Leeds twice battle from behind to secure well-earned point against Everton

Date published: Saturday 21st August 2021 5:10 - Dan Burnham

Raphinha watches his shot sail in against Everton, August 2021

Leeds twice came from behind to secure a well-earned point against Rafa Benitez’s Everton side at a packed out Elland Road.

The match was the Whites’ first back in front of a full capacity home crowd since their return to the Premier League. Most of their supporters had been made to wait for over a year to cheer on their side in the top-flight since their Championship title win.

And their presence was certainly felt. Their side were as lively as them in the early going. Patrick Bamford had a half chance blocked by Michael Keane after jinking his way into the Toffees’ box.

Jordan Pickford was forced into making his first save of the match when Raphinha made inroads from the right and shot low.

Luke Ayling, who scored his first Premier League goal against Manchester United last week, took range from outside the box once again but this time could only earn a corner off Mina.

Having soaked up the early pressure, Everton grew into the game. Balls into the box towards Calvert-Lewin were causing danger and led to a penalty being awarded.

The England international was hauled down by Liam Cooper after he’d got goalside of the defender. It was not initially given, but after checking the monitor referee Darren England pointed to the spot.

Calvert-Lewin duly converted to give his side the lead. But Leeds bounced back strongly from the setback.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates against Leeds, August 2021

And it was all square before the break. Bamford smartly flicked the ball into the path of Mateusz Klich who finished past Pickford into the bottom left corner.

The Toffees went ahead once more five minutes after the restart, though. Demarai Gray looked to have overworked it on the left side of the box but managed to find the back of the net from a tight angle.

It was nearly three for Rafa Benitez’s side when Iwobi picked out Calvert Lewin who fired on goal. Illan Meslier got out quickly to stop the shot and keep the lead to just one.

Raphinha magic does the trick

The Toffees sat back on their advantage and invited Leeds to attack. It was going to take something special to unlock their defence, and up stepped Raphinha.

A ball into the box dropped to Liam Cooper, who set the ball back to the Brazilian on the edge of the box. From there he fired a left-footed strike into the far corner past a helpless Pickford.

Benitez made a trio of substitutions in an attempt to snatch the game from Leeds’ grasp. And they went close to a winner when Abdoulaye Doucoure’s deflected shot rolled just past the post.

But both sides were forced to settle for a point as it was honours even come the full-time whistle.

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