Shakespeare: Set Plays Cost Us

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare counted the cost of two set play goals as his side’s six-game winning run came to an end with a 4-2 Premier League loss to Everton at Goodison Park.

- Craig Shakespeare reflects on a 4-2 defeat away to Everton in the Premier League 

- The loss at Goodison Park brings to an end his six-game winning start as Leicester City manager 

- The Foxes recovered from conceding in the first minute to take the lead through Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton, but Everton went 3-2 up by the break before Romelu Lukaku completed the scoring 

- The manager was frustrated to concede from two set plays for Everton’s final two goals 

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare counted the cost of two set play goals as his side’s six-game winning run came to an end with a 4-2 Premier League loss to Everton at Goodison Park. 

The Foxes got off to a tough start as Tom Davies squeezed a shot home just 35 seconds into the game, but strikes by Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton had the Foxes ahead with 10 minutes on the clock. 

Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Phil Jagielka then put Everton noses back ahead before the half time whistle, with the Foxes facing a fight on their hands to get back on level terms in an end-to-end encounter. 

Lukaku added a second after the break to make it 4-2, and despite substitute Leo Ulloa having two excellent headers cleared off the line late on, it was the Toffees who would take the three points on the day. 

Afterwards, there were certainly positives to take for Shakespeare, but he was left frustrated at the final two goals for Everton, which came as the result of set plays. 

“We played okay in bits,” reflected Shakespeare. “We got off to the worst start possible after 35 seconds but we then managed to show a lot of character quickly. The response was what I was after in terms of the attacking threat and we got two goals in quick succession but overall I think we struggled at times to deal with Everton’s movement and attacking threat. 

“They had great movement and rotation between the lines which caused us a lot of problems, but I suppose ultimately we were done by two set plays which is disappointing from our point of view as a team because we’re usually very, very good on that. 

“Everton has some very good offensive players but in general it was the set plays that were the most disappointing because ultimately they have won the game on two set plays. We weren’t aggressive enough and didn’t have enough intent to go and attack the ball, so from that point of view it was more of how we defended as a team.” 

Shakespeare made five changes to his team for the match with a busy fixture schedule both behind and in front of them, and despite the defeat he is keen for his side to respond well at the next opportunity. 

He explained: “I think the team selection was with the games coming up in mind. We’ve got a lot coming up – Wednesday, Saturday and Tuesday – but we’ve got a good squad. Players have had to be patient and the idea was that whichever team we field who try to be competitive and try to win the game. We didn’t come to try to get a point, the team was picked to try to get three points. The selection was about squad rotation more than anything else. 

“Footballers are resilient. I’ve just said to them in there that we have been on a good run, but we need to start again now and go on another run.”

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