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Pienaar torments Tottenham in Everton victory

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Nov 2008

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South African midfielder Steven Pienaar ended his goal drought to give Everton a 1-0 win against Tottenham on Sunday.

Pienaar hadn’t scored for David Moyes’ side for over a year but he finally got back on target with a deflected effort early in the second half at White Hart Lane.

The 26-year-old’s goal was enough to give Moyes victory in his 300th game as Everton boss and handed Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp a first home defeat.

The match started badly for Everton when Nigeria forward Ayegbeni Yakubu, who was leading Everton’s attack on his own, fell awkwardly after a challenge with Ledley King and was forced off, with Louis Saha on as his replacement.

Spurs had their first effort on goal through Tom Huddlestone, who fizzed a drive across Tim Howard’s goal.

The hosts, full of confidence after seven wins from nine matches since Redknapp’s appointment, went close again when David Bentley headed over from Aaron Lennon’s cross.

Everton responded well though and Marouane Fellaini sent in a dangerous cross from the left that required Heurelho Gomes to parry and Jonathan Woodgate to clear.

Spurs came closer when Bentley curled in a free-kick and Phil Jagielka headed just past his own post.

Fellaini then tried his luck twice from outside the penalty area in the same move, with Gomes getting his hands on both attempts.

When Tim Cahill crossed just before the half-time whistle, Saha was given a free header but his finish was straight at Gomes.

Pienaar delayed the start of the second half as he was mistakenly wearing Leon Osman’s shirt, but after a quick change he scored in the 51st minute.

The South African won a free-kick which Mikel Arteta took to Pienaar, whose shot took a wicked deflection off Corluka to wrongfoot Gomes.

The dreadlocked midfielder celebrated wildly and whipped his shirt off to celebrate in front of the travelling Everton fans.

Pienaar was in the mood for a second and Gomes had to save his swerving effort from outside the area as the Spurs defenders backed off.

Saha lasted until the 70th minute before he was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Victor Anichebe.

Roman Pavlyuchenko almost levelled when he was found at the near post but Howard denied the Russia striker before Fraizer Campbell’s effort deflected just wide in stoppage time.

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