Leeds vs Everton: Exhilarating draw at Elland Road
Leeds vs Everton was a brilliant end-to-end clash at Elland Road, as the game swung back and forth in Yorkshire.
But it ended even.
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Everton twice took the lead as Dominic Calvert-Lewin slammed home a penalty kick, then Demarai Gray put them ahead.
Leeds equalized twice through Mateusz Klich and Raphinha with quality finishes as Marcelo Bielsa’s side tried to use the energy of the home fans at Elland Road.
Everton now have four points for the season under Rafael Benitez, while Leeds have their first point of the campaign.
Leeds vs Everton final score, stats, results
Goals scored: Leeds (Klich 41', Raphinha 72'); Everton (Calvert-Lewin 30', Gray 50')
Shots: Leeds 17, Everton 17
Shots on target: Leeds 4, Everton 8
Possession: Leeds 70, Everton 30
3 things we learned, Leeds vs Everton
1. Defensive issues for Leeds: Marcelo Bielsa’s men had a lot of the ball, as always, but they made some really bad defensive errors. From giving away a soft penalty kick to allowing Calvert-Lewin to run in-behind and not locking down the space in front of their back four. Leeds only have one way of playing but it is leaving them wide open and they have now conceded seven goals in their first two games of the season.
2. Strong start for Rafa: A lot of Everton fans are starting to change their opinion on Rafael Benitez. The Spanish coach is unbeaten in his first two games of the season, getting four points on the board already, and Everton look dangerous going forward. They need to clean things up defensively a little but Benitez is a master at doing that. Positive signs early on for Rafa.
3. Wing play key for Everton: It worked last week and was so close to getting them back-to-back wins to open the season. Demarai Gray was excellent, while Digne and Richarlison whipped in some great deliveries for Calvert-Lewin to attack. Everton are keeping it simple and causing so many problems by getting the ball wide early and often, then trying to find Calvert-Lewin.
Man of the Match: Abdoulaye Doucoure - Went so close to winning it late on and dominated midfield.
Leeds started off on the front foot but Everton had a big chance as Demarai Gray surged forward and whipped in a cross towards Calvert-Lewin, but the England forward just couldn’t stretch enough to convert it at the back post.
Calvert-Lewin a handful
Everton then won a penalty kick as a cross came in from the left from Lucas Digne and Liam Cooper was all over Calvert-Lewin, as he clearly pulled his shirt and stopped him from attacking the ball.
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After referee Darren England used the pitch-side monitor after VAR told him to have a look at the incident, a penalty was awarded.
Calvert-Lewin slammed the penalty home past Illan Meslier to put the Toffees were ahead and it got very tasty in Yorkshire.
Leeds fight back
Patrick Bamford and Yerry Mina were involved in some lively clashes, with both players booked, as the red-hot atmosphere saw things boil over on the pitch.
Leeds equalized before half time as Bamford got the ball just ahead of Michael Keane and played in Klich who finished calmly to level things up.
But the game wasn’t level for long.
Early in the second half the ball was played into Abdoulaye Doucoure and he set up Gray who took his time to beat his man and then smashed home low across goal.
Cue wild scenes in the away end as Gray grabbed his first goal as an Everton player.
Calvert-Lewin almost grabbed his second and Everton’s third but his low shot was saved by Meslier. Meslier was then denied by Calvert-Lewin after being slotted through but Leeds fought back into the game.
Leeds show quality
Kalvin Phillips whipped in a cross from the left after a corner was only half cleared and eventually the ball dropped to Liam Cooper who set up Raphinha to curl home.
Richarlison curled inches wide late on as both teams chucked players forward in search of the win. Doucoure had a shot which hit Cooper and went inches wide.
VAR was used in stoppage time as Fabian Delph flew into a challenge, but no penalty kick was given.