Leicester City

Foxes Fireworks As Leicester Win On Merseyside

Goals in each half saw Leicester City make it three wins in four Premier League outings with a 2-0 success away at Everton at Goodison Park on Bonfire Night.
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Another incredible Youri Tielemans belter set City on their way, and after some solid defensive work, the match was settled late on thanks to Harvey Barnes' fifth Premier League goal of 2022/23.

After last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Manchester City, manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his side, bringing in Boubakary Soumaré and Patson Daka in place of Çağlar Söyüncü (hamstring injury) and Jamie Vardy. Leicester returned to a back four, with a three in midfield providing the foundation for a further three Foxes in attack. Dennis Praet, meanwhile, was not in the matchday squad after the birth of his child.

Both teams showed support for the Royal British Legion's 2022 Poppy Appeal by donning poppy-adorned shirts, which are again available to now bid on. Ahead of the encounter, a minute's silence took place upon the sounding of The Last Post at Goodison Park.

Monochrome Merseyside skies, which had released a deluge to dampen the Goodison pitch, turned to deep black by the time kick-off arrived. The floodlights, and the moon hanging over the Bullens Road Stand, illuminated the pitch, just as City were aiming to do in the evening kick-off. 

With only 16 seconds on the pitch, Wout Faes dispossessed Dominic Calvert-Lewin and picked out Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who shrugged off Idrissa Gueye's challenge and whipped a cross into the area. James Maddison made the first contact, steering the ball into the path of Daka, but the Zambia striker couldn't stretch far enough to make a connection.

The sound of 2,834 Foxes fans rang around Goodison Park, urging the men in their adidas black kit on. Dewsbury-Hall got on the ball again on four minutes, this time locating Daka with a pass into his feet, and the frontman this time got his shot off, however Jordan Pickford dived to his left to make the first save of the match.

The Toffees were looking to respond to and when Gueye intercepted a pass into Soumaré a minute later, the ball came to Calvert-Lewin, whose smart pass into Alex Iwobi presented an opportunity to the former Arsenal attacker, who side-footed wide from a tight angle.

Leicester remained a danger, with Timothy Castagne this time setting up Maddison in the box, although the No.10's attempt to divert towards the target saw him fire wide. Then, Danny Ward had to be quick off his line to prevent Calvert-Lewin from getting a shot away, before former Fox and 2016 title winner Demarai Gray curled into the Sir Philip Carter Park Stand.

A similar move unfolded at the other end, as Barnes lifted off target after hitting Dewsbury-Hall's pass first time, and then Everton mounted an attack of their own as Daniel Amartey turned Iwobi's delivery behind for a corner. The set-play came in from Gray and James Tarkowski met it, forcing Ward into a brilliant one-handed save to keep the scores level.

Two big chances to put City ahead came near the half-hour mark. First, Dewsbury-Hall had his left-footed strike blocked in the area by Tarkowski and then Maddison danced into the box and saw a shot deflect behind by a matter of inches. Then came a neat one-two between Maddison and captain Tielemans, with the former's outside-of-the-boot attempt meeting the head of Tarkowski.

Fireworks boomed in the sky above as Leicester maintained their press, forcing Pickford into a short clearance into the feet of Barnes, although the Academy graduate could not beat his England colleague with a placed attempt from range. A counter-attack from Everton, led by Calvert-Lewin, resulted in Amartey getting in the way.

Tarkowski was caught in possession again on 38 minutes, and with Dewsbury-Hall spearheading Leicester's break, the Academy star found Maddison, whose deflected drive squeezed wide. The No.10 took the corner, and after Tielemans' goal-bound effort was halted by Tarkowski, he recycled the ball and whipped a cross into Castagne, who at the far post, off balance, headed off target.

On 41 minutes, with the first half coming to a close, Dwight McNeil's corner was met by the head of Amadou Onana, however the Belgium international midfielder was unable to keep his effort down. In a flash, Daka was through on goal after more uncertain defending from the hosts, but Pickford parried to safety and Tarkowski cleared his lines.

