Fulltime Thoughts - What a win for the Blues. This one had all the fingerprints of an Ancelotti tactical masterclass all over it, from the small tactical in-game tweaks to the choice of going with basically the same lineup as against Chelsea from the weekend. We’ve had some doubts about Ancelotti’s team selections and formations recently, but the boss is showing us armchair managers why he’s getting paid the big bucks.
90+4’ - Final whistle!! Tactical masterclass from Everton to win 2-0!!
90+2’ - It’ll be four minutes added on. Doucoure fouled on the edge of the Leicester box, but Everton are happy to pass it all the way back to Olsen to kill the clock.
88’ - Everton have massed ranks in the back and are keeping the Foxes at bay, but the hosts win a corner now. Maddison to take and Leicester score! NOPE! Half a dozen Foxes were offside and the assistant referee had his flag up right away.
Anthony Gordon sighting! He and Jonjoe Kenny both come on, with Calvert-Lewin and Iwobi coming off.
83’ - Mason gives Leicester a penalty! Gomes touched Perez, and the striker went down in a heap. Soft soft call. VAR reviewing it.. and Mason will go over the to the little telly to look at it. The midfielder looked like he got a nibble on the ball, but that was by no means a clear stamp on Perez.
No penalty!! Overturned by Mason and that is the right call.
79’ - Blues with a chance to break as the Foxes pile forward and Richy wins a corner. Toffees in no hurry whatsoever to take it. Sig takes, cleared, Iwobi tries to rush into the box with the ball and claims a handball as Leicester break.
Doucoure does very well again to clear the danger after Perez cuts into the box and beats Gomes.
78’ - Close! Iwobi does well to cross from the left, and Sig gets a foot to the ball and it flies over. That was a chance to kill the game dead.
70’ - Fuchs fouls Richarlison, raking his studs down the back of his right leg and no card now from Mason? Did he fall funnily, because he’s holding his left wrist.
Sig lofts it into the box and Foxes head out for a corner. Richy is back on with his left arm strapped up. Sig takes.. GOAL!! Goalmouth melee, and Holgate scores!!
Keane’s flciked header goalwards was saved brilliantly by Schmeichel, DCL hits the rebound back and the goalie parries it onto the bar with a great reflex save and then Holgate is Johnny-on-the-spot to bang it home! 2-0 Everton.
64’ - Iwobi tries a quick cross, looks to go off an arm but Mason lets play continue and Barnes breaks away, Gomes tugs him back and into the book he goes too.
Interesting tweak now, Richarlison and Iwobi have swapped sides, likely to quell the Foxes on the Everton left.
60’ - Rare foray upfront for the Blues, but Iwobi’s cross is cleared.
55’ - Everton yet to have any meaningful possession so far in this half and that’s a bad sign.
No coincidence that with Allan off, the left side of the Everton midfield is being bossed by the Foxes.
53’ - Under-Justin is causing Everton lots of trouble on the Blues left, and they win a corner now. Keane does well to cut out a cross for a corner. Cleared partly, Tielemans shoots from distance but it’s wide.
49’ - Holgate goes in the book for bringing down Barnes as he looks to break. That looked harsh.
Now Godfrey tugs back Maddison who had turned him inside out, and Mason adds him to the book too. Foxes get cure trying to play it short and Iwobi does very well to box Justin out for a goalkick.
46’ - Leicester get the game underway in the second half, no other changes that we see.
Halftime Thoughts - This was a continuation of the Everton vs Chelsea game really as the Toffees set up to maintain their defensive discipline and trying to hit the Foxes on the counter.
45+1’ - Maddison almost finds Vardy behind the backline but Doucoure does very well to nip in.
There’s the halftime whistle, Everton still lead 1-0 but Allan’s injury looks serious.
42’ - Allan seemed to indicate it was a tear and had to be stretchered off. So far Gomes has been a direct replacement for Allan position-wise.
39’ - A miscue from Doucoure just outside his own box allows Under to fire off a snapshot but Olsen gathers comfortably.
Allan is on the ground and looking very uncomfortable, looks to be a left hamstring issue. Andre Gomes will come on, but Ancelotti will have to do some changing up. Doucoure to CDM and Gomes in front of him? Or does Sig fall even further behind and Gomes go to the #10?
38’ - Holgate wins a throw then a freekick deep down the right. All the big boys are up there, Sig gets the ball into a prime position for DCL to head, and he gets his shot straight at Schmeichel. Not different from the Vardy header.
37’ - Maddison & Vardy constantly ‘working’ the referee is a big part of the Foxes gameplan, as irritating as it is for opponents to watch.
34’ - Iwobi wins another corner, Sig takes and it’s cleared.. falls for Allan who tees up Doucoure, shot deflected wide for another corner.
Sig takes again and cleared again.
