Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admits the team’s growing list of injuries ahead of a full stretch of play is a real concern.
Second-half goals from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sealed Spurs’ 10th consecutive home win with a 2-0 win over Everton.
But it wasn’t all good news for Conte, who had to replace Richarlison in the 52nd minute, the striker later appeared in the mixed zone on crutches fighting back tears.
“He’s definitely out against Manchester United,” said the Spurs manager, referring to his side’s trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“He felt something in his calf and will not be available for the United game and I don’t know but I think he needs some time to recover.
“It’s a shame because we’re talking about a player who gives us a lot of quality but at the same time is strong and improves our intensity.”
And with Dejan Kulusevski (hamstring) also ruled out of the Everton clash and doubtful for United after undergoing another MRI on Friday, Conte felt the pressure of a rapidly shrinking bench.
He said: “The problem that Kulusevski has, I also think he needs time to recover and fingers crossed for the next games because we have to play many, many games in a short time.
“And when you have punished the team with injuries it will be a bit difficult, but today we showed that we are ready to overcome any difficulty.”
There were chances for both sides in a first half, in which Spurs nodded some early attempts over the bar before staging a late surge that Everton did well to fend off.
The Toffees had a chance to break the deadlock after Amadou Onana pounced on a loose ball and drove into the box, but the midfielder failed in his bid to send the sides scoreless into the break.
Jordan Pickford made a brilliant stop in the 58th minute to thwart Kane’s half-volley but soon found himself at the center of the visitors’ downfall.
The Everton keeper blocked Matt Doherty’s attempt from the back post but was unable to hold on and collided with Kane as the England captain tried to recover the rebound.
Kane took full advantage of the resulting penalty and broke the deadlock in the 59th minute of his 400th appearance for Tottenham before Hojbjerg called it a day with four minutes remaining.
Everton boss Frank Lampard was quick to defend his goalkeeper despite the costly mistake in the second half.
He said: “Of course, every goal conceded is disappointing. Jordan is a great goalkeeper for us so circumstances are what they are and by the second we’re really pushing to try and get back into the game to some degree.
“We were very competitive in the game, the way we played, and another day we take our chances, I think it looks different.”
Lampard admitted it would always be a tough test coming up against an in-form Spurs side who were third in the Premier League table after Saturday’s win and went top of their champions with a 3-2 win on Wednesday League group jumped Eintracht Frankfurt.
“The reality is you can come to Tottenham and lose,” he said. “It’s a Champions League team, a really strong team.
“It’s important that we use training, consistency and dynamism to collect points in games where we should be stronger and show that we’re a stronger team.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/antonio-conte-everton-jordan-pickford-harry-kane-richarlison-b2203615.html Richarlison injures Antonio Conte as Tottenham beat Everton