Andre Gomes’ horrible leg break overshadowed Everton’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Points were shared on an emotionally-charged afternoon on Merseyside but the result was overshadowed by a horrific ankle injury to Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.
Goals from Tottenham’s Dele Alli and a stoppage-time header from substitute Cenk Tosun ensured neither side were able to pull themselves out of current tailspins.
Yet minutes before Tosun’s bulllet header brought parity to a tumultuous afternoon, he had been cradling the head of the unfortunate Gomes urging him not to look at his right ankle which had twisted grotesquely through 90 degrees.
The collision which caused the damage, just in front of the dugouts as Everton pushed for an equaliser, was caused by a trip from Son Heung-Min as Gomes was charging down the left flank. It appeared without malice but ensured the midfielder’s momentum took him into a crunching stop against Serge Aurier.
It was an injury which immediately caused players to clutch heads and look away as medics rushed on.
Son particularly was distraught, receiving a yellow card until Martin Atkinson, seemingly also caught up in the emotion, reached for a red card for “endangering Gomes’s safety” according to the Premier League.
If that means it unlikely to be rescinded neither will the damage to Son’s psyche and to Gomes’s ankle.
The Spaniard was taken immediately to hospital but the match continued with the delay and Spurs’s numerical disadvantage probably contributing to Everton’s equaliser.
The match was deep into a seventh minute of stoppage time when Lucas Digne – the other player consoling the stricken Gomes – and Tosun combined, the former’s superb first time centre from the left, arrowed home by Tosun from eight yards.
A draw was about right at the end of a match where quality was low and VAR interfered persistently. There were minutes of indecision to decide whether Son had been felled in the area by Yerry Mina after 51 minutes and then whether Dele Alli had handballed after 72 minutes.
Yet in between, Alli had put Spurs in front just after the hour mark.
The Spurs forward has had an indifferent season to date but took his goal well. Son Heung-Min received the ball gift-wrapped from Alex Iwobi halfway inside Everton territory and his pass through Yerry Mina’s legs fed Alli who drifted around the back-tracking Holgate with a couple touches before burying the ball behind Jordan Pickford from the edge of the area.
It was to Everton’s credit that they were able to fight back, particularly given a record under Marco Silva that has seen them lose 18 of the previous 21 games in which they have gone behind.
But Spurs have not won a Premier League game on the road since beating Fulham back in January – 12 games now and counting – and the trauma of the Gomes injury, going a man down proved enough for Everton to claw their way back.
Until the hour mark and Alli’s breakthrough this had been a poor and increasingly niggly affair, spoiled by the constant interference from the Video Assistant Referee.
On another day Spurs could have had a penalty when Son was clipped by Mina for all that it was the meal he made of his descent to the ground which probably ruled it out.
At the other end Alli’s handball was difficult to discern even with interminable replays.
No replays were needed of Gomes’s injury and it is to be hoped that the midfielder can make a full recovery.