Everton's powers of recovery too strong for Leicester

Sunday 9 April 2017  38 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton 4 - 2 Leicester City

Everton registered their seventh successive home win and scored another four goals at Goodison as they came from behind to halt Leicester's winning streak under Craig Shakespeare.

The defending Champions came to Merseyside having won five games in a row under Claudio Ranieri's successor and it looked, briefly, as though they might extend that run when they overturned the Toffees' early lead to go 2-1 up after with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Tom Davies had netted after just 30 seconds to give Everton the lead but goals from Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton turned the game on its head and put Leicester in the driving seat.

They were pegged back by Romelu Lukaku's 22nd of the season and went into the break behind again when Phil Jagielka scored his second in the space of a week and Lukaku rounded off the scoring in the second half.

Although missing Ashley Williams and forced to deploy Matthew Pennington at centre-half again, Ronald Koeman was able to recall Morgan Schneiderlin in central midfield after the French international passed a fitness test on his calf. He also kept faith in Kevin Mirallas despite substituting him in the second half at Old Trafford last Tuesday and it was the Belgian's terrific run seconds into the game that set up the first goal.

Driving straight at the heart of the Foxes' defence, he appeared to be dragged down by Daniel Amartey but referee Robert Madley laudably played the advantage which allowed Davies to evade the last defender and tuck the ball home from close range.

Leicester were level just three minutes later, though, when they caught their hosts cold on the counter-attack. Demarai Gray burst down the centre and picked out Slimani in oceans of space and the Algerian slotted through Joel Robles's legs.

An error and foul by Pennington outside his own box handed Albrighton the opportunity to swing in a cross from the Leicester left in the 10th minute but he surprised Robles with an effort that sailed over the Spaniard and under the crossbar to make it 2-1.

Everton survived another scare when Robles saved with his legs to deny Slimani before re-establishing control and equalising themselves with a well-worked goal midway through the first half. Idrissa Gueye fed the ball out to Ross Barkley who picked out Lukaku in the centre with an early cross and the striker made no mistake with a strong header past Kasper Schmeichel.

Then, after Barkley was left incredulous at not scoring when he rounded the Schmeichel but saw the Leicester keeper touch his shot behind, Jagielka rose highest to meet Mirallas's corner and head the Blues back into the lead.

The second half was a less frenetic affair and Everton effectively made the game safe shortly before the hour mark off another set-piece. Mirallas won the initial corner and then with the resulting dead-ball delivery found Jagielka again, who got enough on it to allow it to drop invitingly to Lukaku at the back post and he rattled in a right-foot shot to make it 4-2.

Leonardo Ulloa came off the bench and twice went close with accurate headers for Leicester that might have changed the character of the contest late on but the first hit Gueye on its way to goal and the second was saved well by Robles with a strong hand on the goal line.

The win preserves Everton's 100% home record in 2017 in the Premier League and draws them level with Arsenal in sixth place who play the first of their two games in hand against Crystal Palace on Tuesday Monday.

 

Reader Comments (38)

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 09/04/2017 at 18:45:31
Good test of character.
Steve Ferns
2 Posted 09/04/2017 at 18:49:46
Better from us. Schneiderlin back in the side makes everyone else better. Pennington looked better. Everyone but Joel Robles had a good game. Davies, Barkley and Mirallas were outstanding.
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 09/04/2017 at 18:54:29
Good win, pretty strong first half performance going forward and Jagielka held the defence together at times.

Mirallas was really energetic and made a mockery of his exclusion from the starting line-up at Anfield and his early substitution at Old Trafford.

It amazes me how we look so good at home but away from home are very timid and limited going forward; hopefully it's an area Koeman quickly resolves next season. The restoration of Fortress Goodison is a credit to Koeman, though, so fair play.

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 09/04/2017 at 18:56:48
Really good game. Silly goals given away but, after that, we were in cruise control.

I had a bit of a go at Pennington early on but fair do's to the lad – he was solid for the last hour of the game. Holgate was excellent once again. Ross my MotM.

Craig Walker
5 Posted 09/04/2017 at 18:58:18
I've given them criticism of late but fair play to Ross and Rom today. I thought Mirallas and Jags were excellent and it was good to have Schneiderlin back.

We dropped the intensity a bit but it was an excellent performance. Just what we needed. Well done, Blues!

Paula Taylor
6 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:05:38
Would just like to thank Lawro for his prediction this morning of 0-2, the commentators curse strikes again, haha!
Denis Richardson
7 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:10:22
Good team performance, couple of silly goals conceded but 3 points is the most important thing and another game for the youngsters gaining experience. Having both Geuye and Schneiderlin in the midfield settles the nerves a lot – we have to keep them long term.

