Everton” have quietly found a new hero

Joe Thomas gives his judgment on Everton” 2-1 Premier League victory over Leicester City.

Leicester City vs Everton goals video


The acts of familiar heroes have overshadowed Everton’s bid for Premier League survival.

Jordan Pickford made some incredible saves against Manchester United and Chelsea.

Richarlison has scored crucial goals against Leicester City, Burnley, and other teams.

And then there were the fans, whose enthusiasm, ambition, and loyalty created the

soundtrack for a fantastic triumph over Leicester City today. They have repeatedly rescued

the Blues from the depths of despair.

But, quietly, a new protagonist has emerged in recent weeks, his improved performances a

driving force behind Everton’s refusal to surrender to the Championship without a fight.

Vitalii Mykolenko‘s entry in Merseyside could not have been more difficult. No one could

have questioned the Ukraine great if he hadn’t played again this season after the invasion of

his homeland. Life is much more than football.

He has heroically opted to continue and has so played a significant part in the club’s

ongoing fight for survival.

Everton supporters have already praised him for his bravery and determination. It felt as if

he just needed a crowning moment to announce his new status at Goodison Park to the rest

of the world.

At home against Chelsea, the 22-year-old came so close. The ball fell to him in space shortly

after Richarlison’s opening, but instead of relieving the tension among the home crowd, his

shot flew high and wide.

Everton” vs Leicester City

The miss did not cost him anything, but his disappointment would have lingered. It is now a

thing of the past.

Few predicted what happened when Alex Iwobi’s cross landed to the defender 20 yards from

goal. Mykolenko’s left-footed first-time shot soared past a diving Kasper Schmeichel and

into the net, sending the stunned away crowd berserk. This was another one in a relegation

battle recently characterized by highlight-worthy, match-winning, and match-saving’moments.’

But, just as the visiting tens of thousands were celebrating Mykolenko’s wondergoal, the

season’s old foe reappeared, as a blunder allowed the hosts to draw level. As a looping,

deflected high ball dropped 30 yards out, Mina and Seamus Coleman collided, and Daka

pounced on the loose ball and blasted past Pickford. It was an all-too-familiar story of

misfortune and blunders, and it was almost repeated seconds later when Mina and Mason

Holgate collided while attempting to deal with another high ball. That incident went unpunished.

Mina couldn’t handle it. Following his comeback from a protracted injury in the reverse fixture last month, the powerful centre back’s return has energised the Blues. The great concern leading into the five games in 14 days that will determine Everton’s Premier League status was if he could play consecutive games. He was replaced by Michael Keane after only 16 minutes of the first half of that run.
Leicester pushed Everton for the next 20 minutes, controlling possession and playing around their middle. When Anthony Gordon chased down a lost cause and won a corner on the half-hour mark, the visitors looked the more dangerous.

Half Time


Leicester fought for an equaliser in the second half, which was wild and furious. They posed a threat, with Pickford making three more outstanding stops to add to his stellar recent record. However, as the game progressed, their strikes faded. Everton posed a threat on the break, but were unable to score a decisive goal. The most strong force in the stadium as the two cancelled each other out was the travelling crowd, which had endured a long wait for success.

They finally got the recognition they deserved on Sunday. Everton earned their first away win since August and their first points on the road under Frank Lampard in a game that meant so much to them. They’re also points that make their Premier League survival look a little more likely.
They’re also points that, after the first shock of Daka’s equalizer, heightened the significance of Mykolenko’s strike.

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