Everton upped the pressure on Jose Mourinho with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tottenham after extra-time to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals, as Manchester City eased into the last eight by beating Swansea on Wednesday.
Tottenham face a daunting trip to City in the Premier League on Saturday and defeat after a draining 120 minutes was the last thing Mourinho wanted.
“Attacking football only wins matches when you don’t make more defensive mistakes than you create,” said Mourinho, who once described a 5-4 result as a “hockey score”.
“It was the mouse and the cat. The mouse was our defensive mistakes and the cat was us playing very well, scoring goals, but it wasn’t enough.”
Mourinho’s men made a bright start at Goodison Park as Davinson Sanchez headed them into the lead after just three minutes.
However, the defensive errors that have cost Tottenham dear in recent months were in evidence as Everton struck three times in seven minutes just before half-time through Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty.
Erik Lamela reduced Spurs’ deficit in first-half stoppage time before another rare goal for Sanchez made it 3-3.
Richarlison then smashed home from a narrow angle to restore Everton’s lead.
Mourinho had left Harry Kane on the bench from the start to ease his return from an ankle injury. But the England captain ended up playing for over an hour and met Son Heung-min’s cross at the back post with bullet header seven minutes from time to send the game into extra-time.
Bernard’s brilliant finish from Sigurdsson’s scooped pass proved a fitting winner to a pulsating tie to keep alive the Toffees’ chances of a first trophy since 1995.
“It was a long night for everybody, but we came out on top which is the main thing,” said Everton assistant manager Duncan Ferguson.
– City’s record-breaking run –
The defending from both sides will encourage City, who also face Everton in the Premier League next Wednesday, after they broke the English football record for consecutive wins by a top-flight club.
Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were on target for City, who extended their winning run in all competitions to 15 games with a 3-1 success over Swansea.
Victory was also Pep Guardiola’s 200th in 268 games as City boss, with his side still on course for a historic quadruple of trophies.
Guardiola’s men hold a five-point lead with a game in hand at the top of the Premier League, face Tottenham in the League Cup final in April and resume their challenge to win a first Champions League in the last 16 against Borussia Monchengladbach later this month.
“It is amazing for ourselves, we cannot deny how pleased and proud we are to break this record,” said Guardiola. “Records are there to be broken, but they have to do well (to beat it).
“It is not easy in the modern era to make 15 wins in a row.”
Leicester were made to wait until the 94th minute to book their place in the last eight with a 1-0 win over Brighton thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho’s header.
Sheffield United also just needed a solitary goal to see off Bristol City 1-0 thanks to Billy Sharp’s penalty after Alfie Mawson was sent off for handling David McGoldrick’s goalbound shot.