Live by the counter, die by the counter
Everton have struggled all season to score goals by building out of the back. Whether played out to the wings, or down the middle, they cannot find that final pass to score a goal. Too often they are killed by teams that sit back and absorb their attacks.
So in this match, it was a surprise that they opted to be the side that ceded possession and look for their opportunities on the counter attack. Early on this ended up being successful for them. Everton’s lone goal, a Richarlison header, came off of a well executed counter. The defense even seemed up to the task of holding Leicester’s attack at bay. It was not pretty at times, but the opposition wasn’t scoring.
It turns out the defense was not up to the task and Jamie Vardy eventually found the back of the net courtesy of a Leicester City counter attack. Of course this is the down side of this strategy. Despite having 5 defenders on the field, Everton were caught badly out of position on both Leicester goals. As has been proven time and time again, this team cannot win if they only put up one goal.
Struggling with injuries
Going into this match, it appeared as though every Everton player was injured. Due to these injuries, Marco Silva was forced to go without a defensive midfielder in his lineup. Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson were needed to play the holding midfielder roles and it often cost Everton.
It was painfully obvious that Everton had no one to win the ball in midfield. Both Davies and Sigurdsson are better suited to the attacking side of the ball and struggled to contain the fast paced offense of Leicester City. Even when Morgan Schneiderlin was subbed in, things didn’t get any better. Vardy opened the floodgates with his first goal and Leicester were dead set on winning this match. Couple this with the utter failure in defense and Everton were never going to come away with points in this match.
VAR saves Everton and then kills them
The implementation of VAR this season has been shaky at best. A number of bad decisions have cost teams all across the league, including Everton. But things appeared to be going the Blues' way in the first half when a Leicester penalty was overturned, allowing Everton to remain a goal up.
Unfortunately the soccer gods had a vested interest in keeping things fair and VAR also cost Everton a point. In the dying moments of the match, a Kelechi Iheanacho game winner was called offside. Everton supporters everywhere breathed a sigh of relief, only to have their hopes dashed. The call on the field of offside was unfortunately overturned and all three points went to Leicester.
It will be somewhat unfortunate if Marco Silva is to be finally let go thanks to VAR, but it remains clear that this particular coaching staff has run out of goodwill among supporters.