Jamie Vardy

Early Double Defeats City At Goodison

A brace of goals in the space of seven first-half minutes saw Leicester succumb to a 2-1 Premier League loss to Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening.
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Brendan Rodgers made only one change to the side that were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final just three days prior, with Marc Albrighton coming back into the starting XI in place of Ayoze Pérez, while James Maddison was named as a substitute after missing City’s last match due to a knock.

Donning their pink away kit, it didn’t take long for City to launch their first attack, as Youri Tielemans nearly found Jamie Vardy, but the Club’s leading Premier League goalscorer couldn’t latch onto the Belgian’s pass on two minutes.

Inside the opening 10 minutes, though, the Toffees took the lead after Brazil international Richarlison swept home Anthony Gordon’s low cross from the left wing. City searched for an immediate response, but Dennis Praet fired wide of the mark a minute later.

However, the Foxes found themselves 2-0 down on 16 minutes. The hosts were awarded a penalty by VAR after the ball struck Wilfred Ndidi’s hand in the area, and Gylfi Sigurðsson calmly rolled home from 12 yards to double his side’s advantage.

Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans, who netted in the Carabao Cup tie at Goodison Park back in December, then forced Jordan Pickford into an excellent point-blank save before Albrighton had an effort blocked inside the box shortly before the interval.

For the second period, City made two substitutions, as Rodgers introduced Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho – the scorer of a dramatic winner against Everton in early December – in place of Praet and Harvey Barnes.

It took a fine reaction from Kasper Schmeichel to turn away Lucas Digne’s deflected shot four minutes after the break, and that proved to be huge for the Foxes as they pulled a goal back just moments later.

Vardy and Iheanacho caused havoc in the Everton box, with the latter latching onto the former’s flick and bundling the ball home to give City hope of a second-half comeback on Merseyside.

Leicester came just inches away from a leveller just after the hour mark, as Everton’s Michael Keane nearly turned the ball into his own net following a fine ball in from Albrighton, but managed to hook it off the line at the last minute.

Efforts from Maddison and Evans followed shortly after as the visiting side began to dominate possession, before Iheanacho – scorer of his side’s first goal – lifted over from six yards out.

Fine footwork from Iheanacho on 72 minutes produced another opportunity for the Nigeria international, but Pickford got down well to make a routine save, and then Ben Chilwell blasted over not long after as the quest for a leveller continued.

With nine minutes of normal time remaining, on came Pérez and Demarai Gray to bolster the City attack, with the latter carving out Leicester’s next opportunity, as Maddison fired high and wide of the mark.

Vardy then combined with Pérez in the second minute of injury time, only for the Spaniard to shoot wide from inside the Everton box – Leicester’s final attack of a frustrating evening at Goodison Park.

Major moment

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Goodison Park
Goodison Park

Everton were awarded a penalty by VAR following Wilfred Ndidi's handball at Goodison Park.

As City looked to bounce back from Richarlison’s early opener, they were dealt a second blow in quick succession when Wilfred Ndidi was penalised for handball in his own area.

Following a lengthy VAR check, Everton were awarded a spot-kick and Gylfi Sigurðsson converted successfully for 2-0.

While Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to halve the deficit, two early goals for Carlo Ancelotti’s side secured them all three Premier League points.

Who impressed?

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Kelechi Iheanacho & James Maddison
Kelechi Iheanacho & James Maddison

The City duo came off the bench, and made a positive impact in the second period.

Steve Walsh said at full-time “James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanachio really made an impact and turned the game for us. They were good substitutes, and we’re still three points ahead of fifth. We're still in the hunt, and we're the ones being chased."

Where do we stand?

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Ben Chilwell
Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell goes head-to-head with Everton winger Alex Iwobi.

City remain third in the Premier League with six fixtures remaining, while fourth-placed Chelsea, who sit a point behind the Foxes, take on West Ham United at London Stadium later in the evening.

Coming up…

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans was denied by a smart stop from Jordan Pickford in the first period.

Up next for Leicester is a Premier League encounter with Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off), before they head to Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Tuesday (8:15pm kick-off).

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All times BST.

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