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Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester
Premier League
Monday 1 May 2023; 8:00pm
2 2
Soyuncu 22'
Vardy 33'
Half Time: 2 - 1 
Calvert-Lewin (pen) 15'
Iwobi 54'
Attendance: 32,173
Fixture 34
Referee: Michael Oliver

Match Reports
2022-23 Reports Index
« Previous Newcastle (H)
» Next Brighton (A)
  Thomas booked (Kristiansen 88' booked)
  Ndidi (Daka 61')
  Soumare booked
  Maddison booked
  Barnes (Praet 88')
  Subs not used

  Coleman (Patterson 45' +4)
  Gueye booked
  Subs not used
  Godfrey (injured)
  Townsend (injured)
  Vinagre (injured)
  Alli (loan)
  Branthwaite (loan)
  Cannon (loan)
  Dobbin (loan)
  Gbamin (loan)
  Gomes (loan)
  Nkounkou (loan)

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Brentford 2-1 Nott'm Forest
Brighton 6-0 Wolves
C Palace 4-3 West Ham
Bournemouth 4-1 Leeds
Fulham 1-2 Man City
Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham
Man United 1-0 Aston Villa
Newcastle 3-1 Southamp
Leicester 2-2 Everton
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

1 Arsenal 78
2 Manchester City 76
3 Newcastle United 65
4 Manchester United 63
5 Liverpool 56
6 Tottenham Hotspur 54
7 Aston Villa 54
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 52
9 Brentford 50
10 Fulham 45
11 Crystal Palace 40
12 Chelsea 39
13 Bournemouth 39
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37
15 West Ham United 34
16 Leicester City 30
17 Leeds United 30
18 Nottingham Forest 30
19 Everton 29
20 Southampton 24

Match Report

Everton had to be content with just a point from a match they desperately needed to win but avoided another damaging defeat thanks to Jordan Pickford and a redemptive second-half strike from Alex Iwobi.

The Blues struck first in what was a relegation "six-pointer" between 18th and 19th in the Premier League but poor defending allowed Leicester City to equalise and then sloppy play by Iwobi gifted the Foxes a second that sent them into half-time 2-1 up.

It could have been worse for Sean Dyche's men at the halfway stage after captain Seamus Coleman had been stretchered off with a serious-looking injury and Michael Keane gave away a penalty for handball. But Jordan Pickford guessed correctly to deny James Maddison from the spot and, ultimately, it was Dean Smith's side who might have felt fortunate to escape with a draw when stand-in goalkeeper Daniel Iversen pulled off an excellent late save to deny Abdoulaye Doucouré.

With Coleman passed fit following a hamstring problem, Dyche was able to name a natural full-back on the right side of his defence again but illness prevented Amadou Onana from making a second successive start since recovering from a groin strain. That saw James Garner return to central midfield while Michael Keane continued at centre-half despite the criticism levelled at him for his recent displays.

Up front, Dominic Calvert-Lewin made a third straight start and added a much-needed exta dimension to the Blues' attack, even if he somehow contrived to miss an absolute sitter three minutes before half-time.

Everton needed a strong start to set the tone after their miserable performance against Newcastle on Thursday and they were easily the more dangerous of the two teams for the first quarter of the contest.

Coleman had the first real shot in the sixth minute that was blocked behind before Idrissa Gueye skied a decent opportunity to test the keeper from the edge of the box when he had time to at least get it on target but it was Iwobi who thought he had scored after just seven minutes.

Doucouré had teed Iwobi up nicely with a well-weighted pass in the Leicester area but Iversen got a cruciual glove to the Nigerian's side-foot shot and diverted it wide.

Now that he is back in their starting XI on a regular basis, the hosts' chief threat is once again Jamie Vardy and he sounded a warning for the visitors in the 13th minute when he got in behind the defence and cut the ball back for Maddison but Jordan Pickford made a fairly routine stop to deny the midfielder.

Two minutes later, however, Everton's early superiority was rewarded when the ball was flighted towards Calvert-Lewin just in the side the box and he went down under a clear shove from Timothy Castagne that left referee Michael Oliver in no doubt about the award of a penalty.

Calvert-Lewin stepped up himself to take it and swept a perfectly-struck effort high down the middle of Iversen's goal and there was a chance to make it 2-0 almost immediately when Iwobi played the striker in, his shot was blocked behind but Keane could only nod the resulting corner wide at the back post.

The Toffees' lead last just seven minutes, though. Dwight McNeil gave away a cheap free-kick inside his own half and when Maddison's set-piece wasn't dealt, Wout Faes headed the ball back across goal, Keane failed to track Caglar Soyuncu who swivelled it in off Pickford's hand to level the match at 1-1.

