The first-win bugaboo is out of the way for Everton Manager Jean-Luc Vasseur, in the league, that is.
At the site of his first win in charge of the Toffees — Vasseur earned a 3–1 victory at the Pirelli Stadium in the Continental Cup on Nov. 3 — the Frenchman again was celebrating with his club.
“I’m very happy for my players, the Club, the staff because we have worked very hard last week to prepare for Sunday’s game,” he said.
The Blues held the bottom team in the league to 36% possession, two shots on target and one corner. And while Everton displayed defensive fortitude, the team lacked composure in front of net.
“In the first half and the beginning of the second we had chances to score but didn’t,” Vasseur said. “We need to show that killer instinct to put those chances away and make a difference on the game quicker.”
Winger Claire Emslie produced the first bit of action for the visiting side in the 13’, blazing down the right side and narrowly missing Toni Duggan inside the box. Emslie left the pitch in the 37’, and there has not been any confirmation as to why she was subbed off.
In the 35’ the Foxes staked claim to a penalty after Jessica Sigsworth was taken down inside the box by Rikke Sevecke, but the referee determined the tackle to be a legal one.
Kenza Dali, who has been one of Everton’s top chance creators, broke free on the stroke of halftime but was denied at the near post by Leicester goalie Demi Lambourne.
Although she is first in the team in shots (14), third in shots on goal (3) and fourth on the team in passes that led to a shot (7), Dali has yet to score or assist for the Blues this season.
The former West Ham midfielder nearly bagged her first assist of the season in the 55’, but Valérie Gauvin’s shot was smartly saved by Lambourne.
The visitors had to wait until the 81’ to break the deadlock. For the second straight match, Simone Magill was a second-half substitute and saved the day for the Merseyside outfit.
The play started with Hanna Bennison, who spun away from two Leicester defenders and threaded a pass through to Magill. The Northern Ireland international then baited Lambourne, sidestepped her was past the goalie and tucked a shot into the far corner.
Despite missing Everton’s first five matches, Magill now leads the team in goals scored with two. After a magical Euro qualifying run with Northern Ireland, Magill is donning the cape for the Blues during a tumultuous stretch.
Vasseur penciled in an identical lineup to last Sunday’s draw with Manchester United, and that included his first three substitutions. Talent has never been in question with this rendition of the Blues, but tactics and chemistry issues have doomed the first third of the season.
The Toffees now have a two-week international break before returning on Dec. 5 against Durham in the Continental Cup. Their first league match following the break is against West Ham United on Dec. 12.
Everton (4-3-3): Sandy MacIver; Rikke Sevecke, Gabby George, Danielle Turner, Leonie Maier; Izzy Christiansen (C), Kenza Dali, Lucy Graham; Toni Duggan, Valerie Gauvin, Claire Emslie
Substitutes: Hanna Bennison for Emslie 37, Grace Clinton for Graham 72, Simone Magill for Gauvin 73, Megan Finnigan for Maier 90+3, Poppy Pattinson for Duggan 90+3
Unused Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan
Goals: Magill 81
Leicester (5-4-1): Demi Lambourne; Sophie Barker, Sophie Howard, Abbie McManus, Ashleigh Plumptre, Jemma Purfield; Esmee de Graaf, Samantha Tierney, Molly Pike, Shannon O’Brien; Jessica Sigsworth
Substitutes: Natasha Flint for O’Brien 73
Unused Substitutes: Georgia Brougham, Paige Bailey-Gayle, Abbi Grant, Mackenzie Smith, Sophie Harris
Bookings: Sigsworth 80