Comment and Analysis @psmithXI
Report and highlights as Everton win back-to-back games and Leicester’s poor run continues
Last Updated: 01/07/20 8:10pm
Leicester’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were hit by a 2-1 defeat at Everton on Wednesday night, despite a second-half fightback from the Foxes.
Richarlison put Everton ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock and Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled their advantage from the penalty spot six minutes later after a long VAR review eventually punished Wilfred Ndidi’s handball.
However, Leicester responded after the break and pulled one back when Mason Holgate’s clearance went in off sub Kelechi Iheanacho (51) but couldn’t find a second, despite dominating possession and territory at Goodison Park.
The result leaves Leicester – who are yet to win since football’s restart – still in third but just one point ahead of Chelsea, who travel to West Ham later on Wednesday, and three points ahead of Manchester United in fifth and Wolves in sixth. Everton move up to 11th.
How Everton added to Leicester’s problems…
A Leicester side clearly keen to put their poor form since the return behind them made a bright start at Goodison Park, with Youri Tielemans close to finding Jamie Vardy inside the opening two minutes.
But that was about as good as it got. Within minutes Anthony Gordon had been set away on the left and his pull-back found a totally unmarked Richarlison to blast beyond Schmeichel from eight yards.
Shellshocked Leicester were two behind six minutes later, thanks to a penalty which took VAR more than two-and-a-half minutes to eventually judge Lucas Digne’s free kick had struck Wilfred Ndidi’s raised arm in the box. It was Everton’s first spot kick of the season, but the restored Sigurdsson made no mistake of it to double the Toffees’ lead.
The now-routine drinks break midway through the half finally provided Leicester with a chance to regroup, and they certainly took it. Right from the restart they looked rejuvenated and deserved a goal back before half-time, with Jonny Evans denied by Jordan Pickford and Marc Albrighton by a close-range Digne block.
Leicester stepped up their resurgence after the interval and pulled a goal back when Mason Holgate cannoned his clearance into Iheanacho and past Everton ‘keeper Pickford.
The visitors almost got another helping hand on the hour mark when Pickford’s failed pick-up saw Michael Keane almost turn into his own net before the Everton defender deflected James Maddison’s strike over the bar.
It was then Iheanacho’s turn to blaze over after more unconvincing goalkeeping from Pickford but with boss Carlo Ancelotti sending on Yerry Mina to go to three-at-the-back and Tom Davies adding numbers in central midfield, Everton closed down the space and saw out the victory.
Leicester host Crystal Palace on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 2.30pm; kick-off 3pm.
Leicester vs C Palace
July 4, 2020, 2:30pm
Everton travel to Tottenham on Monday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7.30pm; kick-off 8pm.
Tottenham vs Everton
July 6, 2020, 7:30pm