Everton 2-1 Leicester City: Toffees halt Foxes' fightback to earn hard-fought win
Richarlison celebrates opening the scoring against Leicester | Photo: Getty/ Pool

Everton's positive post-lockdown form continued on Wednesday evening as they fought off out-of-form Leicester City 2-1 at Goodison Park

Richarlison gave the hosts the lead within the opening ten minutes as he hammered in Anthony Gordon's centre. Just six minutes later, the hosts were two goals to the good as VAR awarded a penalty for a handball by Wilfred Ndidi, which was coolly dispatched by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Half-time substitute Kelechi Iheanacho got Leicester on the scoresheet minutes after the restart as Mason Holgate's clearance deflected off of him and into the back of the net. The Foxes were not able to find the equaliser though as their poor form in the second-half of the season continues.

Story of the Match

Everton enjoy lightening start

It did not take very long for the hosts to make the most of Leicester's low confidence as they hit the front through Richarlison. Lucas Digne and Gordon exchanged well on the right flank, with the latter pulling the ball back to the Brazilian who hammered it past Kasper Schmeichel at pace.

It was not long before  Carlo Ancelotti's troops to double their advantage. An excellent ball was whipped into the area, with VAR, after an extremely long deliberation, electing that Ndidi had handled the ball in his efforts to clear. Sigurdsson, who had only scored one Premier League goal prior to the clash, rolled home as the Leicester stopper guessed the wrong way.

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Changes pay dividends

The Toffees went so close to getting a third just minutes into the second-half through Digne. The Frenchman set his sights with a long range effort that took a touch off of James Justin but Schmeichel reacted well to tip it away. 

In an effort to swing the momentum his side's way, Rodgers introduced Iheanacho and James Maddison and those alterations bore considerable fruits as Leicester reduced the deficit. The ball was played into the Everton box and as Mason Holgate tried to clear, it hit Iheanacho and flew into the bottom corner.

The Foxes went so close to an equaliser in huge part to Jordan Pickford. Attempting to pick up a routine cross, the England goalkeeper let the ball slip through his arms and it bounced back off of Michael Keane and looked to be rolling into the net. The centre-back managed to just get back and clear though. 

Everton hold onto maximum points

As pressure built on the Everton goal, Iheanacho then really should have levelled the scores as he managed to get on the end of Jamie Vardy's knockdown but put his shot over the bar after shimmying onto his right foot. 

Leicester dominated possession throughout the second-half but were not quite able to create enough of an opportunity to level the match and are now four matches without a win in all competitions.

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Takeaways

Master tactician

Throughout his illustrious career, Carlo Ancelotti has so often got substitutes spot on, and he did the same at Goodison Park against the Foxes. With Leicester building up a head of steam after their goal, the Italian introduced Tom Davies and Yerry Mina to plug space in the middle of the park. This severely restricted the visitors and was a key move in the Merseysiders making it back-to-back victories in the Premier League.

Iheanacho, Maddison the differences for Leicester

Speaking of tactics, credit does also have to go for Brendan Rodgers. Despite seeing his side fall to another disappointing defeat, the introductions of James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho did make the difference for Leicester. The Foxes were much improved with the duo on the field and should be in with a shout of starting against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

European football for the Toffees? 

Following the arrival of Ancelotti, it looked highly unlikely that Everton would be challenging for European football. Now just two points off seventh position, that could be a real possibility. Their performance was not quite up to standard on Wednesday but a few more wins on the board and they could definitely be in the mix.

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