Richarlison scored for the third consecutive match to haunt old club Everton and ensure Tottenham would spend Christmas in the Premier League’s top four thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 home win.

It was harsh on Sean Dyche’s visitors, who created the better of the chances in the capital and crucially had a Dominic Calvert-Lewin effort ruled out following a VAR review in the 51st minute which could have changed the complexion of the match.

Everton also hit the crossbar deep into added time through substitute Arnaut Danjuma, whose effort was then cleared by goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario before it could cross the line. Although the offside flag was raised, the goal would have been given on VAR review as Danjuma was marginally onside.

Those missed chances cost the away side and enabled Ange Postecoglou’s team make it three wins in a row after first-half goals by Richarlison and Son Heung-min, with Andre Gomes’ late effort a mere consolation.

Dyche’s team had won their last four league fixtures and started well in north London, with the fit-again Vitalii Mykolenko testing Vicario early on before Cristian Romero slide in to deny Calvert-Lewin.

It had been a sloppy opening period from Postecoglou’s men, but an Everton old boy corrected that in the ninth minute.

A slick team move saw Pape Sarr play in Brennan Johnson down the right and his cross was perfect for Richarlison, who flicked home impressively at the near post before declining to properly celebrate against his former team.

Everton responded well to going behind, with Dwight McNeil dragging an effort wide and Calvert-Lewin having a header excellently tipped wide by Vicario before Tottenham punished their profligacy again with 18 minutes played.

A short corner routine did the trick, with Pedro Porro slipping the ball through to Johnson, who was denied by Jordan Pickford, but Son was on hand to scramble home from eight yards.

It was Son’s 11th Premier League goal of the campaign, which bettered his tally from last season, and Everton’s problems increased when Idrissa Gueye limped off soon after.

Spurs were in control by this point and almost produced a couple of wonderful team goals but allowed sloppiness to creep in towards the end of the half.

The hosts did not heed their warning, but made it through to half-time with a two-goal advantage after Vicario denied James Garner and Jack Harrison in quick succession.

Everton’s pressure continued, though, and they thought the deficit had been reduced in the 51st minute, only for VAR to intervene.

Substitute Gomes won back possession from Emerson Royal and found Calvert-Lewin, who rifled home, but referee Stuart Attwell was told to review the incident.

Replays on the pitchside monitor showed Gomes had caught Emerson’s left ankle and, while the contact was soft, it was deemed enough to disallow the effort.

Another chance was squandered when Garner dragged wide from Harrison’s delicious outside-of-the-boot pass and Postecoglou had seen enough, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg introduced for Richarlison with 27 minutes left.

It worked initially and Dejan Kulusevski almost put the game to bed in the 75th minute, but Pickford produced a superb finger-tip save.

With eight minutes left the Toffees broke through when Garner’s corner was cleared to Gomes and he lashed home for his first Everton goal in 18 months.

It could have been 2-2 minutes later when ex-Spurs loanee Arnaut Danjuma let fly, but his deflected left-foot strike was brilliantly pushed over by Vicario.

Six minutes were added on and Everton were camped in the hosts’ half, but in the dying moments Danjuma could only volley against the crossbar and watch as the ball agonisingly failed to completely cross the line before Vicario cleared.

Everton ended a difficult week on a positive note as Dominic Calvert-Lewin fired them to a 1-0 win at West Ham.

The Toffees were playing their first match since the death of chairman Bill Kenwright on Monday at the age of 78.

It had been emotional week, too, for Hammers manager David Moyes, who formed a close friendship with Kenwright during his 11-year spell in charge at Goodison Park.

But while West Ham slumped to a third defeat in eight days following reverses at Aston Villa and in the Europa League at Olympiacos, Everton were able to put some more breathing space between themselves and the bottom three with a second away win of the season.

Calvert-Lewin’s goal was his 50th in the Premier League for Everton, joining Romelu Lukaku, Duncan Ferguson and Tim Cahill in reaching the half-century.

It came six minutes into the second half after a first half that will not live long in the memory.

West Ham created an early opportunity when Lucas Paqueta skilfully lifted the ball over Nathan Patterson and drilled in a low cross which Jarrod Bowen could only slice wide.

Moments later Paqueta showed the side of his game which so infuriates Moyes, gifting the ball to Jack Harrison who burst through only to fire too close to Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola.

Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus, making first Premier League start for West Ham, showed he is already getting used to the darker arts of English football after he was chopped down by James Tarkowski.

As Jordan Pickford raced out of his goal to tell the youngster to get up, Kudus shoved the England keeper away in a skirmish which earned both a booking.

Calvert-Lewin had his first chance from Vitalii Mykolenko’s cross but the striker headed over.

A torturous half was summed up by the audible sigh which echoed around the London Stadium when five minutes of stoppage time was announced.

The game desperately needed a goal and it almost came through Bowen, who got on the end of a James Ward-Prowse free-kick but guided his header too high.

Instead the goal arrived at the other end after Jarrad Branthwaite won the ball back for Everton in midfield and fed Calvert-Lewin.

The former England forward played a one-two with Harrison before executing a Cruyff turn which left both Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd flat-footed and firing low past Areola.

It was Calvert-Lewin’s sixth goal in all competitions against the Hammers, the most he has scored against one single club.

Everton almost doubled the lead when Zouma and Aguerd got in another tangle but Areola got down well to tip Aboulaye Doucoure’s shot wide.

The closest West Ham came to an equaliser was a Said Benrahma volley which Pickford kept out at his near post to secure the points.

What the papers say

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has become the latest Premier League star to attract the attention of Saudi Arabia. According to The Sun, the Everton and England striker, 26, will be offered a lucrative deal by Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq.

Bayern Munich are keeping an eye on Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah, 24, reports the Daily Mirror. The centre-back is out of favour at Stamford Bridge under Mauricio Pochettino.

Luton will have to find at least £5.5 million to land Ecuadorian midfielder Oscar Zambrano, according to The Sun. The 19-year-old’s club LDU Quito are holding out for the best offer.

Sandro Tonali’s lawyers are meeting with prosecutors in Rome this week in a bid to halve the Newcastle United midfielder’s ban for gambling. According to the Daily Mirror, via Gazzetta dello Sport, Tonali’s co-operation could see any ban cut from a potential three years.

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