DCL ends goal drought as Foxes sneak out of the relegation zone

DCL ends goal drought as Foxes sneak out of the relegation zone

Alex Iwobi saved a point for Everton in a thrilling 2-2 draw against dwindling rivals Leicester.

The striker capitalized on Jordan Pickford’s decisive penalty save when he stopped James Maddison to make it 3-1 just before the break.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s spot kick opened the scoring, his first goal since October, before it was canceled out by Caglar Soyuncu.

Jamie Vardy’s goal gave Leicester the lead and Maddison missed the chance to put the home side in control, with Iwobi equalizing soon after the restart.

Everton also lost captain Seamus Coleman to serious injury which further added to their problems.

Realistically, a point did little to help either side’s Premier League survival hopes in the short term, although it lifted Leicester out of the bottom three on goal difference. Everton remain penultimate, one point from safety, with four games to go.

May 2 marks the seventh anniversary of the Foxes’ Premier League triumph in 2016.

Five days later, basking in glory, Leicester beat an uninterested Everton 3-1 before lifting the title to complete their fairy tale.

Andrea Bocelli had already sung an emotional Niente Dorma and the Toffees had offered the hosts a guard of honor in an electric King Power Stadium.

Fast forward and after two fifth-place finishes, an FA Cup win, a Champions League quarter-final and a Europa Conference League semi-final, the class of 2023 faced a different match against the visitors.

Everton, defending a top-flight status dating back to 1954, had not won in their last six matches.

The impact of Sean Dyche, who had two wins in his first three games, waned and just one more win since has left the Toffees staring into the abyss.

If there were any nerves, the visitors hid them well and only Daniel Iversen’s fabulous save denied Iwobi the lead after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s run.

Vardy Keane

Maddison’s tame strike was collected by Pickford in a rare Leicester attack before the Toffees took a deserved lead in the 15th minute.

It was a gift from the hosts, however, as Timothy Castagne’s moment of madness saw him needlessly burst Calvert-Lewin into the box.

The striker kept his composure from the penalty spot to score just his second goal in an injury-ravaged season.

Leicester boss Dean Smith had criticized the schedule which, starting with Everton, will see the Foxes play four games on a Monday night, their rivals after all.

But defeats to Leeds and Nottingham Forest had given them the platform to escape the bottom three, one they were in danger of losing to an equalizer after 22 minutes.

Maddison’s free kick was only cleared midway and Wout Faes cleared Harvey Barnes’ cross for Soyuncu who deflected in from 10 yards – his first goal for the Foxes since October 2021.

He changed the direction of play as Leicester found the pace to take the lead after 33 minutes.

Though the Foxes had found theirs, Everton had lost their composure and Iwobi’s poor pass was intercepted by Youri Tielemans for Maddison to find Vardy.

The striker pulled away from Michael Keane to get around Pickford to score. It is the first time in a year that he has scored in consecutive matches.

He unleashed a crazy finish in the half and only Iversen’s fine stop from Dwight McNeil kept the home side ahead.

Leicester again survived when Calvert-Lewin could only head McNeil’s ball into Iversen from two yards out, with Soyuncu’s touch on the cross denying the striker an easy tap-in.

Leicester broke quickly and Vardy duped Keane only to hit the crossbar from eight yards out.

The Toffees then lost their skipper when Coleman was carried off with serious injury after strong but harmless challenge from Boubakary Soumare.

Matters almost got worse when Keane handled Barnes’ cross in the box but Pickford rose to save Maddison’s meager penalty. The notes for Maddison’s penalty technique on the goalkeeper’s water bottle read «stay.»

It was a lifeline Everton grabbed as they equalized nine minutes after the restart.

Iversen had previously saved on Calvert-Lewin but was unable to stop Iwobi from drilling after Faes touched McNeil’s delivery.

Parity restored, play continued at a relentless pace with James Tarkowski blocking Vardy’s header.

A frantic finish then saw Iversen swerve Doucoure’s drive wide to preserve a result neither team really wanted.

Related Articles

Deja una respuesta