Football Features

Everton 2-2 Leicester: Rodgers’ amazing run continues as Foxes scrape through to Carabao Cup semi-final

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:02, 18 December 2019

Leicester City booked their place in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with a penalty shootout win over Everton following a 2-2 draw.

The Foxes have been excellent this season, currently sitting second in the Premier League and had carried that form into the Carabao Cup so far – albeit against weaker opposition.

But it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride against an Everton side buoyed by Duncan Ferguson’s arrival as interim manager, having beaten Chelsea and then drawn with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Leicester took a two-goal lead into half-time thanks to strikes from James Maddison and Jonny Evans and had their chances to make it three after half-time. But Everton managed to pull a goal back through Tom Davies and eventually equalised in injury time with a rocket from Leighton Baines to set up penalties.

However, the Foxes would still pull through winning the penalty shootout 4-2.

Rodgers’ cup run continues: Key stats from Everton 2-2 Leicester…

  • James Maddison has scored in all three of the Carabao Cup appearances this season.
  • Brendan Rodgers has progressed from 29 consecutive domestic cup ties, last failing in the FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool in April 2015.
  • Leicester have scored in their past 15 matches across all competitions.
  • Leicester have reached a cup semi-final for the first time since 2000, en route to winning the League Cup.
  • In the past two seasons Leicester had been knockout out of the Carabao Cup at this stage, both times by Manchester City on penalties.
  • Leighton Baines scored his first goal for Everton in any competition since November 2017.

Can Leicester go all the way?

A lot of focus on Leicester City this season has been surrounding their league form and whether they could be Liverpool’s closest rivals for the Premier League title – or if their top four spot is already secured.

But now there’s another question to be asked: Can Leicester win the Carabao Cup? The Foxes have looked pretty solid in the competition, beating Newcastle United, Luton Town, Burton Albion and Everton. All four of those wins came away from home, and Leicester will be confident of their chances given their current away form and opponents in Aston Villa.

They will also be boosted by the fact it’s two legs, giving them a chance to play in front of the King Power crowd in the Carabao Cup for the first time this season. And then there’s Rodgers’ cup progression record which has spanned three clubs and could be at 30 by the time the first leg against Villa comes around.

However, before the semi-finals Leicester’s attention will return to the Premier League and an FA Cup tie, starting with Saturday’s trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City.

Next five fixtures

21 December 2019: Man City vs Leicester (Premier League)

26 December 2019: Leicester vs Liverpool (Premier League)

28 December 2019: West Ham vs Leicester (Premier League)

01 January 2020: Newcastle vs Leicester (Premier League)

04 January 2020: Leicester vs Wigan (FA Cup)

What next for Ferguson and Everton?

Although the records will show a draw after 90 minutes, Everton did taste defeat for the first time under Ferguson. However, there were still so many positives for them to take away.

After being 2-0 down, the Everton of just a few weeks ago would have crumbled, but Ferguson’s side kept in the game and believed in their abilities to come back. And come back they did, with two wonderful goals.

Prior to his goal, Tom Davies hadn’t had the best game while Leighton Baines was playing 90 minutes for the first time this season at the age of 35. If Ferguson can keep this belief going in what appears to be his final game against Arsenal before Carlo Ancelotti replaces him, the Italian will be taking over a good club.

Next five fixtures

21 December 2019: Everton vs Arsenal (Premier League)

26 December 2019: Everton vs Burnley (Premier League)

28 December 2019: Newcastle vs Everton (Premier League)

01 January 2020: Man City vs Everton (Premier League)

05 January 2020: Liverpool vs Everton (FA Cup)

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Player in focus: Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel didn’t have too much to do in the 90 minutes, making just one save, as Everton did struggle to break down Leicester’s sturdy defence. Even the two goals he did concede, the Dane realistically couldn’t have been expected to do too much better.

Davies’ strike was excellent from outside the area and Baines’ left his foot like a rocket, a shot that would have beaten even the best goalkeeper.

But in the penalty shootout, Schmeichel shone. With Jordan Pickford saving from James Maddison, pressure was on from the start but Schmeichel responded with a stop of his own on Cenk Tosun. He then gave Leicester full control of the shootout by saving Baines’ effort – the former king of penalties – opening a two-goal gap the Foxes would eventually win by.

The rest of the week’s Carabao Cup action

  • Aston Villa 5-0 Liverpool: Jonathan Kodjia scored two of Aston Villa’s five as they comfortably beat a very young Liverpool side, with senior players at the Club World Cup .
  • Oxford United 1-3 Man City: Raheem Sterling scored twice as Man City held off a strong challenge from League One Oxford City, who had equalised just after half-time.
  • Man Utd 3-0 Colchester: After a nervy first half, Man Utd scored three goals in 10 minutes to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Carabao Cup semi-final draw

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Leicester City vs Aston Villa

The first legs will take place in the week commencing January 6, 2020, while the second legs are scheduled for the week commencing January 27, 2020.

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