Premier League - Everton held by plucky Leicester

Premier League, King Power Stadium – Leicester City 2 (Ulloa 22’, Wood 86’) Everton 2 (McGeady 20’, Naismith 45’)

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Premier League - Everton held by plucky Leicester
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Leicester City's Chris Wood scores their second goal of the game against Everton (PA)

Top-flight new boys Leicester City twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Everton on the opening day of the season.

The first top-flight encounter between these teams for a decade was initially an entertaining, full-blooded affair as the promoted hosts did their best to compete with one of English football’s more attractive attacking outfits.

Everton opened their account with Aiden McGeady’s fantastic strike – his first goal for the club – but the Foxes quickly levelled when record signing Leonardo Ulloa capitalised on uncertainty at a corner.

Late in the first half the visitors restored their lead with a classic break down the left, which Steven Naismith finished with aplomb: like McGeady, his goal went in off the crossbar.

The second period was less enjoyable for the neutral as, while Leicester improved, Everton dropped down a gear.

And with four minutes left the hosts equalised for a second time as substitute Chris Wood – who was set to join Wolves earlier in the week – coolly slotted home after a lucky ricochet off Phil Jagielka.

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Aiden McGeady scores for Everton at Leicester (PA)

KEY MOMENTS

20’ – GOAL! Leicester 0-1 Everton: A touch of controversy as it came from a corner that should not have been awarded. Kasper Schmeichel makes a fantastic save from Sylvain Distin, but McGeady is on hand to bend a rasping effort in off the bar, from an impossible angle, through a crowd of players.

22’ - GOAL! Leicester 1-1 Everton: What a response! The hosts win a corner from the restart, and Everton struggle to clear it. A Distin hoof strikes Ulloa, who reacts superbly to drill the loose ball into the bottom right.

34’ – CHANCE! Wes Morgan with a superb block to deny McGeady a second. The Irish winger hadn’t scored for Everton before today.

45’ - GOAL! Leicester 1-2 Everton: Great interplay between Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar down the left, with the former’s low cross touched on by the latter and finished beautifully by Naismith. In off the bar again.

47’ – CHANCE! Gareth Barry with an excellent block as Leicester come close to equalising.

53’ – MISS! The big man had to score, and was unmarked as he aimed a clean, bullet header towards goal – but he gets the angle wrong and puts it well wide.

65’ – MISS! This is a bad one as young sub Jeffrey Schlupp does really well to spring the offside trap, but smashes the ball well over. Really poor.

79’ – SHOULD HAVE BEEN OFF! Bad challenge by Barry on Riyad Mahrez. Barry was already on a yellow, yet he gets away with it.

86’ – GOAL! Leicester 2-2 Everton: Wood, who was about to be offloaded to Wolves, had just come off the bench and he earns his side a point with a cool low finish past Tim Howard. Everton were struggling to deal with a Leicester counter, and the ball rebounded off Phil Jagielka to send Wood one-on-one. No mistake.

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Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa celebrates scoring their first goal of the game against Everton (PA)

KEY STATS

Leicester have not won any of their last six Premier League opening weekend matches, drawing three and losing three.

Everton have conceded at least twice in three of their last four Premier League matches.

TALKING POINT

Is the Roberto Martinez effect a good thing in isolation? He turned Everton from a solid if unspectacular counter-attacking outfit into short-passing entertainers, but they have progressively declined defensively. Maybe he needs a specialist assistant for his back four?

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Wes Morgan (Leicester) – A rock at the back for the new boys, making several key blocks and largely keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet.

PLAYER RATINGS

LEICESTER: Schmeichel 6, De Laet 6, Moore 6, Morgan 7, Konchesky 6, Mahrez 6, King 6, Drinkwater 6, Knockaert 7, Nugent 6, Ulloa 6; Subs: Hammond, Schlupp, Wood

EVERTON: Howard 6, Stones 6, Jagielka 5, Distin 6, Baines 7, McCarthy 6, Barry 6, McGeady 7, Naismith 6, Pienaar 7, Lukaku 5; Subs: Mirallas 6, Coleman 6

MATCH IN A TWEET

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