Everton 2:2 Leicester City
A late equaliser for Everton denied City two vital points at Goodison on Sunday afternoon…
Nigel Pearson made one change with Huth back in for Wasilewski – the same line-up as at Arsenal.
Although Schlupp forced an early save from Howard and Besic tested Schwarzer with a long-range effort it was a cagey an fairly uneventful opening half hour.
Having been set up nicely by Coleman, Lukaku then skied his shot well over; while Kramarić, always willing to have a crack, sent a curling shot just over Howard’s bar.
Lukaku then saw his shot blocked by Morgan and Barkley seized on the loose ball but fired way off target.
The last chance of the half fell to City but Schlupp became the latest player to give their shot too much altitude.
City started the second half brightly, with Howard saving from James and Mahrez going close from a corner, and Roberto Martinez made a double substitution.
A minute later, the Toffees took the lead. Naismith deceiving Schwarzer with an oddly struck shot that found its way through a crowded penalty area.
It was now Pearson’s turn to make a double change for City, with Nugent and Vardy coming on for Schlupp and Mahrez, and the effect was the same – an immediate goal. Vardy went charging down the right and sent over a low cross. Howard got in a tangle with a defender at the near post and the ball was presented to Nugent for a tap-in from three yards.
Lukaku let City off the hook with another off-target effort from a good position, and the visitors then took the lead with 20 minutes remaining.
After a Simpson cross was diverted to Vardy he set up Cambiasso for a neat finish that had the away section celebrating wildly.
A win would have left City just 2 points from safety, and although they held out until the 88th minute, Lukaku finally managed to get an effort on target. Atsu delivered a pinpoint cross from the left and Lukaku’s diving header beat Schwarzer, possibly via Upson’s head.
The gap to safety was instantly doubled to four points and although City desperately sought a late winner they had to be content with a point.
Although we might have settled for that before the game, it felt like a defeat.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Lukaku, Naismith (Miralles 85), McCarthy, Besic (Atsu 55), Barkley (Gibson 55), Coleman, Lennon, Stones. Subs Not Used: Robles, Kone, Garbutt, Alcaraz.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Morgan, Upson, James, Huth, Schlupp (Vardy 62), Simpson, Cambiasso (King 86), Mahrez (Nugent 62), Kramarić. Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, Hamer, Ulloa, Wasilewski.
Referee: P Dowd. Attendance: 38,904.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.