Everton Sink Leeds To Stay in Top-Four Hunt

Everton
Soccer Football – Premier League – Leeds United v Everton – Elland Road, Leeds, Britain – February 3, 2021 Everton’s Michael Keane and Yerry Mina celebrate after the match Pool via REUTERS/Michael Regan

LEEDS — Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured a 2-1 win at Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday and kept their side in contention for a top-four finish after the visitors soaked up second-half pressure.

The result lifted Everton to sixth on 36 points from 20 games, four behind Liverpool in fourth and two adrift of fifth-placed West Ham United who have both played two games more.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with his team bouncing back from Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by struggling Newcastle United, having singled out goalkeeper Robin Olsen who stood in for the injured Jordan Pickford.

“The reaction after the Newcastle defeat was very good,” the Italian told BT Sport. “Robin Olsen did well, he knows his role. He is confident and he’s an experienced goalkeeper.”

Everton took a ninth-minute lead through Sigurdsson who steered a sharp low cross by Lucas Digne past goalkeeper Illan Meslier before Egzjan Alioski rattled the woodwork with a long-range volley at the other end.

Olsen then kept Everton in the driving seat as he denied Mateusz Klich and Pascal Struijk before the visitors struck again in the 41st minute with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring against the run of play. 

Soccer Football – Premier League – Leeds United v Everton – Elland Road, Leeds, Britain – February 3, 2021 Leeds United’s Pablo Hernandez in action Pool via REUTERS/Jon Super

The striker netted his second league goal in the last 10 games as he dived at the far post to head home a Ben Godfrey flick on after Sigurdsson delivered an inswinging corner. 

Leeds pulled one back shortly after the break when Brazilian winger Raphinha side-footed past Olsen from 10 metres after Mason Holgate failed to clear the danger and the hosts then pegged Everton back.

The outstanding Olsen made four stunning saves in the space of 30 seconds midway through the second half as Everton ground out their fourth successive away win and only their second in 38 top-flight visits to Elland Road.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa rued his dominant side’s missed chances after they were thwarted by the superb Olsen. 

“It is a game where we could easily have drawn,” he said as Leeds remained in 11th place on 29 points from 20 games. 

“We could perhaps have had more than a draw. In the first half we had an initial 30 minutes that was good and in the final 15 it was difficult for us to create any danger. In the second half after the 2-1 we had chances to draw or win.”

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris; Reuters

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