Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Leicester 2-2 Everton: What did we learn as the two relegation scrappers are forced to settle for a single point at the King Power?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 2 May 2023

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With all eyes falling on the King Power on Monday night for a crucial showdown at the foot of the Premier League table, Leicester and Everton played out what was a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Two sides who find themselves firmly at the heart of a bottom-three scrap, it was Everton who took advantage of their bright start as Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted from the penalty spot after just 15 minuets.

However, in what was a rollercoaster affair on Monday night, it was Leicester who headed into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead as Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy completed what was an eye-catching first-half comeback.

However, with James Maddison missing from the spot just seconds before heading into the interval, Leicester will know that they missed out on a golden chance as Alex Iwobi pegged them back just nine minuets after returning from the break.

In a showdown that produced a string of chances at both ends of the pitch, both Leicester and Everton will know that a point was not enough in their bid to avoid the drop.

With Calvert-Lewin somehow missing from a couple of yards and Daniel Iversen pulling off a couple of remarkable stops on either side of the half-time interval, there is no doubt that the likes of Nottingham Forest, Leeds and West Ham would have been celebrating Monday’s stalemate.

In what was an action-packed showdown from the King Power, what did we learn from Monday’s relegation six-pointer?

Vardy can fire Leicester to Premier League safety

While Monday’s point might have fired Leicester out of the bottom-three, the Foxes still find themselves in a shock battle to extend on their Premier League status.

However, while Smith’s new squad might have only continued to show some rather glaring defensive issues since appointing the former Aston Villa boss, fans around the King Power will be excited to see Vardy return to his best over the past week.

Although Leicester’s attacking talisman might have only bagged a single Premier League strike after returning from March’s international break, Vardy can be the key man in Leicester’s battle for top-flight survival.

Making what could be a season-defining cameo appearance off the bench against Leeds last week as they snatched a 1-1 draw at Elland Road, the 36-year-old has a crucial role to play over the final few weeks.

Once again finding the net on Monday night and recording back-to-back Premier League goals for the first time this season, Vardy’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time for Smith’s men.

With Kelechi Iheanacho missing out here after picking up a groin injury away at Leeds last week, Vardy will be looking to only further cement his spot as a Leicester icon by dragging the Foxes over the finish line.

Everton’s away issues will cost them their top-flight status

Flying out of the traps on Monday night and more than deserving of their early lead, many Everton fans had billed their trip to the King Power as one of the most important games in their recent history.

However, while Iwobi might have eventually snatched a point for Sean Dyche’s men, it is no secret that the Toffees are tipped as a standout pick to suffer an infamous relegation to the Championship come May.

Struggling to find any real stability since appointing the former Burnley boss back in January, the Blues have also gained a continued reputation for their rather glaring issues away from Goodison Park.

Eventually having to settle for a single point here, Everton have remarkably won just a single Premier League contest outside of Merseyside this season. In fact, Dyche’s struggling squad have recorded just a pair of top-flight victories from their last 33 appearances – a run that stems all the way back to August 2021.

Next seen when they travel to a high-flying Brighton this weekend, it looks like it will be Everton’s away day issues this will cost them their Premier League status come May.

A stalemate that will be celebrated around the bottom-half of the table

While the likes of Wolves and Bournemouth might have skyrocketed themselves away from a looming relegation scrap over the past few weeks, there is no doubt that this season’s bottom-three tussle is going right down to the wire.

Although both Leicester and Everton fans would have been left frustrated to have seen their respective clubs only come away with a single point here, the likes of Nottingham Forest, Leeds and West Ham couldn’t have wished for a better night at the King Power.

Despite it appearing that Southampton have all bit confirmed their Premier League relegation with just four top-flight fixtures remaining, the final two places are still firmly hanging in the balance and it still appears to close to call.

With just five points separating Everton in 19th and West Ham who currently sit up in 15th place, we certainly have a nail-biting final few weeks on the horizon.

With both Leicester and Everton still having to face-off against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool during their final spring for safety, Monday’s stalemate could prove to be costly for both Smith and Dyche’s respective camps.

Match Report

Leicester: Iversen, Castagne, Faes, Soyuncu, Thomas, Tielemans, Ndidi, Soumare, Maddison, Vardy, Barnes

Subs: Daka, Praet, Kristiansen

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Garner, Doucoure, Iwobi, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Patterson

Goals: Leicester: Soyuncu (22’), Vardy (33’) – Everton: Calvert-Lewin (15’ P), Iwobi (54’)

Yellow Cards: Leicester: Thomas, Soumare, Maddison, Kristiansen – Everton: Gueye

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Michael Oliver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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