Everton got the better of 10 men Leicester City at the King Power in a match that could possibly be considered the battle for 7th place in the Premier League. The last time Marco Silva found himself on the touch line at the King Power his Watford side succumbed to a 2-0 defeat and he was subsequently sacked the following day.
This time around his Everton side got off to an extremely quick start with Richarlison breaking the deadlock on the 7th minute. Bernard picked up the ball on the left hand side and after some silky skills he breezed past two Leicester players and put the ball on a plate for his international colleague at the back stick who happily tucked the ball home.
It should have probably been two on the 29th minute yet Walcott’s decision to go for goal himself and not slot in one of his team mates resulted in the scoreline remaining 1-0. The winger was gifted the ball in the middle of the park and chased down the defence in pursuit of Everton’s second goal of the afternoon. Despite him having options left and right, he selfishly chose himself only for him to overrun the ball and find himself on the deck as he tripped over Harry Maguire, much to the disgrace of his teammates.
The Foxes first real chance fell to their star man Jamie Vardy as he latched onto a hoofed ball over the top, raced past Michael Keane, but finished poorly as he toe-poked the ball wide of Pickford’s goal. However shortly after it was level as a result of a slick and speedy Leicester counter attack. Ricardo Pereira exploited space down the left hand side, played a quick one-two with Iheanacho and soon found himself in the Everton box in front of Jordan Pickford. He sold Michael Keane with a fake shot and despite Pickford getting a hand on Pereira’s effort, he couldn’t keep it out. It took the Foxes 20 seconds after clearing the ball off their line to put the ball into the back of the net. Clinical stuff from Puel’s men.
Unlike the first half, Leicester started quicker of the two and it didn’t take long for the first decent effort. Ben Chilwell danced around the Everton defence and found himself just on the edge of the d, his effort was heading towards the top left hand corner but diverted itself just over the bar. Everton however did push and Theo Walcott again should have done better on the 61st minute as he was found nicely be Bernard, turned Chilwell but fired his shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester found themselves down to 10 men on the 63rd minute as Andre Marriner deemed Wes Morgans challenge worthy of a second yellow card. The club captain has now been sent off twice this season and put serious pressure on his side to get anything out of the game. The sending off will once again give Jonny Evans or perhaps Caglar Soyuncu the chance after the international break to break into the starting XI. The sending off forced Puel to make a change as he bought on Marc Alrbrighton for Kelechi Iheanacho. Although Albrighton isn’t a defender he has greater defensive skills then Iheanacho and also possesses the ability to get forward and possibly snatch a goal for his side. Silva also deemed the sending off worthy of pushing for the game and bought off Davies who was replaced by Cenk Tosun.
The Foxes managed to withstand Everton pressure for 14 minutes but it was a goal which they probably wouldn’t have stopped even with 11 men on the field which put them a goal down. A certain goal of the season contender from Gylfi Sigurdsson was worthy of winning any game. The Iceland international twisted past Maddison and riffled the ball into the top right corner from around 35 yards giving Schmeichel absolutely no chance at all. The Toffee’s kept on going and continued to pile pressure on the Leicester defence. Despite their pressure, Amartey did have the chance to get his side a point with a golden chance in which he probably should have done better. A whipped in corner kick was put straight onto the head of Amartey but he could only header wide much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
The 2-1 result was Everton’s fourth away win in 31 Premier League games and their first away win under Marco Silva bringing them up to 10th in the table before the 5:30 kick off.
Sigurdsson shines once more
A simply sublime goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson gave his side all three points today and after an exceptional performance last weekend against Fulham, in which the midfielder scored two, he continues to show how important he is to this Everton side. He is a delight to watch and is always looking for the ball and wanting to make things happen in the middle of the park.
Are Everton missing an out and out striker?
Responsibility today fell on Richarlison to lead the line for the Toffee’s but the issue of having an out and out striker on the pitch is continually haunting Silva’s side. Cenk Tosun is often relied upon in the roll but the performances of the Turkish international is resulting in cameo appearances from the bench. Although Richarlison found himself on the score sheet today he did little to threaten Schmeichel in the Leicester goal. There is no doubt that a striker will be in the shopping basket come the January transfer window to try and alleviate some of the pressure put on the other players to get on the scoresheet and as we have seen before, Everton will not be afraid to spend the money to get what is needed.
Is it time to say goodbye to Morgan?
The club captain was sent off for the second time this season and at times looked out of his depth. The 34-year-old has been a superb servant to the club yet there have been times this season where his ability has been questioned. Due to the sending off being his second of the season he will miss two games and will be absent for the fixtures vs Arsenal and West Ham. It was one way traffic after the sending off and he seriously let his side down today and Puel could possibly consider dropping his captain once he returns after his suspension.
Man of the Match – Bernard
The Brazilian shown today why Everton spent £14 million to bring him to the club this summer. He assisted the first goal in superb style and gave Amartey nightmares for the majority of the match. He has struggled to break into the Everton side since joining in the summer yet after a solid appearance today he will surely be on the team sheet after the international break and he will look to solidify his place and chip in with the goals too.