McNeil squandered a promising opening when he elected to shoot rather than square it to Calvert-Lewin in fron of goal and Iwobi received a let-off when he was dispossessed but Maddison's curling effort failed to unduly test Pickford but he wasn't so fortunate a minute later.

Iwobi's ill-advised cross-field pass across the centre-circle was intercepted by Youri Tielemans, Maddison quickly threaded the ball through Everton's defence where the 36-year-old Vardy easily out-stripped Keane for pace, rounded the keeper and slammed it home to turn the match on its head.

To their credit, Everton responded and when Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin combined and the latter fed Coleman on the overlap his cross was turned goal-wards by McNeil, only for Iversen to stick out an instinctive hand to prevent it finding the net in the 42nd minute.

A minute after that, there might have been a goal at either end, with McNeil surging forward and cutting the ball to Calvert-Lewin almost on the goal-line but the striker somehow prodded the ball to the only part of the gaping goal where the keeper was and Iversen was able to keep it out.

Leicester counter-attacked immediately where Vardy twisted Keane into knots before drawing Pickford and chipping a shot over him but, thankfully, the ball bounced off the crossbar and over.

That wasn't to be the end of the first-half drama as Coleman, who had been having a very good game to that point, went down in a heap clutching in his knee after being pole-axed by Boubakary Soumare and was eventually carried off, the skipper still geeing his team-mates up from the stretcher as he was replaced by Nathan Patterson.

Then, in the ensuing injury time, Iwobi lost the ball again in an advanced area, Leicester poured forward once more and when Harvey Barnes's cross struck Keane's out-stretched arm, referee Oliver pointed to the spot again, this time in the home side's favour.

Pickford elected not to pick a corner, though, and stood tall in his goal to beat away Maddison's penalty as he tried to drive it down the middle to keep it at 2-1 heading into the second half where the contest became more and more akin to a winner-takes-all cup tie.

Everton came out the more purposeful of the two sides and almost got their reward again just seven minutes in when Calvert-Lewin's knock-down was collected by Iwobi and his low cross was turned goalwards by the striker but Iversen denied him with an out-stretched foot at the near post.

Two minutes later, however, it was 2-2. McNeil's cross came off the head of Faes and dropped invitingly to Iwobi arriving on the other side of the box and he steered a beautifully cushioned half-volley past the keeper.

That sparked a sustained period of Leicester pressure and James Tarkowski had to be well-positioned to clear Vardy's goalbound header off his line on the hour mark as the veteran forward connected with Barnes's mis-hit effort.

But as the game moved into the final quarter of an hour, it was Everton who looked the more likely to grab a winner, although a moment of madness from Pickford almost gifted Vardy a goal when the England keeper was dispossessed on the touchline but the resulting shot dropped wide.

McNeil eschewed a better-advised pass to Calvert-Lewin and went for goal himself again in the 75th minute but his effort was defelcted wide, Iversen had to nip into to steal a cross destined for DCL a couple of minutes later and Iwobi also decided to go it alone for another deflected shot but it was Doucouré who went very close to stealing the points three minutes from the end.

The Mali international found himself with time on the edge of the area to line up a left-footed shot that he despatched in search of the bottom corner but Iversen had sight enough of the ball to dive to his right and palm the ball behind.

So, not the result that Everton needed with just four matches remaining, two of them against daunting opposition in the form of Brighton and Manchester City, and the club still sitting in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Individual errors and amateur defending continue to be huge issues that Dyche seems incapable of addressing, either through coaching or team selection, but the manager will have been buoyed by the spirit shown by his team, the attacking threat they posed with Calvert-Lewin leading the line, and the fact that they managed to score twice away from home for the third time under his stewardship.

Salvation is still possible but matters are out of the Blues' hands for now, with help needed this coming weekend in matches involving their relegation rivals until they can try and help themselves at the Amex Stadium on Monday against the Seagulls.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton travelled to the King Power Stadium this evening for what became a frenetic back-and-forth relegation zone six-pointer against Leicester City that somehow ended up as a draw. 

Sean Dyche made two changes with Seamus Coleman and James Garner back in the side. Iwobi McNeil and Calvert-Lewin form the attack with Gray and Simms on the bench along with Onana.

Amadou Onana has been ill for the past couple of days, while Ben Godfrey, who is absent from the matchday squad, has a groin injury. Holgate, although available after suspension, is not included in the squad.

The home side kicked off through Maddison and showed a desire to advance. Garner was in a little late to tackle. It was a lively opening few minutes, Calvert-Lewin having to fight for space and Coleman having a pop that was deflected for the first corner.  

