Pavlyuchenko is congratulated by team-mates after scoring Spurs' opener
By Phil Dawkes
Tottenham moved into the Premier League top four with a hard-fought home victory over a determined Everton.
In-form Roman Pavlyuchenko put Spurs ahead when he tapped home a Jermain Defoe cross from six yards.
Everton rallied but could not make their pressure count and they fell two goals behind when Luka Modric curled in a superb, dipping shot.
Everton's Yakubu took advantage of keeper Heurelho Gomes' error to pull a goal back but an equaliser eluded them.
The win lifts Tottenham into the Champions League places at the expense of Manchester City, on goal difference, and strikes a blow to Everton's hopes of making a late top-four push following a period of good form.
The visitors - and American striker Landon Donovan in particular - will be left to rue missed opportunities to get something from the game.
Spurs' unlikely recent hero has been Russian striker Pavlyuchenko, who has come in from the cold and reaped the rewards with four goals in two games prior to this, including two in the FA Cup win over Bolton on Wednesday.
Redknapp salutes 'Croatian' goal
And he quickly picked up where he had left off to make an impact and add to his tally.
Tom Huddlestone launched a superb 60-yard pass from well inside his own half which was deftly controlled by Defoe, who then rolled the ball across goal where Pavlyuchenko was on hand to slide home.
Everton's midweek cup fortunes were in stark contrast to that of Spurs as they fell to a disappointing 3-0 second leg defeat at Sporting Lisbon, thus sealing their exit from the Europa League.
In response to that defeat, manager David Moyes made five changes to his side in the hope of recapturing their recent good league form, which has seen them record successive home wins over Chelsea and Manchester United in a run of only one defeat in 12 matches.
Despite the early blow they responded well to conceding a goal, and were almost gifted an instant equaliser.
Spurs keeper Gomes made a hash of a simple catch from a Mikel Arteta corner and dropped the ball at the feet of Yakubu but the Nigerian striker was unable to get away a meaningful shot and Michael Dawson cleared to spare his goalkeeper's blushes.
Tottenham weathered the storm, reasserted themselves on the game and got their reward when they doubled their lead.
Their Croatian contingent slickly combined with Vedran Corluka finding Niko Krancjar, who in turn found Modric on the edge of the area and the latter expertly curled a right-foot shot over Tim Howard and in via the underside of the crossbar.
Again, Everton's response was positive but when their chance to get back into the game came, five minutes before half-time, they missed it.
Victor Anichebe found Phil Neville on the right and his cross was met by Jack Rodwell but his header was directed well wide.
Gomes had already given warning of his occasional fallibility and with 10 second-half minutes gone he demonstrated it once again, to far more costly ends.
Arteta's corner was headed back across goal by Rodwell and Gomes completely missed the ball under pressure from Yakubu and the Nigerian striker was able to tap in unchallenged.
A minute later Gomes went some way towards making amends, diving to his left to palm away a snapshot from Rodwell and deny Everton the speediest of comebacks.
Moyes rues Donovan's crucial miss
The Brazilian was again called on to make a crucial save with 20 minutes to go as a Tottenham error once more almost proved costly.
Wilson Palacios gave the ball away to Steven Pienaar in midfield and the South African was allowed to run unchallenged into the Spurs box before unleashing a shot that Gomes palmed away.
Seven minutes later, Everton substitute Donovan was guilty of one of the misses of the season.
Rodwell turned Sebastien Bassong on the left side of the penalty area and threaded a cross across goal that beat Gomes, leaving the on-loan American with the simplest of tap-ins at the back post but inexplicably he fluffed his effort into the side-netting.
Everton continued to press for parity but their final ball often let them down and on the occasions they were given a sight of goal - such as a header from substitute Phil Jagielka in the 82nd minute - they missed the target.
Six minutes of injury-time could have been a lot more comfortable for Spurs had Howard not palmed away Krancjar's fierce drive late on but they were able to frantically hold on for a vital win.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"Overall I thought we played well and we were terrific at times in the first half.
"When you play Everton you know they are not going to give up.
"David (Moyes) obviously got into Everton at half time and they raised their game. At 2-1 we got edgy and we were defending for our lives at times."
Everton manager David Moyes:
"It was a game of two halves. Tottenham were better in the first and we were much better in the second.
"At half time we were dead and buried but I have to give the players credit for making a game of it.
"It (Donovan's miss) was a crucial moment for us and probably a crucial moment for Tottenham as well."
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