Leeds – Everton: Robin Olsen made a series of second-half saves to help goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Gylfi Sigurdsson stand up in Everton’s 2-1 win over Leeds United at Elland Road on Wednesday.
Everton moves into fifth with 36 points, its 20 matches played at least one fewer than all four teams ahead of it.
Leeds remains 11th with 29 points.
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Three things we learned from Leeds – Everton
1. Richarlison and DCL awaken: We’re not going to take too much credit for the language in our PL preview post on this one, as predicting two slumping but very gifted playmakers to make plays isn’t going to make too many people raise their eyebrows. But it remains fact that Richarlison hasn’t scored since Dec. 16 and Calvert-Lewin hadn’t since Dec. 5. Both were ready to go early and Calvert-Lewin doubled Everton’s first-half advantage with a goal that would stand as decisive. Richarlison’s impact was more limited to industry in his own end and the midfield, but he was still a player who required attention on the day.
2. Olsen reacts well to defend lead: It’s easy to forget that Everton’s deadline day goalkeeper is Sweden’s first-choice at the position but a 60-second sequence after the hour mark served as a fine reminder as Robin Olsen made three tough saves, one of them a show-stopper off a deflected effort. A six-save day from the Swede will give Carlo Ancelotti more to consider given Jordan Pickford’s roller-coaster season.
3. Leeds hit two-win wall (again): Marcelo Bielsa’s men have not been able to find three-straight wins in the Premier League this season and it’s largely down to the fixture list. Wins over Fulham and Sheffield United saw Man City next, then defeats of Burnley and West Brom leading to Spurs. This time, Everton was at the end of away wins over Newcastle and Leicester City. Leeds won’t get relegated and won’t go to Europe in their first season, consistent defending the persistent issue at Elland Road.
Man of the Match: Robin Olsen
Leeds – Everton recap
Two old hats connected on Everton’s opener, Lucas Digne’s cross from the left put in by Sigurdsson in the ninth minute.
Mateusz Klich swerved a shot from distance that Robin Olsen parried out for a Leeds corner.
Olsen got up to push a back-flicked Pascal Struijk header over the bar a little over midway through the first half.
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Everton opened up a 2-0 lead through Calvert-Lewin at the back post, a classic close-range finish.
Raphinha struck just after halftime off a Patrick Bamford assist to inject a heaping dose of drama into the previously Everton-dominated affair.
Olsen made three-straight close-range saves as Leeds controlled the second half.
Illan Meslier denied a low Calvert-Lewin strike off a 3v2 rush in the 85th, Leeds remaining in the fight.