Another corner, saw Gueye tae his usual customary ridiculous attempt to score. A better play saw Iwobi shoot well first time, Iversen getting a strong hand to it  send it behind. Everton could not quite create a chance from the corner.  kept up good pressure in the Foxes half.. 

A good ball in fell to Keane but he air-kicked it and a decent chance was gone. Leicester then got forward and Vardy set up Maddison whose shot was saved by Pickford. 

Coleman played a good ball forward to Calvert-Lewin who was clearly pushed over by Castagne…... Penalty! A confident, determined forthright Calvert-Lewin from the spot smashed it high into the net to give Everton the lead. 

Everton's high press played off with Iwobi winning it back and playing through to Calvert-Lewin, who did very well to win a corner, headed wide by Keane. 

Leicester finally responded, Tielemans was fouled, and from the free-kick, Söyüncü was able to fire in off Pickford's despairing save.

Everton won another corner after the restart but NcNeil looped it into Iversen's hands as the home side looked to make more of the play. Iwobi wasted an attacking position by looping his cross-sum-shot over the bar. 

Everton attacked again, down the left this time, McNeil trying a difficult shot from a narrow angle that flew over. Everton tried to build again, but Iwobi's early ball forward was a gift for the Foxes' defence. 

Everton's playing out from the back was poor with wayward balls from Tarkowski then Keane. That allowed Maddison in to have a shot.  Iwobi then gave the ball away very cheaply in midfield and Maddison played in Vardy who was sent on his way to easily round Pickford and score. 

Everton won another corner but this was defended despite the pink shirts on the far post getting the first contact. Coleman was fouled, setting up a free-kick opportunity for Garner wide right, Iwobi's heavy contact going behind. 

Iwobi looked to set up Calvert-Lewin but it was intercepted, then he played in Coleman whose cutback to McNeil should have burst the net but he shot straight at Iversen and Doucouré blazed the rebound miles over.

A great set-up from McNeil saw Calvert-Lewin miss from 1 yard out, denied by a first touch from the defender just a yard to his left as he set to score what seemed like a sitter. Vardy was again released to scamper up the other end but his shot was deflected this time, Soumaré catching Coleman who stayed down for a long time, clutching his knee before calling for the stretcher, Patterson replacing him a minute before the break.  

Everton had lost concentration after the long stoppage, and allowed Leicester to almost set up another, before Patterson's vital clearance, as 3 minutes of added time became almost 10. 

Iwobi was carpet-bagged again, wanting too much time, and Leicester were away to the races, Barnes drawing a penalty for handball off Keane, and Maddison incredibly firing straight at the stationary Pickford who made a very surprising save to end the half. 

Calvert-Lewin made the restart but McNeil's cross was lame and then Mykolenko was left for dead by Maddison's deft turn. It was scrappy as Everton tried but failed to control the midfield and Castagne almost played in Vardy. 

After treatment for Söyüncü, Pickford's ball was won by Calvert-Lewin and headed on to no-one. The next fell to Iwobi who played in Calvert-Lewin but his shot was blocked away by Iversen's foot. Gana was fouled by Thomas.

A cross from the left fell nicely off Calvert-Lewin's challenge for Iwobi who hit it properly for once and incredibly scored to level this match!

Gana was booked for a very poor challenge on Vardy. Pickford, full of himself after that penalty save, wastefully wellied a clearance out of play which saw the Foxes surge forward and Tarkowski well placed with Pickford beaten to head Vardy's powerful header clear off the line with Everton at sixes and sevens. 

Calvert-Lewin seemed to be in, but he was flagged for offside. McNeil shot from distance but it was an easy save for Iversen. The game became quite open with both sides looking to get the ball forward with pace.

Everton were put under some pressure as the home side searched for an opening, Maddison's shot deflected behind despite Pickford's efforts. The corner was cleared to Barnes who fired well wide. 

Leicester kept piling on the pressure with Sean Dyche doing little but shout instructions without changing the game. Vardy tried to pick out Castagne but Pickford was out smartly to intercept what would have been a killer cross. 

Everton finally got forward but McNeil's shot was deflected for a corner that McNeil took but Tarkowski header well over. 

A good break for Everton saw the cross intercepted as Calvert-Lewin thundered in and Leicester then countered at pace in end-to-end action. Pickford was tempted out of his area and lost the ball to Jamie Vardy who was thankfully off-target with his snap-shot on the open goal. 

Daka was penalized in a tussle with Mykolenko but nothing came of Everton's effort to apply pressure. Leicester countered, then Everton came forward with a bit more structure but not enough to create a chance, with the tension palpable as time was running out. 

Iwobi tried to do it all himself, his shot blocked away for another corner, Keane heading over. The Foxes countered again, Daka playing in Vardy who was well offside. 