32’ - Mendy slips in the middle and Everton can break 4-on-3.. Iwobi’s cross into the box was behind Sigurdsson, he turns and neither he nor DCL can get any solid contact and Schmeichel gathers gratefully.
27’ - The hosts have definitely ramped up the pressure after scoring.
24’ - Richy fouls Justin, and Under’s freekick into the box is won by Fofana but deflected away for a corner.
Corner is partly cleared, Under cuts in and tries to shoot, blocked for another corner. This one is also partly cleared too, and Foxes win a deep throw but the Blues can eventually clear.
23’ - Ooh, Foxes almost level it immediately. James Justin runs away from Ben Godfrey and his cross into the box is perfect, Vardy gets in between Mina and Mason Holgate and hammers his header straight into Olsen’s very grateful arms. Whew.
21’ - GOAL! From nowhere, Richarlison with a speculative right-footed shot after cutting in, and it bounces just before it gets to Kasper Schmeichel and beats the Dane at the far post! 1-0 Everton!
20’ - Miscommunication between Mina and Olsen on a back pass almost lets in Vardy, but the goalie clears in the nick of time.
Everton have seen a lot more of the ball in the last few minutes.
17’ - With Rodgers using a makeshift centrehalf pairing of Ndidi and Fofana, Ancelotti will be wanting to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin and his other forwards challenging them in the air and on the break.
15’ - Papy Mendy is booked for tugging back Allan breaking past him. Sig crosses in from the right wing, Foxes clear for a corner on the left.
Sig’s inswinger is cleared and Mason blows the whistle for a high foot from Holgate.
14’ - Iwobi wins the Toffees’ first corner of the game with a blocked cross. Sigurdsson’s outswinger is cleared easily.
12’ - Not much to write home about honestly. Leicester are controlling possession and Everton are holding position defensively. When the Blues have the ball they’re resorting to long balls and giving up possession quite easily. This is like the third half of the Chelsea game.
5’ - Everton’s first half-chance is from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson combining, but Alex Iwobi cannot get good connection on a ball bouncing in the box.
2’ - Harvey Barnes makes a run into the middle, feeds Vardy and he sets up Youri Tielemans for a shot that flashes just wide, nothing Olsen could have done were it on target.
1’ - Lee Mason gets us started at the King Power, Everton in their seafoam green kits today.
Robin Olsen called into action early, hoofing away a bouncing back pass from Michael Keane with Jamie Vardy chasing.
Lineups - Jordan Pickford has been dropped as Ancelotti keeps basically the same XI from the weekend. The England goalie has been better recently, but as we pointed out here, he did make a couple of egregious mistakes in the Chelsea game that should have really been goals, and have been already this season.
December tends to be a tough month in the Premier League with the games coming thick and fast. For Everton this season, things get doubly difficult with a challenging slate of opponents to add to that melee.
After a gritty win against Chelsea over the weekend, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will have to somehow ramp up the intensity even more for a trip to Leicester City. The hosts have their own incentive to grab all three points, as they sit in third place and can go top of the table.
Ancelotti’s options are limited due to injury - he played arguably the best XI available to him last Saturday, so should he rest a good chunk for a winnable game against Arsenal in three days, or roll out the same side and hope to get some reinforcements back in the form of James Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman for the Gunners?
Brendan Rodgers will relish seeing not only Jamie Vardy in good form but James Maddison looked excellent in their weekend win over Brighton & Hove Albion, as did right back James Justin. His challenge will come in the middle of his defence, with Jonny Evans suspended for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season and Çağlar Söyüncü still working his way back to fitness. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison will be licking their lips in anticipation of going up against Wes Morgan.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 13
Date and start time: Wednesday, December 16th at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m ET / 6:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 32,312 (Behind closed doors)
Weather: 46°F/8°C, showers, 41% chance of precipitation, 11 mph winds
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Olsen, Holgate, Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Allan, Doucoure, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Pickford, Kenny, Gomes, Davies, Gordon, Bernard, Tosun
Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Ndidi, Fuchs, Mendy, Tielemans, Under, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy
Subs: Ward, Morgan, Thomas, Praet, Albrighton, Pérez, Iheanacho
There have been no draws in this fixture the last ten times the two sides have met in the Premier League, so it’s likely once again there will be a winner - the Blues won 2-1 the last time the two played at the tail-end of last season at Goodison Park, behind closed doors in July.
There was heartbreak for the Toffees the last time they traveled to the King Power just over a year ago. Everton had manfully matched up against Leicester’s pace all game long, only for a late Tom Davies turnover in midfield to allow Kelechi Iheanacho to break away and score in time added on for a 2-1 win. The assistant referee had flagged the striker offside, but VAR overturned the decision to let the goal stand, and less than a week later Marco Silva was sacked and Carlo Ancelotti was interrupting his winter holiday to come to Merseyside.