Familiar problems plague the blues as Everton falls to Leicester City at Goodison Park.
Frank Lampard made one change to the side that drew 0-0 at Fulham heading into the match, replacing Anthony Gordon with Dwight McNeil. It looked a dream start for the hosts in the 6th minute, Idrissa Gueye picked Leicester’s pocket deep in their own half before laying off to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Everton’s #9 turned and laid off to Alex Iwobi who somehow pulled his effort wide of the post from close range to deny Everton a flying start.
Leicester would have the match’s next big chance in the 14th minute as Data laid off for James Maddison who sent an effort from long-distance just wide of the far post. Everton would find their own chance in the 23rd minute from a corner, Demari Gray whipped in a great ball and James Tarkowski leapt high to meet it but Danny Ward in the Leicester goal was equal to his effort to keep the score 0-0. Leicester would control the match for the next ten minutes, and it could have been 0-1 to the visitors in the 29th minute if not for a big block by Tarkowski on an effort from Dewsbury-Hall that looked sure to find the back of the net.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin would show a flash for Everton in the 34th minute, weaving his way through the midfield before eventually firing an effort at goal that was closed down by the Leicester backline. The blues looked to get in the game a bit more in the following minutes, and Onana would nearly score in the 41st minute following another well taken cross by Gray but his effort would sail over the crossbar. Unfortunately for Everton it was a moment of individual brilliance right on the stroke of halftime that would give Leicester the lead. Your Tielemans would get on the ball outside the box, size up his strike on the half volley and fire an absolute stunner into the top left corner to send the visitors into the half with a 0-1 lead.
Lampard would make a change to start the second half, bringing off a struggling Idrissa Gueye for James Garner. Only three minutes later it seemed Everton had to score as DCL was slipped through one on one with the Leicester goalkeeper, but his effort was right at Ward in goal and Everton would give the visitors a huge let off. Despite the bright start, Everton were unable to find a breakthrough in the opening fifteen minutes of the half, and it would only get worse for the hosts as DCL was forced off with an injury in the 61st minute and replaced by Neal Maupay.
Lampard would make a double change in the 69th minute as he desperately looked to inject life into the blues, bringing on Anthony Gordon and Nathan Patterson in place of Seamus Coleman and Dwight McNeil. The coming twenty minutes would see Everton attempting to control the game, but once again struggling to create and real chances as the club has seen in the past couple of weeks. The visitors would put the game to bed in the 86th minute, catching Everton on the counter with Harvey Barnes firing past Jordan Pickford to effectively put the game out of reach at 0-2.
It was a frustrating day for Everton as the club slips down into 16th following the remaining results around the league. The same old story reared its head at Goodison Park as the backline was left to attempt to keep Everton in the game as the attack struggled to create and real chances at goal. The couple of good chances Everton got through Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin should most certainly have been scored, and those misses will be rued by the toffees. It is quite simply a side that is struggling to put the ball in the back of the net this season, and outside of the performance against Crystal Palace, the club will surely be looking to improve upon what has been a lackluster scoring output up top. To make matters worse, the midfield looked well off the pace today as Gueye and Onana struggled, making jobs at both ends of the pitch especially difficult. The club has two matches in Bournemouth this coming week, the Carabao Cup and then a league match on Saturday, a much needed World Cup break follows and hopefully time to prepare for what should be a busy January window for the blues.