Sunday 3rd November 2019


Everton 1 Spurs 1

Spurs 1-1 draw with Everton was overshadowed when Andre Gomes suffered a horrific injury following a challenge from Heung-min Son, who was sent off and left the pitch in tears. Mauricio Pochettino’s task of turning around Tottenham’s inconsistent form in the league was made more difficult after top scorer Harry Kane was ruled out with illness.

Everton began pressing high up the pitch in an bid to force a mistake from Spurs and with neither side keeping the ball partcularly well, it quickly became a scrappy affair.

The man who looked most likely to break the deadlock was Richarlison, with the Brazilian striker shrugging off the challenge from Davinson Sanchez before firing over.

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In fact, it took 32 minutes for any side to register a shot on target – and it was a tame effort from Richarlison in truth.After the break, Spurs looked somewhat livelier and felt they should have had a penalty when Yerry Mina clumsily challenged Heung-min Son in the penalty arena. The Korean’s theatrical fall was somewhat delayed and after not one but two VAR reviews, the decision was final: ‘no penalty’.
That incident seemed to liven things up and Everton went close just minutes later when Lucas Digne pulled it back to Richarlison on the edge of the box and his effort was saved well by Paulo Gazzaniga.

Everton midfielder Andre Gomes suffers horrific injury against Spurs
But it was Spurs who finally broke the deadlock after a horrible error from Alex Iwobi. The former Arsenal man passed it straight to Son, who played it forward to Alli and he darted inside Mason Holgate before firing low into the corner.


Alli then found himself fortunate not to concede a penalty after appearing to handle inside the penalty area from an Everton corner. After a three-minute delay, VAR decided no further action was necessary.

But the game as a contest was overshadowed when Gomes suffered a serious leg injury following Son’s challenge. The 27-year-old appeared to collide with Serge Aurier in the process and after a long delay to receive treatment, was carried off on a stretcher.

Players from both sides appeared distraught after witnessing the injury and referee Martin Atkinson was left no option to send off a remorseful Son, who left the pitch in tears. With 12 minutes added on, there was still time for more drama. Digne volleyed in the cross and Cenk Tosun, on a substitute, headed home in the 98th minute.


“It does bear on your mind but you have to stay professional. Unfortunately, we switched off for a split second and they scored.
“Of course we wanted to win the game and to concede a late goal… it’s never good. There were positives in the game but we’ve not usually been in this position before. We just have to turn it around together.”

Tosun’s late leveller denies Spurs a first away win since January, but it all felt a bit irrelevant after Gomes’ horrific injury.

Seahawks 40 Buccaneers 34 OT

With the Seahawks’ win safely in hand — a circumstance that took three minutes and 33 seconds into overtime, and an avalanche of angst, to secure — rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf found himself exchanging postgame greetings with a Tampa Bay defensive back.

“You’re lucky to have a guy like Russell running the show back there,’’ said the player, identified by Metcalf as No. 26 — cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting.

That sentiment grows stronger by the week. On a day when the Seahawks’ defense yielded an alarming amount of real estate, when the Buccaneers had an answer for every Seattle surge, when kicker Jason Myers missed a potential winning field goal at the end of regulation to open the door for Tampa Bay, Russell Wilson was the perpetual counterpoint.


For the Seahawks, he is the port in the storm, the rock of stability when chaos is swirling or adversity is mounting. As Seattle coach Pete Carroll said, there was an undeniable serenity that comes with heading into overtime with Wilson at the helm. Especially when the Seahawks won the coin toss to get first crack at victory.

“Russ has done this so many times,’’ Carroll said. “You can’t have a better guy, almost in the history of ball, doing it.”

Mind you, this 40-34 overtime victory was hardly Wilson’s single-handed trophy. Chris Carson rushed for 105 yards against the stingiest run defense in the NFL. Both Tyler Lockett (13 catches, 152 yards, two touchdowns) and Metcalf (six catches, 123 yards, one touchdown) did valiant work in conquering the Bucs’ man-to-man defense. And tight end Jacob Hollister made his most significant impact yet in Seattle with two touchdown catches, including the walk-off winner from 10 yards out in OT.

But it is the calming, and motivating, presence of Wilson that uniformly gives the Seahawks not just hope, but supreme confidence. That was true when the Bucs went up 21-7 in the first half, and when they kept matching every Seahawks score in the second half. That included a touchdown with 46 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 34-all.


That’s when Wilson, invariably, is at his most clutch — especially in a season when virtually each week burnishes his MVP credentials.

“We don’t even think about it anymore,” Lockett said.

It almost gets monotonous, acknowledged offensive lineman Duane Brown. Sure enough, he marched them straight down the field to set up Myers’ field goal, which sailed wide right from 40 yards. It was just a precursor to more Wilson magic to come.

“You see this every week, so I talk about it the same way every week,’’ Brown said. “I’m just glad he’s under center for us, man. I’m glad I’m on the team with him. He’s a phenomenal talent, a great leader. He’s just consistent.”

So every week, Brown finds himself extolling the virtues of Wilson. All of those exploits by Seahawks offensive players I mentioned earlier — they all are inextricably linked to Wilson’s mastery of running the Seahawk offense.

And voilà, when you looked up, Wilson had filled his own stat line, too: five touchdown passes (tying a team and personal record), 378 yards on 29-of-43 passing (with nary an interception, of course; he’s had just one of those this year, to go with 22 TDs), and a 133.7 rating.

“Phenomenal” was Carroll’s word of choice.


“With Russell back there, it doesn’t matter,’’ he said of Seattle’s rough start. “You have a chance. You have a chance no matter what’s going on. The calls he had to make, the adjustments he made, the throws, just the variety of things that we threw today that were available to us and that we went after. It was an array of passes and concepts and principles.”

Wilson was sacked three times and took some vicious hits, but to a remarkable degree, he always gets up. His durability is a huge part of the Wilson canon. This was the eighth-year quarterback’s 121st consecutive start, tying Chris Gray’s Seahawks record. As a wise man once said, 90% of life is just showing up.

Wilson seemed to always have the answer, the antidote, the little extra oomph the Seahawks needed on a day far more fraught than expected. His rapport with Lockett continues to be otherworldly (“I can’t explain it or describe it other than to just kind of marvel,’’ Carroll said). If he can develop something similar with Metcalf, as appears to be happening before our eyes, the danger quotient of their offense will only rise.


But it was after Myers’ miss that Wilson’s presence seemed to loom largest. The coin toss itself seemed vital. When Wilson trotted out to start overtime, you could pretty much see where this was headed. On a crucial third-and-six, Wilson hit Metcalf for 29 yards, a brilliant catch by the rookie. Two plays later, he found Hollister for the touchdown.

“We have been unwavering in our belief,’’ Wilson said. “It’s real.”

Wilson’s impact is real, too. And against all odds, it continues to grow.

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