Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti share seven Champions League victories and much mutal respect.
But these two coaching superstars presided over a mid-table match of high-class mediocrity decided by an own goal – and where the highlight was a half-time bust-up between two Tottenham team-mates.
And the 90 minutes showed both ambitious clubs are miles and millions away from Europe’s premier club competition.
The stats will show Mourinho became the fifth manager to record 200 Premier League wins to join Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp and David Moyes.
And the three points lifted Spurs up to eighth – just a point and a place behind Arsenal before their North London derby on Sunday – after a run of only one win in nine in all competitions.
It was certainly better than last week’s defeat at Sheffield United.
Yet a rare clean sheet was more a reflection on Everton’s feeble attacking rather than their own defensive solidity as Tottenham extended their unbeaten run against the Toffees to 15 matches.
Michael Keane had scored the winner at Norwich last week and Everton were seeking consecutive away victories for the first time since September 2016.
But although Ancelotti has introduced discipline and defensive organisation in his six months at Goodison Park, the Italian has not yet been able to change Everton’s embarrassing away record against the traditional Big Six which is now extended to 40 games without a victory.
And although Tottenham remain long odds to get back into the top six this season – where they have finished every season since 2009 – it is it could take Everton another 40 nights to beat a top team playing like this.
It was a real letdown after three games unbeaten since the re-start.
The pre-game hug between Mourinho and Ancelotti, who last clashed when leading Inter Milan and Chelsea in Europe’s top club competition in 2010, certainly did not adhere to modern-day social distancing rules.
Under a cloudless blue sky, the match started like an old-school Serie A match with Everton sitting back and Tottenham cynically kicking the dangerous Richarlison at every opportunity.
Andre Gomes, who had his ankle broken following a challenge by Son Heung-min in November, also got a little bit of revenge with a silly foul on the South Korean
The first 45 minutes did not see a single shot on target but still saw a goal after 24 minutes.
Son and Kane both saw shots blocked by dogged Everton defending before Lo Celso’s wayward effort hit Michael Keane in the chest and deflected past the wrong-footed Jordan Pickford.
It was rightly ruled an own goal to leave the Argentine still looking for his first Premier League goal.
The biggest talking point of the match did not happen until Graham Scott had blown for half-time. In first half injury time, sub Yerry Mina fed Richarlison who ran forward to shoot narrowly wide.
As the players approached the tunnel, Lloris ran over to remonstrate with Son and the two Tottenham team-mates had to be separated by Lo Celso.
The two came out of the tunnel chatting after the break and Son appeared inspired by the rollocking.
The South Korean registered Tottenham’s first shot on target after 53 minutes to force Pickford into a low save – and then sent in two more efforts.
Ancelotti, who added more energy with Anthony Gordon at the break, threw on Bernard, Djibril Sidibe and Moises Kean but it was too little, too late.
The only late chance was Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicking a long-range backheel into the welcoming arms of Lloris.