Leicester City and Everton both remained deep in relegation trouble after slugging out a 2-2 draw in a gripping basement battle at a raucous King Power Stadium on Monday.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s first goal since October, a penalty in the 15th minute, put Everton ahead, but Leicester equalised seven minutes later when Caglar Soyuncu fired home.

Jamie Vardy‘s clinical finish gave Leicester the lead in the 33rd minute and in a manic end to the opening half, Everton missed two open goals and Leicester playmaker James Maddison had a penalty saved by Jordan Pickford.

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Alex Iwobi dragged Everton level with a volley 10 minutes into the second half and both sides strove for the winner that would have given their survival hopes a huge boost.

In the end, they both had to settle for a point which moved Leicester out of the relegation zone with 30 points from 34 games.

Everton — who have not been out of the top-flight for 69 years, but look increasingly likely to drop into the second tier — remain next to bottom with 29 points from 34 games. They trail Nottingham Forest and Leeds as well as Leicester by a point.

“It’s a point and we don’t come away from Leicester with zero,” Pickford said. “We know we’re still in the bottom three and it’s very tight down there.

“We roll our sleeves up and keep working hard with a fighting spirit.”

If ever there was a relegation six-pointer it was Monday’s Bank Holiday clash between the sides occupying 18th and 19th places in the table and the contest ebbed and flowed throughout to keep a fired-up crowd on the edge of their seats.

Everton, now without a win in 13 away games, began full of energy and Iwobi was denied by a superb Daniel Iversen save.

Calvert-Lewin, Everton’s often forgotten striker due to his long spells in the treatment room, then put his side ahead with a clinical penalty after being nudged over by Timothy Castagne.

Everton’s lead was short-lived though as their defence failed miserably to deal with a set piece and Soyuncu half-volleyed past Pickford while slipping.

The roof lifted off the stadium when Maddison’s slide-rule pass released veteran Vardy and the ever-reliable striker rounded Pickford to put his side ahead.

An incredible end to a rip-roaring first half saw Everton twice squander gilt-edged chances to equalise as Dwight McNeil was denied by a reflex save from Iversen and then Calvert-Lewin somehow failed to convert a tap-in with the goal gaping — diverting the ball straight at Iversen’s legs.

Seconds later, Vardy dinked a lob against the bar and deep into stoppage time, after Everton’s Seamus Coleman went off on a stretcher, Leicester were given a penalty for a Michael Keane handball, but Maddison’s tame kick was beaten away by Pickford.

“I double-bluffed him and got one up on him,” Pickford said.

Everton took advantage of their let-off to equalise in the 54th minute when McNeil’s cross was flicked on by Calvert-Lewin and Iwobi was unmarked to dispatch a volley into the net.

Both sides went for the win and Leicester came closest as Pickford got in a terrible tangle after a dash out of goal, but puffed out his cheeks in relief as Vardy’s shot rolled agonisingly wide of an empty goal.

While Leicester moved up a couple of places, they remain in grave peril in a relegation battle likely to go to the wire.

“This was probably the worst we’ve played in my four games so far. The important thing is you don’t lose these games,” Leicester’s interim coach Dean Smith said.

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Leicester City vs. Everton – Football Match Report – May 1, 2023