Youri Tielemans

City Stretch Unbeaten Run With Everton Draw

Leicester City extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions with a hard-fought 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
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City’s second fixture in four days saw manager Brendan Rodgers make seven changes to his starting XI, with Youri Tielemans, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Pérez the four to remain from Sunday’s 3-1 Emirates FA Cup win at Brentford.

Under the Merseyside rain, donning their maroon away kit, the Foxes carved out their first opportunity inside three minutes when Jordan Pickford had to save from Barnes, although the goal wouldn't have stood after the Academy graduate was penalised for a foul on Mason Holgate in the build-up.

After some sublime skill from Barnes, who nutmegged Holgate en route to creating another chance, City eventually saw Pérez flick a deflected effort over the bar from inside the box.

With only 10 minutes gone, the visitors were pressing hard for an opener, as Maddison fired a free-kick into the wall, while on 12 minutes, Tom Davies did well to get in the way of Barnes' goal-bound drive.

There was no let up from Leicester as Maddison clipped the top of the net two minutes later after more good work from fellow England international Barnes.

Just after the quarter-hour mark, James Justin did brilliantly to hold off Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the far post, nodding behind for a corner, before Kasper Schmeichel punched away the resulting delivery and Davies drilled over the loose ball from range.

But for all of City's early dominance, Everton went ahead when James Rodríguez, on 30 minutes, picked up the ball on the edge of the box, worked it onto his right foot and found the net with a neat finish via the post.

Rodgers was forced into his first substitution of the evening when Wilfred Ndidi, who had already made a handful of ball recoveries, had to be replaced by Papy Mendy with three minutes of the first half to play.

A brace of shots followed for City in stoppage time, but Tielemans saw his drive blocked in the box before Pickford held onto Marc Albrighton's strike on the follow-up.

Five minutes after the interval, Pickford denied Barnes at the near post before Justin side-footed the rebound narrowly wide of the mark as Leicester signalled their intent at Goodison Park.

Lovely footwork from Pérez on 52 minutes saw him shrug off the challenge of Yerry Mina, only for his cross to be blocked in the six-yard box, while a punch from Pickford prevented the Spaniard from latching onto Tielemans' lofted pass just moments later.

Maddison slammed another free-kick into the wall with 58 minutes gone, and then Pickford did well to smother Albrighton's delivery after Justin made a late run on goal.

Leicester continued to probe, and their persistence paid off on 67 minutes when Barnes picked out Tielemans, who squeezed a low shot beyond an unsighted Pickford from the edge of the box.

Before the game could resume, Cengiz Ünder was introduced to the action in place of Albrighton as Rodgers injected fresh legs into the City attack.

With 15 minutes to play, the lively Pérez prodded into the arms of Pickford from a tight angle, and the Everton stopper was on hand again shortly after to parry Maddison's deflected effort.

A third change of the contest followed for City, as Çağlar Söyüncü came on in place of Jonny Evans in a like-for-like change.

Ünder's dazzling run with 11 minutes remaining nearly produced a winner as his effort struck Michael Keane before flying wide of Pickford's left-hand post.

At the other end, goalscorer Rodríguez bent a strike off target in an attempt to win it for the hosts, before some fine defending from Timothy Castagne halted the run of Richarlison, who then headed over from the resulting corner.

On 87 minutes, only a well-timed header from Mina denied Turkey international Ünder's curling strike, while Calvert-Lewin nodded Lucas Digne's cross wide as both side traded blows with little time remaining.

Keane was there again late on to get in the way of Maddison's strike from inside the box, and then Wesley Fofana positioned himself well to send the ball to safety to prevent André Gomes from stealing all three points in injury time.

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

A fifth goal of the season in all competitions for Youri Tielemans got the Foxes back on level terms.

The Foxes enjoyed plenty of the ball on Merseyside, dictating play in large spells, but trailed at the break when James Rodríguez converted from distance.

However, in typical Leicester City fashion, they showed their mettle to come from behind, and claimed a point from the match when Youri Tielemans bagged a crucial equaliser midway through the second half.

Who impressed?

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Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana

The France Under-21s international impressed Gerry Taggart in the 1-1 draw with Everton.

Speaking on LCFC Radio’s Matchday Live, Gerry Taggart said: “It’s a tough one tonight. There’s been some really, really good performances. Wesley Fofana, Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes all spring to mind. James Maddison played his part as well – he was excellent at times. I’m going to have to give it to Wesley Fofana. At times tonight, one on one against Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he came out on top and showed yet again the he has a really bright future. He’s growing all the time."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison
James Maddison

The No.10 was once again a source of creativity for City against Everton.

After their 20th Premier League match of 2020/21, the Foxes occupy third position in the table, having amassed 39 points so far this campaign.

Coming up…

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Cengiz Ünder
Cengiz Ünder

Cengiz Ünder was a significant threat after coming off the bench in the second half.

Following back-to-back away games, Leicester return to King Power Stadium on Sunday, when they welcome Leeds United in the Premier League (2pm kick-off), before travelling to Fulham three days later (6pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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