Five things Conte got right as ruthless Tottenham blow dismal Everton away

Antonio Conte's relentless Tottenham Hotspur side moved within three points of the Champions League places, after tearing relegation-threatened Everton apart 5-0.

A bright start from Frank Lampard’s side was quashed Spurs’ sucker-punch as Michael Keane's own goal was immediately followed by a driven finish from Son Heung-Min.

Harry Kane soon wrapped up the points for Conte's side when he timed his run on to Matt Doherty’s through ball to perfection, before sliding an emphatic finish past a helpless Jordan Pickford.

And just when things could not get any better for Tottenham, Sergio Reguilon, a half-time substitute for the injured Ryan Sessegnon, added a fourth goal within minutes of coming on, before Kane capped a majestic brace by lashing a magnificent volley past Pickford.

While the north Londoners remain in seventh position, they are only three points behind fourth placed Arsenal who leap-frogged Manchester United on the weekend – Daily Star sport considers four things Conte got right against the Merseysiders.

Tottenham's wicked wingspan

Conte always wants his teams to make great utilisation of the flanks, but Tottenham’s focus in the wide areas seemed to be even more ingrained against the Toffees.

If they did not win the ball back in their initial press, Lampard’s side regrouped into a very compact and narrow shape.

Not only were Conte’s wing-backs Sessegnon and Doherty almost as high as Son and Kulusevski, Ben Davies was also supporting Sessegnon from left-central-back.

It was this combination which resulted in Tottenham’s second goal; Davies found the marauding Sessegnon, who made a run in behind Seamus Coleman, and the Englishman’s whipped cross cannoned off Keane’s shin into the back of the net.

Tottenham’s second and third goals came from the wide areas, as Kulusevski and Doherty provided the assists for Son's and Kane's goal respectively.

Spurs excellent from back to front

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In the early stages, Tottenham struggled with Everton’s aggressive press, often finding themselves surrounded by blue shirts.

They were too flat-footed and naïve to their surroundings, as Everton almost won the ball back at will in the opening minutes.

However, the north Londoners quickly refocussed and sped up their passing football, drawing in Everton, before zipping the ball through their midfield and into the feet of Kulusevski, Kane, and Son.

The rapid improvement in Tottenham’s passing patterns from their own half demonstrates the effect Conte is having on this team.

Winks out Bentancur in

Rodrigo Bentancur inclusion ahead of Harry Winks was Tottenham’s only change from their FA Cup exit against Middlesbrough.

Winks had started five of Tottenham’s last seven Premier League matches and had looked to have solidified a place for himself in Spurs’ midfield.

However, Bentancur’s perfect balance of vision, aggression, composure, and industriousness enabled him to dominate the midfield alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Tottenham have never really been able to replace Moussa Dembele since his departure in 2019, but Bentancur may very well be the closest imitation the north Londoners have had.

Conte's substitutions

Sessegnon's injury just before half-time was an unfortunate blemish on a routine victory for the north Londoners.

However, it did result in Reguilon scoring within the first minute of his introduction against the Toffees.

With the victory all but assured before the 50th minute, Conte had the luxury of being able to swap Cristian Romero for Davinson Sanchez.

Romero was booked for a wild challenge in the first-half and his early exit from the contest ensured the Argentine would not be sent for his marching orders with a second yellow card.

A few moments later, Conte was also able to rotate Steven Bergwijn for Son, in order to give the South Korean some much needed rest.

Merciless Tottenham

With only three points separating fourth placed Arsenal and seventh place Tottenham, the race for the top four looks set to go down to the wire.

A blunt attacking line and a leaky defence from earlier in the season resulted in Spurs coming into the contest with a measly +3 goal difference.

But the goals are flowing at the perfect time for the north Londoners who have now scored 12 goals and conceded only three in their last four matches.

Their goal difference is now superior to United's and only just behind Arsenal and West Ham.

If Tottenham can maintain the ruthlessness in front of goal and the stinginess in their back-line, then Conte could find himself managing Tottenham in the Champions League next season.

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