Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans: Six Of My Favourite Games For City

From record-breaking wins to beating England’s elite, defender Jonny Evans selects six of the most enjoyable matches he’s played in for Leicester City.
More on this story...

The Northern Ireland international defender signed for the Foxes from West Bromwich Albion in 2018, and brought with him a wealth of Premier League experience.

He has played 288 times in a competition that he has won on three occasions – in 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13 – while at Manchester United.

Starting with his maiden City appearance in August 2018, Evans runs us through some of his fondest moments in Leicester colours.

A debut against Wolves

Expand photo
Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Evans came up against the lively Raúl Jiménez during his first appearance for the Foxes.

An own goal from Matt Doherty and James Maddison’s first strike for the Foxes saw City earn their first win of 2018/19, despite Jamie Vardy’s dismissal in the 66th minute.

It was a closely-fought game in which Wolves hit the bar and had several opportunities of their own, but all three points went to the hosts.

“It was a good game to make my debut in in terms of we won the game 2-0, We probably made it a wee bit difficult for ourselves in the end,” Evans said. “I think Vards (Jamie Vardy) got sent off quite early in the second half, I can’t remember the minute, but they’re a good side Wolves.

“We realised that day that was one of their first games [back] in the Premier League and after that game, we realised they’re a good side, well-organised and they have a lot of good players.

“Obviously, being my debut, it probably wasn’t the best of games, but I was coming off the back of a little injury that I’d picked up in pre-season. I hadn’t played football for a long time, so I was feeling my way into it and probably from that game, I realised I probably needed more match sharpness and fitness.

“After that, I had to bide my time to get in the team, but it was an enjoyable day, like you say – clean sheet and getting the win.

“At that time, coming to a new club, you’re getting to know your team-mates, how you play on the pitch and how they perform, how the team performs, so it was a new experience for me, but it was one that I was enjoying.”

Beating the Gunners

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 3 Arsenal 0

Watch all of the goals from Leicester City's fantastic 3-0 victory over Arsenal at King Power Stadium...

Approaching the final few games of Evans’ debut season as a Fox, City faced Arsenal at King Power Stadium, and swept the north London outfit aside.

After Ainsley Maitland-Niles was dismissed in the first half, City took control after the break as Youri Tielemans headed home a Maddison cross before a late brace from Vardy sealed a fine victory under Brendan Rodgers.

Evans recalled: “I think that game, they’d been playing in Europe on the Thursday night, so we knew it would be difficult coming to Arsenal coming back from that. Energy wise, we had a fresh team ourselves and I think the manager wanted us to really take the game to them, show a lot of energy in the game and hopefully they couldn’t cope with that.

“I think it showed on the night, and psychologically also, it was a big result for us to beat Arsenal 3-0 at home and give us that confidence. I’m sure the manager gained confidence in us from that. Also, ourselves gaining confidence in the manager at the same time.

“It probably kick-started us a wee bit, even though it was coming towards the end of the season. It gave us that confidence coming into the new season.”

Seeing off Spurs

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Watch the goals from the Foxes' 2-1 victory over Spurs at King Power Stadium...

The following campaign, in September 2019, another north London outfit in the form of Tottenham Hotspur arrived on Filbert Way.

A 2-1 win, courtesy of Maddison’s fine strike, saw City come from behind in a game that many fans remember for the drama of VAR and Evans’ inspiring tackle on Harry Kane.

“I think as a defender, I try and stay on my feet as much as I can, but it isn’t always the case,” said Evans. “The ball was there to be won and it was one of them moments where I thought I might not get there.

“I was completely committed to the challenge and I thought I might get a booking if I don’t make it. I haven’t seen it back at the speed both of us were running at, it might have looked slightly worse than that. I don’t think it was a dangerous challenge in any way.

“Also, in terms of the game, it was probably another game, similar to that Arsenal one that I just spoke about, where it probably gave us confidence, especially at the start of the season.

“We were really up for it and I think it was an early kick-off on the Saturday, so it had a bit of a different feel to it. We don’t always stay in hotels as a team the night before a game, but with the early kick-off, we did.

“There was a bit of a buzz about it and we were delighted to get the victory. There were a couple of VAR calls in there, there was a lot of drama added to the match and it really meant a lot to us, that game, getting that result. Tottenham, we felt would probably be one of the teams that were in and around us in the league.

“I think when that goal (James Maddison’s) went in, there was a lot of emotion that came out in it because I felt like in the game, we were sort of probably coming out on top. We changed our formation in the second half and matched them up with a diamond. We felt like the diamond had been giving us a problem, so if we matched them up, and almost go the same system as them, the better team and the better players would come out on top.

