Everton overcome Spurs

London, August 15:

Everton scored three first-half goals and won its second straight English Premier League match on Tuesday, winning 3-1 at Tottenham to hand Spurs their second consecutive loss.

Goals by Leon Osman and Alan Stubbs in the final eight minutes of the first half led Everton, which also won its season opener at home against Wigan 2-1 on Saturday. Joleon Lescott gave Everton the lead in the second minute, but Tottenham, which lost its opening match 1-0 at Sunderland on Saturday and was without first-choice central defensive partnership of Ledley King and Michael Dawson because of injury, equalised in the 26th minute on a goal by Antony Gardner.

Tottenham, which was unbeaten in preseason and spent less on new players than only Manchester United and Liverpool, will next face newly promoted Derby on Saturday. “It was not enough and we have to do better,” Tottenham manager Martin Jol said.

Jol started record signing Darren Bent for the first time, playing the England striker alongside both Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane. Bent was lively early on, but it was Everton that took the lead when Lescott headed in from a free kick.

Jol also lost central defender when Younes Kaboul went off with a hamstring problem to be replaced by Ricardo Rocha and, although Gardner equalised with a header, Osman restored Everton’s lead with a 37th-minute volley after Victor Anichebe had a header blocked. Stubbs made it 3-1 just before halftime with a deflected free kick from 30 yards.

Berbatov hit the post at the start of the second half and Keane went close with a free kick, leaving Jol to bring on striker Jermain Defoe for Bent and winger Wayne Routledge for out-of-form defender Paul Stalteri for the last half hour.

After going winless in 21 years at White Hart Lane, Everton has won at Tottenham two seasons in a row. “We did it last year and these players are more than capable of doing it,” Everton manager David Moyes said.