Everton 2-1 Leicester: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Toffees Hold on to Claim All 3 Points

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Everton held on to pick up all three points | Pool/Getty Images

Everton held on to overcome Leicester 2-1 at Goodison Park on Wednesday, despite a brighter second half display from the Foxes.

The Foxes looked to dominate the ball in the early stages, but it was the hosts who struck first. Anthony Gordon raced down the line before looking up and fizzing in a low cross, which Richarlison connected with beautifully on ten minutes.

And on 15 minutes, after a VAR review, the Toffees were presented with the chance to double their lead from the penalty spot after a handball from Wilfred Ndidi. Gylfi Sigurðsson stepped up and cooly slotted home to make it 2-0.

Leicester hit back early in the second half as Kelechi Iheanacho netted a very scruffy goal to make it 2-1. The away side continued to push for an equaliser, but they weren't able to find one.

Here's 90min's breakdown of the game...

Everton

Key Talking Point

Everton came into the game looking to build on their encouraging results since the resumption of play, and it was their quick start that put them in such a good position to pick up all three points.

Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti's men started brightly | Pool/Getty Images

Despite the away side seeing more of the ball in the early exchanges, the Everton players looked focused and broke at speed on the counter-attack each time they won the ball. When out of possession, Alex Iwobi and Gordon would track back and support their full-backs, but when on the ball, they would make penetrating runs in-field - which constantly caused problems.

But after Leicester's double substitution at half time, Everton struggled to adjust as they were outnumbered in midfield. However, Ancelotti's decision to bring on Davies helped stabilise the side and limited the space for Leicester to work in. It was a nervy second half, but the Toffees' fine run of results continues.

Everton Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (4); Coleman (6), Keane (8), Holgate (6), Digne (6); Iwobi (6), André Gomes (6), Sigurdsson (6), Gordon (8*); Calvert-Lewin (6), Richarlison (7).

Substitutes: Davies (7), Mina (6), Bernard (5).

Anthony Gordon

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-LEICESTER
Gordon was always thinking positively | PETER POWELL/Getty Images

Ancelotti showed his faith in Gordon by selecting him to start his second game since the resumption of play, and Gordon repaid that faith with a fine performance.

The 19-year-old never stopped working both on and off the ball. When out of possession, he was pressing and tracking Leicester full-back James Justin as well as also supporting Lucas Digne, while he was always a threat when his side had the ball.

Constantly thinking positively, he showed a tremendous amount of pace time and time again to make lung-busting runs upfield. But what was perhaps most impressive was that he then had an end product, looking up and producing accurate crosses and passes - such as his wonderful low cross for Richarlison.

Leicester

Key Talking Point

Brendan Rodgers' men came into Wednesday's clash needing a win not only to boost their top four hopes, but also to simply kickstart their season once again after failing to win either of their first two league games back after the restart.

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers' double substitution had a positive impact | Pool/Getty Images

But while they saw a fair amount of the ball in the early stages, they looked vulnerable at the back each time Everton went forward. With less than 20 minutes on the clock, the Foxes found themselves 2-0 down after quick counter-attacks.

Without James Maddison in the side, Leicester were lacking a creative midfielder, someone to pick up a pocket of space and unlock the Everton defence. Rodgers reacted at half time by bringing Maddison and Iheanacho on - and this changed the direction of the game.

With them on the field, Leicester were posing a threat in all areas of the pitch, and Everton were struggling to adjust. It was a much brighter performance in the second half, but ultimately it is a result that will leave Rodgers concerned as the sides around them close in on the Champions League spots.

Leicester Player Ratings

Starting XI: Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell; Ndidi, Albrighton, Tielemans; Praet (5); Barnes (5), Vardy.

Substitutes: Maddison (8*), Iheanacho (7), Gray (6), Perez (6)

James Maddison

Kelechi Iheanacho, James Maddison
Maddison changed the game | Pool/Getty Images

Maddison and Iheanacho changed the game when they came on, with the latter grabbing a goal back early in the second half. But Leicester were crying out for a player like Maddison to come on and find spaces between the Everton midfield and defence, and exploit them.

This is exactly what he did, acting as a link and bringing both Vardy and Iheanacho into the game. Additionally, he was the player to try and get in behind the Everton backline and cause the problems by playing around them rather than looking to cross the ball in. It may have ended in defeat, but Maddison can be proud of his display.

Looking Ahead

Everton travel to take on Tottenham on Monday before hosting Southampton on Thursday.

Leicester, meanwhile, will take on Crystal Palace on Saturday at home before then travelling to take on Arsenal on Tuesday.