Leicester City 2-1 Everton: Last-gasp VAR drama as Kelechi Iheanacho floors visitors
Report and highlights as Leicester extend winning Premier League run to six games and close the gap on leaders Liverpool back to eight points
Last Updated: 02/12/19 6:32am
Kelechi Iheanacho's late VAR-awarded winner piled more misery on Marco Silva as Leicester reclaimed second spot in the Premier League with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium.
Substitute Iheanacho broke Everton hearts in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when he was allowed to stride through and slot his first Premier League goal of the season past Jordan Pickford despite being flagged for offside.
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Amid scenes of confusion, referee Graham Scott let play continue before VAR ruled the goal should stand, with the initial on-the-field ruling of offside deemed incorrect, sparking jubilant celebrations from the Leicester players and backroom staff.
It was the cruellest of blows on Silva's side, who were within touching distance of a battling away point after Richarlison's first-half header had been cancelled out by Jamie Vardy's 13th goal of the season.
But the Leicester late show earned the Foxes a sixth straight Premier League victory that leaves them eight points behind leaders Liverpool and the Toffees lingering above the relegation zone.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Ricardo (7), Soyuncu (6), Evans (6), Chilwell (6), Ndidi (6), Tielemans (6), Maddison (6), Barnes (6), Perez (5), Vardy (7).
Subs: Iheanacho (8), Albrighton (n/a).
Everton: Pickford (6), Digne (6), Sidibe (7), Holgate (5), Keane (6), Mina (6), Davies (5), Sigurdsson (6), Iwobi (6), Richarlison (7), Calvert-Lewin (6).
Subs: Schneiderlin (5), Kean (6).
Man of the Match: Kelechi Iheanacho.
How Leicester left it late to deny Everton
With Everton winless in every Premier League game in which they have gone behind with Silva at the helm, the under-fire Portuguese needed a performance from his team from the first whistle. He got just that.
The Toffees, unshackled from the pressure of playing at Goodison Park, were fast and fluid on the counter and came close to capping their encouraging start when Djibril Sidibe rifled a shot over inside eight minutes.
It was by no means plain sailing for the visitors, though, and Ayoze Perez's swivel and shot on 13 minutes gave Everton a reminder of the firepower that had propelled Leicester into their five-game winning streak.
But Everton were more clinical in crucial moments and took the lead midway through the first half as a flowing counter ended with Sidibe whipping an inch-perfect cross into the box for Richarlison to head his fourth goal of the season beyond Kasper Schmeichel.
Perez was waved back to his feet after a collision with Sidibe in the Everton area in the immediate aftermath of the Everton breakthrough before a woeful attempted overhead kick from Vardy on the half hour summed up the growing Leicester frustration.
- Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged Leicester side following their victory over Brighton.
- Marco Silva made three changes to the Everton side that lost Norwich as Michael Keane, Alex Iwobi and Dominic Calvert-Lewin returned.
Leicester looked to have finally secured a route back into the game when Mason Holgate appeared to trip Ben Chilwell as he desperately tried to make amends for overrunning the ball. Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot but was ordered to reverse his decision after VAR ruled there was no contact between the two players.
Buoyed by their reprieve, Everton pushed for a second either side of half-time, but a crucial block from Jonny Evans prevented Dominic Calvert-Lewin's shot from hitting the target before Michael Keane sent a free header over from a corner.
Everton's failure to find a second proved their undoing. Ricardo Pereira drew Pickford into a full-stretch save at the end of a driving run on 54 minutes and substitute Iheanacho also tested the Everton goalkeeper before Leicester finally restored parity.
Wilfred Ndidi dispossessed Tom Davies in midfield and released Iheanacho in behind the Everton defence, where he unselfishly squared for Vardy to extend his lead at the top of the Premier League's scoring charts.
Vardy and Everton substitute Moise Kean had chances to win the game late on but both passed up opportunities of varying levels of difficulty before the late VAR drama.
Iheanacho was allowed to gather Ricardo's through pass and find the back of the net, despite the linesman's flag going up, as Everton were floored by yet another contentious intervention from the technology.
What the managers said…
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "I'm so proud of the team. Everton sat in, made it very difficult and went ahead, but we kept patient and in the second-half we had an idea in terms of how we could change the pattern of the game.
"Everton are a good side and have good players, but just before we scored we started to break through. Once we levelled, we had real momentum in the game. Young Kelechi coming onto the pitch was a big turning point for us."
Everton manager Marco Silva: "It's a harsh result for my players. Nobody can say anything about their commitment, about their attitude or about their ambition for this game. It was clear and we showed that because we knew we had to show a reaction after the performance against Norwich.
"It's just the people who are not with us daily who are not seeing how we are together in this fight. The players are proving this. No one can say anything about their commitment. We will go to Anfield with the commitment we had this afternoon."
Man of the Match - Kelechi Iheanacho
Stats: Records fall under Rodgers
- Leicester have won six consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since their club record run of seven in March 1963.
- Leicester scored only their sixth-ever 90th minute winning goal in a Premier League match - three of which coming since the start of last season (Maguire v Southampton, Morgan v Burnley, Iheanacho today).
- Everton have conceded more 90th-minute goals than any other Premier League team this season (four).
- Everton failed to win for the first time in 10 Premier League games in which they scored the opening goal.
Leicester host Watford in the Premier League on Wednesday at 7.30pm before Everton travel to Liverpool for the first Merseyside derby of the season at the later time of 8.15pm.