10 point gap to West Brom pretty much nails 7th place down with an outside chance of higher. Just looking at the remaining fixtures, Man Utd still need to play Chelsea, City, Arsenal and Spurs! Arsenal have an easier run in. Burnley home next so hopefully another 3 points to keep the pressure on the top 6.

Martin Mason
8 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:12:57
I'm also disappointed by our relative weakness away, especially at Anfield, but the foundation needed is first to make sure that we can be almost unbeatable at home. Everything else will flow from this.
Stan Schofield
9 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:21:54
Martin, good point. The away form has been frustrating precisely because the home form is so good. But as you say, everything should flow from that eventually.

Very good result today, well done blue boys.

Freddy Maldonado
10 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:25:53
A win was the only acceptable outcome today and we came through. Happy for this because it gives us a glimmer of hope to push for a Top 5 or 6 spot.

A quick observation of the defense, some from today but mostly from the season as a whole:

The defensive unit is weak. It looks solid at times but it stands there way too much because there is no pace. Pennington is a Jagielka clone and do we really need that if we are going to move forward? I'm rooting for him but are his type of players going to take us into the top 3? I don't think so. Jags has had a great couple of matches for him though. 2 goals is wonderful for him. Both are fringe players to me that wouldn't make the subs on a top European Club.

Baines is fading now – way too many injuries and age are catching up to him. A great servant that now needs to reflect on what he brings to the club.

Coleman may never be the same again. He's definitely one of my favorite players and I love the bastard but we cannot bank on him returning to the man he once was. That would be bad business if we did.

Heart and passion can take you far but you need skill and pace to move the ball forward. Williams is a rental but his balls outsize any other centre-back on the team. But, again, he is a player that should be coming off the bench to ice the match, not start. Holgate, for me, is a very solid defender coming off the bench right now-he will develop into a starter. Funes Mori is a bench player as well that we need to keep but he is not very quick and doesn't move the ball forward well.

My observation: We have defenders starting that shouldn't be. The fact that they have seen success, in my opinion, is more Koeman's defensive genius than skill. Koeman has organized them as best as he could and then slapped glue and tape to hold them together. They are a solid group that a team outside the Top 10 would kill to have but we will be permanently stuck in the 6 to 9 spots if we don't upgrade.

Sorry if this sounds negative – I love our boys but our strongest sons haven't arrived yet. I may get some stick for my comments.

If we are going to be a consistent Champions League club, then we need to invest in 3 to 4 defenders-which could cost around £30M-50M. 2 of them will need to be paid hefty for.

If I had to guess, there could be around 10 players leaving the club(including U-23s). Clear the books, ship out the ones that don't fit the system and bring in pace. This upcoming summer has to be about burning the leeches off. £75M will need to be spent with Lukaku staying. £100M with him gone for sure.

Martin Mason
11 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:29:37
Freddy, you're entitled to your opinions and I wouldn't argue about any of them. Good post.
Jay Woods
12 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:31:02
Was out with the wife and kids and came back, eager to see who scored for us. It would be so much easier if, at the start or end of the match report, the scorers were listed for impatient readers like me.
Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:31:45
A very good victory and contrary to the Beeb's view, I thought it was a good test of this Everton team against a team who didn't appear to have half an eye on Champions League.

The difference between this Everton team and the Everton team of the previous two seasons is that Gueye and more so Schneiderlin are constantly trying to win the ball back when the Blues don't have possession.

Morgan is the playmaker who helps the Toffees tick and it was noticeable when Barry came on that Leicester found it easier to retain possession and Everton looked a little toothless. Davies also adds something to the team but obviously, given his youth, lacked the stamina to influence the team as much he can or will do in the future. Those 3 midfielders allow Ross to make mistakes and play more to his strengths and that has to be great for him and the team.

The thing that excites me the most is that, given that Ross and Rom stay a while longer, we have the basis for a very good team for the long term and, if we can add a couple more players in the coming months, we could be onto a very good period in the clubs history.

Never mind what the media may think, this team has a chance of matching those above us in the coming years, and any team winning seven home matches on the trot must be doing something right. The only bug-bear I had today was the showboating element during the early part of the second-half. Come on lads, put the game to bed as early as possible and then you can bring out the party tricks.

But a very satisfied Evertonian tonight and forget the media hype or lack of it when it comes to the Toffees, we'll do what we've always done and appreciate when we have a decent side and hopefully celebrate a trophy or two in the coming seasons.

Special mentions to Jags and Baines but my man of the match goes to Morgan Schneiderlin who is a class act.


