Harvey Barnes and James Rodriguez were the standout performers as Everton and Leicester City played out a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
Leicester were the brighter of the two sides in the first half, but Everton were hardly troubled despite being behind the ball in the initial stages. In fact, it was the hosts who ended up breaking the deadlock against the run of play, as a moment of brilliance by James Rodriguez handed them the lead at the half-hour mark.
Leicester, though, continued pushing forward thereafter in search of the elusive goal, which finally came midway through the second half, as Youri Tielemans scored from just outside the box. Neither goal was breached in the final quarter of the game, as Everton and Leicester shared the spoils. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
Jordan Pickford: 5/10
The worst performer in the game. While Pickford made a few solid stops, he really should have done better to get down quickly and parry away Youri Tielemans’s shot. Instead, it was yet another howler from the Everton goalkeeper, who really needs to weed these errors out.
Mason Holgate: 6/10
Stationed as the right-back, Holgate was quite solid off the ball, although there were a few nervy moments up against the bright Harvey Barnes. Grew in stature as the game progressed.
Yerry Mina: 7/10
Alongside Michael Keane, Mina was a solid customer at the heart of the Everton defence and snuffed out space for the visitors to mount any sort of pressure.
Michael Keane: 7/10
A brilliant effort by Keane, who kept Ayoze Perez quiet all throughout, while also making a number of other crucial interventions to ensure Leicester never really had many chances to score.
Ben Godfrey: 7/10
A solid display by Godfrey, who kept a check on Marc Albrighton’s output and never really let Timothy Castagne get on top of him either. Did not charge forward all that much.
Tom Davies: 6/10
With Abdoulaye Doucoure suspended, Davies was the resident holding midfielder and he did a decent enough job on that account. Could have perhaps closed down Tielemans better for the equaliser but that was the only blip in an otherwise solid game.
Andre Gomes: 7/10
With Everton largely camped in their own half, Gomes did well to support Tom Davies defensively. However, it was his pass in the build-up to James Rodriguez’s goal that takes the cake. A solid effort.
A game to forget for Richarlison. The role on the right flank clearly did not suit him and he failed to get the better of James Justin. Did put in the hard yards off the ball, though.
James Rodriguez: 8/10
1 – James Rodríguez has scored 19 goals from outside the box while playing within the top five European leagues (3 for Monaco, 11 for Real Madrid, 3 for Bayern Munich and 2 for Everton), however this was the first he's scored from outside the box with his right foot. Shift. pic.twitter.com/2s64iUdhvN
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2021
James Rodriguez produced the moment of the match when he unleashed a brilliant long-range strike with his weaker right foot. Looked like the best bet to make a difference for Everton thereafter as well, but that did not happen.
Lucas Digne: 7/10
Deployed as a winger against Leicester, Digne was the brightest spark for Everton whenever they charged forward, even delivering a couple of key passes. Involved in the build-up to Rodriguez’s goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 6/10
Yet another Premier League game without a goal, it did not help Calvert-Lewin that Everton spent much of the game behind the ball. Had a chance later in the second half, but could not convert his header. Needs to be back among the goals soon.
Alex Iwobi: N/A
On for Holgate, Iwobi did not make much of an impact late on.
Gylfi Sigurdsson: N/A
On for James Rodriguez, Sigurdsson hardly had any time to make an impact.
Seamus Coleman: N/A
A late introduction, Coleman helped see the game out.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
There was hardly anything that Schmeichel could have done to deny James Rodriguez. However, the Leicester skipper was at hand to make one big stop. Organised the backline well otherwise.
Timothy Castagne: 6/10
Not as impactful as James Justin on the left flank, Castagne’s crosses never reached the target and he also struggled at times against the threat of Lucas Digne. Needs to step up.
Wesley Fofana: 6/10
A big outlet during build-up play, Fofana helped Youri Tielemans out in playing the ball forward and was generally diligent off the ball. However, he could have reacted better to close down James Rodriguez for the opener following his weak clearance.
Jonny Evans: 6/10
Had more work to do on the ball than off it, but kept a check on Calvert-Lewin when required. Taken off for Soyuncu late on.
James Justin: 7/10
Justin was a constant outlet down the left flank, as he usually is, and even came close to scoring a fine long-range goal. Surprisingly solid off the ball as well, dealing with the threat of Richarlison superbly.
Youri Tielemans: 7/10
5 – All five of Youri Tielemans' goals in the Premier League this season have been scored away from home – indeed, he's netted the most away goals of any player yet to score at home this term. Roaming. pic.twitter.com/WfOQcXRaKq
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2021
The player who made the difference in the end, it was Tielemans who netted the equaliser. Had the most touches (108) in the game and always looked to make things happen, even creating a couple of chances, but there were a few sloppy moments on the ball.
Wilfred Ndidi: 7/10
A typically industrious display by Ndidi before he was forced off the pitch with an injury. Rodgers will be very concerned with the status of the Nigerian, who was everywhere before being taken off.
Marc Albrighton: 6/10
As ever, Albrighton’s work-ethic was right up there, always putting in the hard yards in order to keep his side on top. On the ball, though, this was a quiet outing for the Englishman, who did not make much of an impact.
James Maddison: 7/10
A purposeful display from Maddison, who came within inches of extending his goalscoring run. The English international saw a lot of the ball and constantly carried a threat, but could not make a huge difference in the end.
Harvey Barnes: 8/10
An all-action display by Barnes, who was in his elements all through the game. Looked like he will make things happen whenever he saw the ball, playing a game-high 5 key passes. Involved in the goal that Tielemans scored as well.
Harvey Barnes’ game by numbers vs. Everton:
8 attempted take-ons
5 chances created
4 successful take-ons
3 shots [1 on target]
2 ball recoveries
2 tackles won
2 fouls won
Developing into one his side’s most important players. 🔑 pic.twitter.com/bwekZqHKRo
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 27, 2021
Ayoze Perez: 6/10
With Everton sitting deep and compact, it was Perez who suffered the most. While the Spaniard worked hard off the ball, the chances did not fall his way. A frustrating day on all accounts.
Nampalys Mendy: 7/10
Thrown on in place of the injured Ndidi, Mendy was solid in his display, which allowed the likes of Tielemans and Maddison to express themselves with freedom. Will have a big role to play going forward if Ndidi is out for a long time.
Cengiz Under: 6.5/10
On for Albrighton, Under provided an injection on energy on the right flank, with his directness pushing Everton further back. Even played in a key pass, but could not make a lasting impact.
Caglar Soyuncu: N/A
Hardly tested in the final 15 minutes or so after replacing Evans.