Everton hold on for point as Leicester miss out on going joint top

Leicester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Goodison Park and denied the chance to go joint level on points with table-topping Manchester City.

Having trailed at the interval, Leicester equalised midway through the second period and looked likely to go on and win it.

However their possession did not result in a winner as they had to settle for a point.

Leicester were well on top in the early stages, pushing forward and causing problems for Everton’s defence.

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in particular looked threatening and both tried their luck in the opening minutes but could not trouble Jordan Pickford.

But Everton managed to withstand the pressure and could have gone in front in the 15th minute through Richarlison after he was picked out by a fine cross from Lucas Digne, but his header was deflected behind for a corner.

Kasper Schmeichel was forced to punch the resulting corner clear with Yerry Mina waiting to nod home.

The action mellowed somewhat afterwards, and neither side had managed an attempt on target as the half hour mark approached with the game still to burst into life.

James Rodriguez goal Everton TEAMtalk


However, James Rodriguez soon changed that as he opened the scoring with a fantastic effort from outside the box. Having seen his own cross cut out by Wesley Fofana, the Colombian picked up the loose ball ahead of the Leicester defender and curled his right-footed strike in off the post.

The Foxes received another blow just before half time when Wilfred Ndidi, who has struggled throughout the season with injury, was forced from the field with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.

Just like the first half, Leicester started the second period on the front foot. But without Jamie Vardy, who is currently out injured, they are considerably less dangerous in attack and were dealt with comfortably.

Good work from Barnes forced Pickford to parry a cross into the path of James Justin, and the defender should have done better with the finish but pushed the ball wide of the post.

Brendan Rodgers’ side were able to maintain their pressure though, with Everton seemingly content to hold on to what they had.

It was a risky strategy by the hosts, who dropped increasingly further back and invited pressure on their goal.

Ayoze Perez flashed a cross across the face of goal but no Leicester player was on hand to apply the finishing touch after, before Maddison hit a free-kick into the wall just before the clock hit 60 minutes.

But after knocking on the door for so long, Leicester did eventually find an equaliser in the 67th minute through Youri Tielemans, who benefitted from some poor goalkeeping from Pickford when his tame low shot from 18-yards was pushed on to the post and into the net.

Jordan Pickford Everton TEAMtalk

Having sat back for the majority of the second half, Everton found it difficult to turn the tables on their opponents and were now pinned back in their own territory. Pickford recovered to make a stop from another Maddison strike, but the hosts looked desperate for the final whistle with 15 minutes to go.

That feeling was only strengthened when Cengiz Under almost pushed his team ahead, only for a wicked deflection to take the ball narrowly wide of the post with Pickford wrong-footed.

Everton’s first real chance of the second half didn’t come until the 82nd minute, but goalscorer Rodriguez couldn’t replicate his earlier goal as he curled a shot high and wide of the target.

Richarlison also headed over from a corner as Carlo Ancelotti’s men started to make use of the counter attack before Dominic Calvert-Lewin also missed a glorious opportunity to steal it in the 89th minute.

Michael Keane made a crucial block during added time to deny Maddison from close range to ensure the game finished 1-1 and the points were shared on Merseyside.