We can only hope that James Maddison isn’t so «low» after this latest blunder. He was the best player on the pitch *again*.
It’s two for two for Jamie Vardy, who bounced back over the course of the year (he had 15 for 25 last season) with a goal that we’ve had the pleasure of seeing him score time and time again every season except this season , for nearly a decade.
A perfectly timed run, speed to get away from the centre-back, before rounding the goalkeeper and squeezing home. It was a goal to make us question whether he really finished at the top level, as everyone now seems to assume.
This Vardy is a bit different than the one who scored 24 goals in his winning Premier League campaign, dashing behind and terrorizing defenders. And his Everton counterpart also looked as close to his old self as he has for a while.
Sean Dyche said before kick-off that «it’s not all about Dom», mindful of the scoring pressure on his Everton forward, who scored the fewest goals of any team in the Premier League and had only two in the last four to head in this relegation duel.
He hasn’t scored first in a game since a win against Brentford on 11 March but made up for it at the King Power Stadium after dominating the early stages. They had six shots before Calvert-Lewin won and sent in a penalty in the 15th minute.
His goal, like Vardy’s equalizer against Leeds last time out, ended a six-month drought and, like Vardy, appeared to breathe some life into the injury-ravaged striker, who has managed the channels, won by header and connected the game, managing four more shots after his penalty.
Mind you, one of those was a terrible blunder, as he managed to backheel the ball from about ten feet towards Daniel Iversen, who has produced several outstanding saves in this game, but wasn’t required to do much on that occasion. .
Seconds later Vardy upended Michael Keane before sending the ball over the crossbar. And that end-to-end moment was typical of a predictably frenetic game between two teams fighting for their lives in the Premier League.
Before Vardy did his best Vardy impression, Caglar Soyuncu equalized for Leicester, edging past Jordan Pickford after Wout Faes’ header.
Alex Iwobi, who gave Leicester possession through Vardy’s goal, made amends shortly after the break, ably pasting Iversen.
It was tiring to watch let alone play, and you get the feeling all players will sleep soundly tonight. Except maybe for James Maddison, who effectively cost his team another two points.
After his mistake led to defeat to Bournemouth last monthapologizing to fans, Maddison said: “I made a sloppy mistake and it cost us. I’m very short.
We can only hope that a) he doesn’t feel the need to apologize to the fans after missing his penalty on Monday, and b) he doesn’t feel so ‘down’ this time around (although post-match photos of him don’t bode well) . Because he was brilliant again, and Leicester would be completely screwed without him.
Although Everton had the upper hand in the game, Maddison was by far the best player on the pitch: taking the ball in the tight spaces; create possibilities for oneself and for others; press and win back the ball; his through ball for Vardy’s goal was perfect.
Had Maddison’s teammates performed at his level this season, Leicester would have pushed for the Champions League – which Maddison is sure to do next season – don’t fight to stay in the top flight.
The point is enough to see Leicester out of a relegation zone they would be well away from without Maddison’s two recent mistakes, but deep – to the point of no return – if he hadn’t been around to make them.