William Cartwright
14 Posted 09/04/2017 at 19:42:42
Morgan Schneiderlin is a class act. No doubt. Highlight of the match for me was Ross's assist. A sublime cross. What skill that man has!
Des Farren
15 Posted 09/04/2017 at 20:11:42
"Special mention to Baines"? Don't think so. Not today. Not this season. He has become very problematic in so many respects. Solid team performance against poor opposition.
Plato Stavrinos
16 Posted 09/04/2017 at 20:24:57
With crosses like that, could Barkley play wider in a David Beckham type role?
Eric Owen
17 Posted 09/04/2017 at 20:26:29
Lyndon Lloyd's comments indicate the first half was a frenetic affair. If that's frenetic, bring it on!

As an oldie, now living in Canada, the first half reminded me of the old School of Science. They played as a team with each helping each-other not as a computer game, depending on which current technical formation chosen. I know I just relished it, not once wondering if we were playing 4-4-2 or 3-5-2; whatever?

Even after we lost the lead, I was not upset as I just knew we would win... and that's not me! Then came the second half with the defencive techniques entering the game and my worries returned.

Why have we not seen Mirallas making more amazing runs like he started at the beginning of the game? Tom Davis is like an indefatigable bouncing ball that suddenly appears all over the pitch. Jags omade it easy for the two other young defenders; but surely that's what you expect of an older, rather seasoned pro, coaching them as the game progressed. They have a lot to learn but they will! Remember your first day at work?

Plaudits for the other players have already been offered by contributors on ToffeeWeb and I am not going to duplicate what has already been said. All I hope is that this frenetic first half was not a one-off and we can expect to see it growing for the rest of the season and then taking off like a rocket next season.

Mike Hughes
18 Posted 09/04/2017 at 20:40:45
Just read the BBC report on the match. Those twats so clearly have an agenda.

The report is heavy on Lukaku's uncertain future.
Reference to the last prolific striker, Lineker, leaving after one season.

Conveniently omitted the fact that Lineker was denied European football with us because of the Heysel ban due to the marauding RS fans.

Shove the license fee where the sun doesn't shine – an old boys' network of gobshites.

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 09/04/2017 at 20:44:39
Freddy, I only read part of your post but I got the gist of it. Trippier, Keane, Van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand or Nathan Ake would be a great back 4.
Colin Glassar
20 Posted 09/04/2017 at 21:15:18
Nothing on the BBC twitter feed either Mike. It's like we don't exist for them. All lineker is tweeting is about the bleeding golf. Such a hypocrite.
John Hammond
21 Posted 09/04/2017 at 21:21:20
Mike #18: Getting so sick of the BBC. Before the United game all they banged on about was if United won it would help in their push for a top 4 place. For the City game in January all they spoke about during the build up on the live text was United and Liverpool. It really as if no other teams exist.
Freddy Maldonado
22 Posted 09/04/2017 at 21:37:10
Colin, that would be a very active back 4. I would settle for Van Dijk, Keane and Trippier for now and maybe take a stab at Luke Shaw if United stops playing him (longshot this one). All 4 would bring already established Premier League and European experience.

Does anyone know if Browning can slot into LB? How is Garbutt doing? I haven't heard much since their injuries.

Paul Windrum
23 Posted 09/04/2017 at 21:57:01
Good game today.

Jags was MotM. Will he have a golden autumn at the end of his career?

Have to say that both defences looked very frail at the beginning of the game. Pennington looked all over the place, but gained confidence and started to look good in the last hour. Really not sure about Holgate as a wing back. He just doesn't look comfortable going forward.
Paul Birmingham
24 Posted 09/04/2017 at 22:02:28
Good job done and good result, for me Jags – MotM.

Same again v Burnley!

Terry Downes
25 Posted 09/04/2017 at 22:10:14
Don't forget, there's Galloway to return next season.
Christy Ring
26 Posted 10/04/2017 at 01:33:50
I have to say, it's time to lay off Barkley, a class act, and we need a new left back.
Roman Sidey
27 Posted 10/04/2017 at 02:12:49
Freddy, your first post at no.10 is one of the better comments I've seen on here. There hasn't been too much common sense on these threads of late, but yours was very refreshing.
Jim Hardin
28 Posted 10/04/2017 at 02:57:36
Freddy,

I agree with Trippier as I wanted Everton to get him 3 seasons ago and to take a crack at Mee (Left back and now, left center-half). Trippier was regarded as the best left back outside the EPL when he went to Tottenham. Walker upped his game beyond belief to keep him on the bench. When he does play he does very well however.

Bob Parrington
29 Posted 10/04/2017 at 02:59:11
The Leicester left back reminded me of a young Baines!
Jason Wilkinson
30 Posted 10/04/2017 at 03:31:26
A good win but... and there is a 'but': two goals conceded against a side that albeit have rallied in recent weeks still shows the frailty we have at the back.

