Firepower all Leicester’s while Everton lack spark

05/11/2022 0comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 2 Leicester

Alex Iwobi will rue having missing a golden chance to put Everton ahead early on and, perhaps, change the course of the match

Everton extended their recent run to just one win in six games as they were beaten in fairly comfortable fashion by Leicester City on a flat night under the Goodison Park lights.

Fireworks boomed over the stadium on Guy Fawkes’s Night but there was very little explosive about Frank Lampard’s Blues apart from an early chance that Alex Iwobi will feel he should have buried and another in the second half where goalkeeper Danny Ward did very well to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Instead, a rocket off the boot of Youri Tielemans rewarded the Foxes for their far superior attacking play in the first period on the stroke of half-time and the visitors then punished slack possession play late on seal their victory on the breakaway through Harvey Barnes.

Lampard had made one change to the line-up at Fulham, dropping Anthony Gordon to the bench in favour of Dwight McNeil and electing not to bring Nathan Patterson back in despite the Scot being fit enough to start.

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The Toffees’ boss was, no doubt, hoping for a repeat of the stellar display that had brushed Crystal Palace aside in Everton’s last home game but it was Leicester who started the more effective of the two sides, with James Maddison and Patson Daka almost combining in the hosts’ box inside the first minute and Jordan Pickford having to make a one-handed save to deny the striker three minutes after that.

Everton should have scored with less than five minutes gone, however, when Idrissa Gueye out-muscled Boubakary Soumare outside the Leicester area, Calvert-Lewin held off a defender long enough to play Iwobi in on the overlap but with plenty of goal to aim at, the Nigerian swept his shot across goal and inches past the far post.

Maddison would go perilously close on three separate occasions with shots that took decisive nicks off Blues defenders before flying narrowly past the post while James Tarkowski had a header from a corner pushed behind by Ward, Calvert-Lewin saw a strong run end with his shot being charged down at the last and Amadou Onana probably have done better with a free header off another dead ball.

Everton were largely the architects of their own problems in the first half with dreadful distribution at times and poor decision-making trying to play their way out of trouble and an error by Tarkowski in deciding to leave a bouncing ball for Pickford allowed Daka in but the keeper foiled him to bail the defender out.

The home team’s luck ran out at the end of the half, though, when Conor Coady failed to clear the ball from near his own penalty spot, the ball was worked to Tielemans 20 yards from goal and the Belgian took one touch off his thigh before despatching a dipping volley into the top corner.

Lampard withdrew the error-prone Gueye at the break in favour of James Garner and Calvert-Lewin thought he had levelled the contest four minutes into the second half when Iwobi slipped him in beautifully but Ward was quickly off his line and saved with an out-stretched leg.

Unfortunately, it would be the centre-forward’s last chance before he was forced off with what looked to be a recurrence of a hamstring problem. He was replaced by Neal Maupay while Abdoulaye Doucouré came on for Onana but it was Leicester who almost doubled their lead when Maddison drifted easily past McNeil on the hour mark and smashed a shot off the outside of the post.

Maupay’s only look-in came four minutes later when McNeil powered to the byline and the substitute’s effort at the near post was blocked behind for a corner but, depressingly, Everton generally lacked attacking threat during the last quarter of the match.

Patterson came on for Seamus Coleman and Gordon replaced McNeil but the Blues were caught on the counter when a weak pass by Doucouré was easily cut out deep in Leicester’s half and the visitors raced away on the break.

Barnes and Maddison exchanged passes in the final third and the former turned Doucouré in the box before rifling a shot high into the net to make it 2-0 with four minutes of the 90 to go.


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