Everton beat Leicester City 2-1 to further boost their battle against relegation as Frank Lampard’s side secured a first away win in over eight months.
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Vitaliy Mykolenko scored a beauty to put Everton ahead early but Leicester equalized in the first half through Patson Daka. However, Mason Holgate put the Toffees back ahead before half time to give them something to hold on to.
And they did hold on thanks to a string of superb saves from Jordan Pickford (again) as Lampard’s side have won two on the bounce and three of their last five to move out of the relegation zone.
Everton now sit in 17th place on 35 points and have a game in-hand over relegation rivals Leeds and Burnley who sit one point behind them. Leicester remain on 42 points as Brendan Rodgers’ side have won just one of their last seven PL games.
Leicester vs Everton final score, stats
Leicester 1-2 Everton
Goals scored: Mykolenko 6′, Daka 11′, Holgate 30′
Shots: Leicester 16, Everton 10
Shots on target: Leicester 9, Everton 4
Possession: Leicester 66, Everton 34
Three things we learned from Leicester vs Everton
1. Toffees find the scrappers they need: They have gone to five at the back and the likes of Seamus Coleman, Alex Iwobi and Fabian Delph have added experience, grit and non-stop running to help drag them out of the bottom three. It isn’t pretty but Lampard has set his side up to defend in a solid unit and they have the quality to score from set-piece situations and on the counter. A few weeks ago Everton looked like a team who weren’t capable of grinding out wins. This Everton starting lineup is doing just that and Lampard deserves huge credit for putting squad square pegs in round holes to improve the solidity of the entire team.
2. Foxes in freefall: Leicester have totally gone off the boil this season. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been focused on Europa Conference League success in recent weeks but after their defeat at Roma in midweek, they haven’t got that to fall back on and they won’t be in Europe next season. Injuries have hit them hard all season long but their inability to do the simple things such as defend set pieces is what has really derailed another top six push. The Foxes have enough quality to be in that conversation but their levels have dropped massively and they just haven’t been consistent enough this season.
3. Everton have momentum in relegation scrap: This is so important in the relegation battle and Lampard’s boys have it. The Everton fans have almost willed them over the line in the last two games and Pickford is playing superbly, while every single player is doing their individual jobs and the simple things well. That, coupled with holding on for big wins, is why Everton have momentum and right now they look very likely to stay in the Premier League ahead of Burnley and Leeds. Everton’s final four games are against Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal and you can see them winning at least two of those to get over the magic 40-point marker.
Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford – Made seven saves and three of them were superb in the second half. Continues to keep Everton ahead in games.
Wild start at the King Power
The Toffees got off to the perfect start as a ball from the right found Mykolenko on the edge of the box and volleyed home superbly into the far corner to send the away fans wild.
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At the other end Jordan Pickford did well to collect a cross at the near post and then Everton almost doubled their lead but Abdoulaye Doucoure’s effort hit the post and was stopped on the line by Kasper Schmeichel.
Game swings back and forth
Moments later Leicester were level, as a defensive collision between Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman (Mina went off injured soon after) allowed Daka to collect the ball and he finished calmly to make it 1-1.
Everton were back in front before half time as a corner was nodded down by Richarlison and Holgate headed home as the visitors has something to hold on to.
Pickford stands tall once again
A tense start to the second half played out as Jordan Pickford made a stunning stop to deny a shot from distance from Nampalys Mendy.
Pickford then denied substitute Harvey Barnes with a brilliant reaction stop as Leicester were all over Everton.
Everton’s goalkeeper then stopped another effort from Barnes as the Toffees were hanging on late on but they got over the line to spark jubilant scenes in the away end.