A bit more game management is required and that needs a director on the pitch. A good old fashioned captain in the mould of Peter Reid or Kevin Ratcliffe (Phil and Gareth are too quiet) to steady the ship when the youngsters go a bit too gung-ho.

I'm not being over critical as it was an admirable display over the 90 minutes but, having time to reflect on the performance, I wondered how we would approach the same scenario if it were at home to Chelsea. I would like to think the same attitude would be adopted with a little more nous to cut out the defensive errors.

Barkley, Baines, Schneiderlin and Mirallas were all cut out of the game for their break away equaliser. We have the fourth best total against the top six in the table even with two defeats to the RS. Better than Man Utd, Arsenal and Man City, so it is not unthinkable that, with better concentration and the same self-belief, Chelsea could leave Goodison with sweet FA in a couple of weeks time.

Looking at the fixtures, I for one still believe this could be a great season not just a huge improvement.

Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 10/04/2017 at 04:53:57
Freddy & Colin; So where would you play Holgate?
Derek Knox
32 Posted 10/04/2017 at 05:18:07
I was a bit apprehensive about this game, with us having injuries and suspension to regular first teamers, coupled with the resurgence of Leicester.

Gladly, my fears were totally unwarranted, and I witnessed a thoroughly entertaining game, which could have easily been 7 or 8 goals for us.

I was also quite impressed by young Pennington, playing at Centre Back, which I believe is his normal role, he was positively dodgy at RB the last couple of games.

The only one who let us down again, was El Teflon which underlines the necessity of having a new keeper, and a striker, as priority on our transfer shopping list!

I actually thought he had turned the corner, having pulled off a few good performances, but he seems to have dropped back, to committing costly mistakes. If memory serves, Stek was doing great before his injury, and that was Joel's chance to step in. Maybe he thinks his place is guaranteed, which is wrong, and Stek should have played, but that's hindsight for you.

Still it's reassuring to know, that we can cope better with injuries and suspensions, these days with able deputies in the squad.

Tom Davies was again, showing what a good player, at such a young age, he is, and surely will get even better.

Freddy Maldonado
33 Posted 10/04/2017 at 07:16:52
Alan, me personally, I would keep Holgate at RB/WB. While I am enjoying his development, he needs some competition to push him. Trippier would be a good bet to make him better. Holgate is only 20 – he has time to be a massive player for us.

Martin Mason
34 Posted 10/04/2017 at 09:25:27
For me Holgate does himself a disservice playing wing back as it isn't his best position. He will be a RR at CB in the same mould as John Stones. Longer term I'd like to see a specialist RB playing to back up or replace Coleman.

I'd love for us to have kept Stones and had a footballing CB partnership of Stones and Holgate. I remember Liverpool from the days of Phil Thompson, Mark Lawrence and Alan Hansen, they showed that you don't need a Robert Huth for a good defence.

Alexander Murphy
37 Posted 10/04/2017 at 11:50:36
Just a few observations on what turned out to be a fine result, eventually.

Early on, Pennington was all over the show. It was his weak play which gifted Drinkwater's free kick. Baines committed himself miles forward then Davies completely failed to react allowing Slimani literally acres of space to score.

Joel was in a poor position and got done by Drinkwater's very astute free kick. Joel got nutmegged. Why do current day 'Keepers persist trying to stop attackers with this starfish routine? Big Nev would have saved that. Superb save from Joel later, but Jags subsequent clearance was every bit as brilliant as Barkley's cross.

People criticising Idrissa's passing. Can't fathom that at all. Plus, this man robs the opposition more often than Dick Turpin could.

Still delighted though. Had some trepidation on the way in with the foxes on a run of form.

Peter Cummings
38 Posted 10/04/2017 at 14:26:38
Eric (#17)

I am also an 'oldie' now in Canada and still missing my regular Everton fixtures over the 30 plus years I lived in the UK (both home and away) before emigrating in 1980, like you I won't rehash what other posters, most of who show an amazing measure of knowledge, mainly relating to Everton as well as football in general,

As for yesterday's result suffice to say I was made up especially as two of my favourite players, Jags and Kevin Mirallas along with the rest of the boys made my day. hoping for a similar outcome on Saturday, COYB.

Matthew Williams
39 Posted 10/04/2017 at 14:58:24
I thought the same Bob...spooky !.
Dermot Byrne
40 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:39:19
Just had a moment to watch a replay of the Leicester game. Watched the reaction of Mirallas when he was brought down and watched Tom score. Pure expression of team joy.

I think Koeman can man manage well and no player is safe to start unless they impress. Such a good change.

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