Instead, yet another defensive display which was marked by individual errors saw a potential point on the road melt away.
Two second-half goals from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg secured a 2-0 result in a game in which Spurs dominated the ball. They boasted 62% possession and had 21 shots compared to the Toffees’ four, although it was Jordan Pickford’s fumbled shot and subsequent penalty conceded which led to the deadlock being broken just before the hour mark.
Their lack of threat up front was largely an issue stemming from Neal Maupay, who was an invisible entity at centre-forward. Dominic Calvert-Lewin remained unable to start, with Lampard preferring the Frenchman as he manages the 25-year-old’s injury comeback.
The lack of physical presence to disrupt a rock-solid Tottenham back three meant that there was nobody to hit if things got tough for Everton, and if they did give it to him it would seldom stick.
This was shown through the fact that Maupay managed just 15 touches all evening, while he lost possession five times. This meant that the 26-year-old lost the ball once for every three touches that he had – even Pickford managed to touch the ball with far greater regularity (41).
Maupay’s 66-minute culminated in an underwhelming 6.6 SofaScore rating, a fair assessment of his destructive performance. He was understandably hauled off by Lampard in an attempt to salvage something from the game.
This performance from the former Brighton marksman will certainly leave the Everton boss yearning for the full return of Calvert-Lewin.
When a team operates in a low block as the Toffees did tonight, they rely heavily on the work rate of their forwards. With Maupay, they were sorely let down.
He cost his team, as it left the Everton midfield with no options and created a huge disconnect between the whole team. It also severely worsened the performances of Dwight McNeil and Demarai Gray, and once Calvert-Lewin is good to start, you sense that Maupay could drop out as a consequence.