A really good Everton attack finally saw Doucuoré shoot well for the lower corner of the goal and Iversen somehow got across to fingertip it behind. Everton worked the corner around but Iwobi's chip in was too cute.

Maddison caught Gana in full flow to set up a late Everton free-kick that was overhit and wasted.  Kristiansen caught Patterson, but Iversen prevented any chance developing, with both teams still searching for the winner. 

Another Everton advance ended up in the hands of Iversen, and time finally ran out, with a point benefitting Leicester City more than Everton. 

Leicester City: Iversen, Faes, Söyüncü, Barnes (88' Praet), Tielemans, Vardy, Maddison [Y:89'], Ndidi (61' Daka), Castagne, Thomas [Y:54'] (87' Kristiansen [Y:90+1']), Soumaré [Y:45+2'].

Subs not Used: Ward, Souttar, Amartey, Dewsbury-Hall, Mendy,  Tete.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (45+4' Patterson), Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gana [Y:55'], Garner Doucoure, Iwobi, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin.

Subs not Used: Begovic, Onana, Gray, Mina, Maupay, Davies, Coady, Simms.


Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton travel to the King Power Stadium this evening for what is the most important match the club has faced in almost a year, a bona fide six-pointer against Leicester City between the 18th- and 19th-placed sides in the Premier League.

Not since the final home game of last season when they came from behind to beat Crystal Palace have the Blues gone into a match with so much riding on it thanks to a poor run of recent form that has left them in the bottom three and two points from safety.

Last Thursday's heavy 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle United was a psychological hammer blow that extended Everton's winless run under Sean Dyche to six games and sparked fear among the fanbase that the team has neither the mental fortitude nor the wherewithal to get themselves out of danger.

Dyche's biggest task over the past few days, therefore, has been to instill in his charges the belief they had when they beat then leaders Arsenal in his first match in charge, ended Brentford's impressive unbeaten run, managed creditable draws against Chelsea and Tottenham and even when they swept Crystal Palace aside back in October with a similarly strong squad in terms of availability as they have now.

The manager will also have had to ponder what to do at right-back should Seamus Coleman not be passed fit to face Leicester because that position has been a crippling Achilles heel in recent weeks, with Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey struggling badly in the Skipper's absence.

There have been calls from fans for Dyche to finally hand Nathan Patterson his first start due to him being a natural full-back and the questions around Yerry Mina's failure to play a single minute of Dyche's tenure thus far have also now been put to the manager in the wake of poor displays from Michael Keane alongside James Tarkowski.

"I think Yerry Mina is a very good player," Dyche told the media. "He hasn’t played a lot, which is part of my thinking – you’ve got to be fit and you’ve got to be active.

“He’s a very good player but we’ve got other very good players here. It’s about trying to find the right combination, that’s all it is."

The boss's comments don't seem to indicate that the Colombian will have been vaulted into the reckoning for this vital clash with the Foxes and Dyche's admission that he thought Keane played well until Newcastle scored their second of the evening suggests that he could well keep his place even with Conor Coady also an option at centre-half.

Elsewhere in the side, there is a debate over whether Alex Iwobi should come in off the wing and play more centrally where he can provide the most creativity, whether Demarai Gray deserves a recall and if James Garner's eye for a pass makes him a viable option in a midfield that struggled to create genuine opportunities against the Magpies.

In Leicester, Everton will be facing another team in mortal fear of going down but one that is still enjoying a new manager "bounce" under Dean Smith.

Having failed to win a Premier League game since 11th February, the Foxes finally registered a victory in the new boss's second match in charge nine days ago and followed that up with a 1-1 draw at Leeds last Tuesday. It was enough to leapfrog them over Everton but they're only a point better off, albeit with a vastly superior goal difference.

Smith will be without striker Kelechi Iheanacho after he injured his groin at Elland Road is now out for the remainder of the season but Jonny Evans is back in trainng after injury.

It's not over-stating it to suggest that whoever loses this game could well be heading out of the top flight by the end of the month. Defeat for Everton would not be terminal but it would leave Dyche's men with an awful lot to do in their final four matches and put enormous emphasis in the two more winnable fixtures against Wolves at Molineux and against Bournemouth at Goodison Park on the final day.

If Dyche can draw on the spirit that almost saw the Blues win at another relegation-threatened side in Nottingham Forest and grab a late equaliser in March then they stand a good chance of repeating their heroics of last season when they beat Brendan Rodgers' Foxes 2-1.

Kick-off: 8pm, Monday 1 May, 2023
Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Neil Swarbrick
Last Time: Leicester City 1 - 2 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin 

Lyndon Lloyd

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