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Everton 1-1 Leicester City Instant Reaction - Toffees grimly hold on for point

James Rodriguez stunner not enough to earn the win


Youri Tielemans cancelled out a stunning goal from James Rodriguez as Everton held on for a point against Leicester City despite much of the second half - indeed the whole game - defending on the edge of their own area.

Rodriguez opened the scoring with a wonderful effort midway through the first half but the Toffees paid the price for sinking far too deep in the second period, with Tielemans’ effort from the edge of the box squirming past Jordan Pickford, who should have done much better. Again.

Everton made four changes from Sunday’s FA Cup stroll against Sheffield Wednesday, with Pickford, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne and Tom Davies all coming in.

That meant Carlo Ancelotti stuck with four centre-backs, with Digne on the left of midfield and Richarlison on the right.

Leicester started well on top, with Harvey Barnes cutting in from the left and creating an opportunity for Marc Albrighton, whose shot was blocked.

James Maddison then fired a free-kick into the wall before curling a fine effort from distance onto the roof of the net.

The game followed the pattern of the game at the King Power, with Everton soaking up the pressure and looking to hit on the break.

And boy did they hit on the break.

Digne laid off Gomes’ cross-field pass into the path of James, whose deflected corss was only partially cleared by Wesley Fofana. James ran onto it, swivelled away from two Leicester defenders before curling a sublime effort beyond an unmoved Kasper Schmeichel and in off the far post.

It was a moment of pure genius from one of the most gifted players to wear an Everton shirt in years.

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Leicester began the second half on top and created an early opportunity when the lively Barnes fired in a shot from a tight angle that was well saved by Pickford, with James Justin guiding the rebound just wide.

The Toffees were getting pinned back, with no outlet to relieve the pressure. It was relentless.

Pickford go down well to claim an Albrighton cross at the near post. Moments later Michael Keane did superbly well to poke the ball away from the onrushing Maddison.

It was surely only a matter of time - and it was.

After failing to properly clear a corner Tielemans fired a low shot through a crowd of players and Pickford could only push the effort off the post and in.

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Everton v Leicester City - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Paul Ellis/PA Images via Getty Images

Pickford did see it later, and it took a slight deflection, but at this level, it should have been saved.

Leicester continued to pour forward, it was painful to watch. Maddison having another shot that took a deflection before being pushed behind by Pickford.

Everton belatedly came forward but all they come up with was a looping cross by Holgate that Dominic Calvert-Lewin couldn’t get on the end of.

The Foxes raced up the other end and went close again through Cengiz Under, whose shot wrong-footed Pickford and went wide.

Ancelotti belatedly took action, bringing on Alex Iwobi for Holgate. Gylfi Sigurdsson then came on for James.

A rare foray forward saw Everton win a corner and Richarlison send a header over the bar, Calvert-Lewin then had a glorious chance to win it when he met Digne’s corner, but could only send the header wide.

Leicester then had the chance to win it themselves as more good play from Barnes set up Maddison in the area, but his shot deflected just over.

Gomes had a half chance to win the game with the last kick at the far post following a corner, but that would have been harsh on Leicester, who were well worthy of the point.

Everton v Leicester City - Premier League

Everton conceded far too much space and possession, but, ultimately, the goal did come from a mistake from Pickford, not for the first time.

With Robin Olsen proving an able deputy, you have to wonder how long Ancelotti - and watching England manager Gareth Southgate - will stick with the 26-year-old.

All in all it is not the worst point in the world given Everton were without Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure - who returns from suspension this weekend.

Follow it up with a win over Newcastle and that would represent a decent week.