James Rodriguez provided the spark on his debut as Everton opened its Premier League season with Dominic Calvert-Lewin producing the only goal in 1-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday.
Calvert-Lewin rose above defenders Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld to meet Lucas Digne’s free kick and power a header past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris 10 minutes into the second half.
Everton had squandered a far easier chance to take the lead in the first half when Richarlison missed an open goal. The Brazilian sprinted onto Ben Davies’ misplaced backward pass and rounded Lloris but scooped a shot over an unprotected net from a tight angle.
At least Richarlison was getting close to scoring. Tottenham striker Harry Kane was ineffective in front of goal, with only two touches in the Everton penalty area.
It was the first time Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho – who has previously managed Chelsea and Manchester United – has lost his opening match of a Premier League season, having been unable to sign a backup option to Kane.
Everton’s biggest signing of the curtailed summer break was James from Real Madrid where he fell out of favor. And the Colombian midfielder was sharp on his debut – in only his second match since February – at the heart of the attacking threat and pinging balls with precision.
Another player who has been reunited with Carlo Ancelotti – Allan, who joined from Napoli – was also dominant in midfield against an ineffective Tottenham.
Explorenewsng reports that it was the first time Everton has won away at one of the top-six sides since 2013.
The victory was a sign of Everton’s potential to be able to break into the European places in Ancelotti’s first full season in charge of a team he dragged away from relegation danger into a 12th-place finish in July.
Mourinho also took charge during the first half of last season as Tottenham finished sixth.