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Premier League

  • February 22, 2015
  • • 22:05
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 38904

Everton 2-2 Leicester City: Late Lukaku header spares Toffees

Everton 2-2 Leicester City: Late Lukaku header spares Toffees

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Roberto Martinez's side struck late on after having been 2-1 behind where goals from David Nugent and Esteban Cambiasso had seemed like they would be enough for the visitors

Everton scored in the final minutes to claim a 2-2 draw with Leicester City in Sunday's Premier League clash.

Two errors from home goalkeeper Tim Howard were punished as Leicester responded to Steven Naismith's opener with goals from David Nugent and Esteban Cambiasso.

By Pete O'Rourke

If the first half was pretty forgettable the second half was anything but as both sides finally found their attacking edge.

After Steven Naismith had given Everton the lead Leicester turned the game on its head with a brilliant double substitution by Nigel Pearson. Substitutes Jamie Vardy and David Nugent combined for the equaliser with boyhood Evertonian Nugent scoring after Tim Howard spilled Vardy's cross.

Esteban Cambiasso looked to have earned Leicester a rare away win when he turned home Nugent's cross after another mistake from Howard, but Romelu Lukaku made up for some glaring misses with an equaliser two minutes from time.

The point does neither side any good with Leicester four points from safety, while Everton have failed to win any of their last six matches at home to leave the natives restless at Goodison Park.
The Premier League's bottom side looked set to climb within two points of safety as a result, only to suffer late heartbreak as Romelu Lukaku's diving header deflected into the back of the net via Matthew Upson.

Naismith put Everton in front after 57 minutes with a scuffed finish, but the game then turned on a pair of mistakes from the experienced Howard.

The United States shot-stopper spilled a low cross to gift boyhood Everton fan Nugent a 63rd-minute equaliser and failed to deal with Danny Simpson's right-wing delivery in the build-up to Cambiasso's close-range strike seven minutes later.

Lukaku spurned a host of chances for Everton, but the Belgium forward ultimately came good as he met Christian Atsu's cross and saw his diving header brush off Upson to leave Mark Schwarzer with no chance.

Everton saw left-back Leighton Baines return to the side after three games out with a knee problem, but his recall did not inspire a fast start as both teams offered little going forward in the opening stages.

Lukaku perhaps should have given Everton the lead in the 22nd minute, only to blaze over the crossbar from six yards following good work down the right-hand side from Seamus Coleman.

In-form lone frontman Andrej Kramaric then went close for Leicester, who recalled Robert Huth, the Croatian curling over from the edge of the area.

Jeffrey Schlupp may have broken the deadlock with the final kick of the first period had John Stones not produced a fine block to deflect his effort wide with the goal gaping.

But if Schlupp was unfortunate not to score on that occasion, he had no excuse just after the restart as a gilt-edged chance went begging.

The midfielder somehow skewed wide of the right-hand post on the rebound after Howard had only managed to parry a low effort from Matty James.

Leicester were made to pay for Schlupp's profligacy when Naismith struck his sixth league goal of the campaign.

Naismith collected the ball from Lukaku and worked his way into the box before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Everton, seeking a first home league win since mid-December, were subsequently pegged back as Howard failed to collect a low cross from Jamie Vardy, with the ball the ricocheting off Stones and into the path of Nugent to tap home.

Lukaku then curled over when through on goal at the other end and Leicester took advantage by capitalising on another Howard gaffe to complete the turnaround.

The former Manchester United stopper flapped at Simpson's lofted cross, before Vardy pulled the ball back for Cambiasso to turn home.

Cambiasso's strike looked to have ensured a vital three points for Nigel Pearson's men, but Lukaku levelled matters again to rescue a draw for the Toffees.