Faes threw himself in the way of Iwobi's header, and after absorbing Everton's pressure, City took the lead in mesmerising fashion. Dewsbury-Hall hooked a ball from deep to Barnes on the left. The No.7's cross found Daka, who was denied, but Maddison kept it alive to find Tielemans on the edge of the area. The midfielder took a touch to set himself for a half-volley that sliced through the evening air and arrowed into the top corner after clipping the underside of the crossbar, giving Pickford no chance in the Toffees net. Another Goal of the Month contender from the Belgian had his side in front at half-time.

Four minutes into the second period, Ward did superbly to prevent Calvert-Lewin from tucking in an equaliser, spreading himself to make the save while one-on-one with the Everton No.9. He was there again 60 seconds later, gathering at the feet of Calvert-Lewin. 

Chances continued to come thick and fast. Daka lashed a shot high and wide, while the Zambian was on hand to clear Onana's sliced half-volley just before the hour mark. Maddison hit the outside of the post not long after, signalling real intent from Rodgers' men as their quest for a second on Bonfire Night went on.

With 64 minutes on the clock, Amartey threw his body in the way of substitute Neal Maupay near-post strike. Six minutes later, a double change from City meant Wilfred Ndidi and Vardy would take the place of Soumaré and Daka for the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time.

The Foxes remained compact in defence and were able to spring attacks in the latter stages. Barnes charged towards goal, down the left flank, cut onto his right foot and tested Pickford with a daisy-cutter. A third substitution for Leicester meant Dewsbury-Hall's shift in midfield reached its climax, with Club vice-captain Marc Albrighton taking his place. 

Into the final 10, Faes' downward header from a Maddison corner proved to be one of few clear-cut opportunities for either side as Leicester set about grinding out a valuable win on Merseyside.

Ndidi was tasked with getting in the way of fellow Nigeria international Iwobi's long-ranger, and that proved to be huge as Barnes, on City's next attack, wrapped up the points with a beautiful finish. A give-and-go with Maddison saw space open up in the area, and he was able to slam beyond Pickford for 2-0.

There was still time for Papy Mendy to come on for Tielemans, making his 100th appearance for the Club in all competitions, after Faes had scrambled an Anthony Gordon attempt clear. Barnes was denied a second in time added on by Pickford, but the damage was already done.

Major moment – Barnes seals it

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Harvey Barnes

The Academy graduate made sure of the points with a well-taken goal late on.

Set for a nervy final five minutes after Youri Tielemans' sensational hit had them 1-0 up, City knew a second of the night would give the hosts no chance of a comeback. It was Harvey Barnes who would deliver, converting Maddison's cut-back to secure a fourth win in seven Premier League outings. 

Who impressed – Maddison shines

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James Maddison

James Maddison set up both goals as Leicester City beat Everton on Merseyside.

Former Foxes defender Gerry Taggart told LCFC Radio: "First of all, Wout Faes and Dan Amartey at the back were great. Faes looks an absolute giant and I’ve been really impressed with him. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had a good game tonight, he came back tonight and had a quality first half. Patson Daka worked his socks off, but it comes down to the goalscorers and James Maddison. Somebody help me out! I’m going to give it to Maddison because he was unplayable tonight, he was the best player on the pitch."

Where do we stand – 13th

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Leicester City

Youri Tielemans scored another stunner, this time smashing a half-volley into the top corner to open the scoring.

City now occupy 13th position in the Premier League standings after their 14th fixture of the 2022/23 season.

Coming up – Newport County (H)

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Wout Faes

Wout Faes fist pumps as City wrap up the win at Goodison Park.

City's Carabao Cup campaign continues at the third round stage against Newport County at King Power Stadium on Tuesday (7:45pm kick-off), with tickets for the match currently on general sale.

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