“We felt like we showed that in the last period of the game. Our fitness levels were really good – that’s something that we’ve been really working on – and it was good that we were able to adjust tactically. They were big moments for us and like I say, confidence-wise, we were able to, from that, take it into the rest of the season.”

A sensational night in Southampton

First Team

Goals: Southampton 0 Leicester City 9

All nine goals in one place, including two hat-tricks, after a record-breaking night for Leicester City against Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium.

One game that the Blue Army and those involved will most certainly never forget is Leicester’s emphatic 9-0 victory over Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium in October 2019.

Hat-tricks from Ayoze Pérez and Vardy, and strikes from Tielemans, Maddison and Ben Chilwell, sealed a record-breaking win during which Evans could have also been on the scoresheet.

“It was a great night and it was kind of funny because after the game, you’re thinking: ‘We’ve just won another game of football, shall we really celebrate?’,” Evans said. “We all started making our way to the fans and it was a bit like, it was important that we enjoy this moment.

“There’s not many times that you get to score that many goals in a game and win that emphatically. It was a great performance by us. It was a horrible night, but we turned a horrible night into a memorable one – a horrible night in terms of the weather!

“It was amazing to be a part of that, and it’s not very often that that happens. The goals just kept coming. I probably should have got one myself, which is a disappointing – it’ll always stick in my mind! I still don’t know how I didn’t get my foot on it. I’ll say I was blindsided by the guy.”

Dominating against Arsenal

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 2 Arsenal 0

Enjoy Jamie Vardy and James Maddison's goals in Leicester City's excellent 2-0 win over the Gunners at King Power Stadium.

Another clash with Arsenal makes it into the list of Evans’ most enjoyable City games, but this time it came in different circumstances.

The Foxes, buoyed by their 3-0 win over the Gunners seven months earlier, dominated in the Leicestershire rain as a stunner from Maddison added to Vardy’s 68th-minute opener.

Evans said: “I think [there was] confidence from the season before, but we felt like Arsenal, we were very surprised with how they played all night. We had a lot of possession, dominated the game.

“Probably the first half, I can remember myself and Çağs (Çağlar Söyüncü) having a lot of the ball and being able to bring the ball from our own box to the halfway line quite easy. Arsenal kind of sat off us and it probably played into our hands a bit.

“I think once we got into a rhythm, it probably took us about 30 or 40 minutes to start building that rhythm and start having that confidence on the ball.

“Once we started doing that, we were fairly in control of that game also. It was pretty surprising how they played, but we still had to go and beat them and we did that well. 

“There’s been a lot of scenarios like that. Another game I can think of is the Everton game, where we were 1-0 down at half-time and I think the message was that we feel confident in our own ability now to try and break teams down, and we know that the game can change very quickly, so I think having belief in the style that we’re playing, and more importantly try and enjoy that challenge of breaking teams down – that was the message in both of those games.

“Having a lot of the ball, they’re the games that we want. We want to control possession, force teams to defend and try and break them down. That’s the big challenge that when the manager came to the Club, he wanted to add that to our style of play.

“Leicester have always, especially over the last couple of years, been more of a counter-attacking team and the manager’s wanted to try and change that style. It’s important for us to embrace that.

“We’ve shown at times, especially at half-time in games, we’ve come out in the second half and really imposed ourselves, really wore teams down to the point where they can’t handle it anymore.”

On target at Villa Park

First Team

Goals: Aston Villa 1 Leicester City 4

All the goals from the Foxes as they make it eight wins out of eight in the Premier League against Aston Villa.

Evans’ sixth and final pick came in the form of Leicester’s 4-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park in December 2019.

The Northern Ireland defender was on target with an excellent header as City made it a Club record eight Premier League wins on the spin.

He said: “We won there and I was speaking to one of the Aston Villa players about a week after that match and I think a lot of the boys said we were the best team they’d played so far this season.

“When the games are going on, it’s very difficult to judge how well you’re doing in the game. There are times where we felt in control, but when they got the goal back just before half-time, it was important that we didn’t let it upset us going from 2-0 up to 2-1.

“We were a bit angry when we were going in at half-time and going on to my goal, I think it came quite early in the second half, which calmed everyone down again and we were able to take back control of the game and play the game at our pace.

“We’d worked on that (his header) the day before in training. In training, it very rarely comes off, so it very rarely comes off in a game the majority of the time!

“It was quite far out, so the first aim was to try and get it back on target, and like you say, get a good connection [and] put it back across goal, and you never know, someone else can get a touch on it or something like that.

“It ended up going in the top corner and I wasn’t complaining! Probably, from the moment I headed it, I kind of knew it had a chance. It spun right in, probably almost off the post, so it was difficult for Tom Heaton to save it.”

Latest News

Latest Galleries

Latest Videos

Leicester City Crest

Latest News

More Videos

Latest Images