentine at the club.

“I want to congratulate my players, they are superheroes,” said Pochettino.

“I feel so proud but we have not finished our season. We have three weeks to prepare for the final, which will be one of the most important games in our history. The characteristic of t

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