Leicester beat Everton 2-0 to continue their impressive recovery and climb away from danger in the Premier League.
The Foxes began the day in the relegation zone, but victory at Goodison Park lifts them up to 13th, dropping Southampton into the bottom three.
Leicester were on top virtually from kick off, with James Maddison playing as if he had a point to prove ahead of England’s World Cup squad selection. Maddison went close to scoring three times in the first half alone, but just couldn’t find the breakthrough.
Everton, who had been largely penned in, had two good chances of their own on the break but didn’t take full advantage.
Just before half-time, a loose ball fell to Youri Tielemans just outside the Everton box. The Belgian juggled the bouncing ball before unleashing an unstoppable volley into the top corner.
Jordan Pickford had been doing well, but could do nothing about Tielemans’ sensational strike.
In the second half, Everton huffed and puffed but barely tested Danny Ward in the Leicester goal.
The Foxes were the more dangerous team, playing on the break, and Harvey Barnes doubled their lead with a super finish from a counter in the 87th minute.
TALKING POINT – WHERE WILL EVERTON’S GOALS COME FROM?
The Toffees have scored just 11 goals this season. Only Wolves and Nottingham Forest, the division’s bottom two teams, have fewer.
Everton were hardly playing a top side in Leicester, yet they failed to create any meaningful opportunities from their own play. Their wingers played with caution, their full-backs were almost entirely uninvolved, and their lone forward barely impacted the match. Only Alex Iwobi emerged from the game with any credit in an attacking sense, but he cannot win games alone.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ALEX IWOBI
Iwobi ended up on the losing side, but not through lack of effort on his part. The former Arsenal man was excellent in attack and defence. He fed Dominic Calvert-Lewin multiple good chances while rarely losing possession when he took on the defence himself.
He was also tireless without the ball, working hard to protect Seamus Coleman and to win it back himself.
He even won a corner with some desperate chasing of a seemingly lost cause. If Everton had even two or three players of Iwobi’s quality and energy, things would be quite different at Goodison Park.
Being as good as he was with his team-mates playing so poorly is also quite impressive.
Everton: Pickford 7, Coleman 6, Tarkowski 7, Coady 7, Mykolenko 5, Gueye 5, Onana 7, Iwobi 8*, Gray 6, McNeil 6, Calvert-Lewin 6. Subs: Maupay 6, Garner 5, Doucouré 6, Gordon 6
Leicester: Ward 6, Castagne 6, Faes 8, Amartey 6, Justin 7, Dewsbury-Hall 7, Soumare 6, Tielemans 7, Maddison 8, Barnes 6, Daka 6. Subs: Albrighton 5, Vardy 5, Ndidi N/A
4′ ONE-HANDED SAVE PICKFORD
Patson Daka goes so close to opening the scoring but Pickford does well to push the shot wide.
6′ IWOBI INCHES AWAY
Everton win the ball high up the pitch and Calvert-Lewin slides it to Alex Iwobi, who flashes his shot just wide.
24′ WARD AT FULL STRETCH
Tarkowski gets his header on target, but Ward does just enough to keep it out.
45′ GOAL LEICESTER
Youri Tielemans scores a trademark screamer to put Leicester 1-0 up right before the break. The Belgian controls a loose ball before volleying into the top corner from outside the box.
48′ HUGE SAVE WARD
Iwobi slips a perfect pass through to Calvert-Lewin who really should have scored, but Ward stays big and pushes the shot away.
60′ MADDISON HITS THE POST
A right-footed shot from the midfielder cannons off the upright and out.
86′ GOAL LEICESTER
Leicester counter again, and this time Harvey Barnes hammers his shot into the top corner.