BRAN THE MAN Everton 2 Tottenham 2: Branthwaite is Toffees’ hero with late leveller after Richarlison returned to haunt former team

Jarrad Branthwaite scored a late equaliser for Everton

JARRAD BRANTHWAITE left Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario on his back and Everton on cloud nine with the last-gasp leveller in a Goodison thriller.

The Toffees looked certain to sink even deeper into the drop zone as James Garner swung over a final, desperate free kick in stoppage time.

It is a vital point in Everton's battle to avoid relegation

Richarlison scored two superb goals against his former club

Spurs centre back Cristian Romero’s header sent it arcing towards his own goal, and Branthwaite got the faintest of glances from right on the line.

He clattered Vicario as he did so – albeit with no threat of a foul – and the Gwladys Steet went wild.

Yet they still had a nervous minute or two before VAR confirmed there had been no offside before Branthwaite bundled in his first of the season to save Everton’s skins.

To be honest, they looked down and out after two goals from former striker Richarlison – both of which he actually apologised to the Blues fans for scoring – put Spurs on course.

The first was after only three minutes, volleying in after pulling back cleverly to meet Destiny Udogie’s cross.

His second, five minutes before half time, was an absolute cracker, and owed much to the dancing feet of fit-again James Maddison.

Maddison dipped left, flicked it right – all in the space of a yard – and Richarlison stuck a first timer in the top corner.

In between times Everton had levelled it when their constant bombardment of keeper Guglielmo Vicario at corner kicks finally reaped a reward.

When Dwight McNeil curled over another, James Tarkowski headed it back into the danger area and Dominic Calvert-Lewin stooped to nod in from a yard.

Replays proved it actually struck team-mate Jack Harrison, standing immediately in front of him, en route to the net, so Calvert-Lewin’s drought now goes into a 17th game.

As far as Everton were concerned, that hardly mattered.

What did was dragging themselves level… although Richarlison soon made sure they were chasing a second equaliser.

Had it not been for a marvellous improvised stop from Vicario – again from a corner – it would have arrived as well.

The Spurs keeper blocked Ben Godfrey’s initial header with his legs, then instinctively stuck out a foot to poke it away from Jack Harrison before he could tap in the rebound.

That looked like being the closest Everton came to rescuing a point – Branthwaite, though, made sure it wasn’t.