Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved the team’s hopes of staying on by saving a penalty kick. The ‘cheat paper’, which memorized the opponent’s kicker’s habits in advance, changed the result.
On the 2nd (Korean time), Leicester City and Everton, who played round 34 of the 2022-2023 English Premier League (EPL), drew 2-2 at King Power Stadium in Leicester, England.
Since everyone is under threat of relegation, it was a bout that the losing side could fall into the abyss. As the points were divided by 1 point, Leicester became 16th (30 points), and Everton stayed in 19th (29 points). Even though Everton is in the relegation zone, it is a score that can survive in the remaining four games as it is only one point away from Leicester.
It was a penalty kick in extra time in the first half when Leicester were leading 2-1 that had a decisive impact on the match. Leicester’s James Madison stepped up as a kicker, but he read and blocked Pickford’s kick through the middle. Everton, who overcame the danger of widening the score gap, was able to save hope with Alex Iwobi’s equalizer in the 9th minute of the second half.
Pickford’s water bottle garnered attention. The water bottle is usually a place to put notes in preparation for penalty kicks. A bottle of water that Pickford placed next to the goal post read the penalty kick of Leicester’s main kicker. The probability of kicking to the left, center, and right was recorded, and data showed that Madison kicked 60% of the shots in the center. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
In an interview with ‘Sky Sports’ after the game, Pickford said thorough research led to the save. “I just did my homework. Madison is a good player. You would have expected me to move, but I won through a double psychological warfare. Madison should learn a lesson. Don’t gamble,” he declared victory to Madison, who is also a teammate of the England national team. Du said, “It was an important moment. I’m glad I could save it. That’s why I’m in the goal.”
Hope was saved on this day, but Everton needs better results to survive. The remaining schedules are Brighton & Hove Albion (8th), Manchester City (1st), Wolverhampton Wanderers (14th) and Bournemouth (13th). In particular, a big homework is approaching, which is to win points in the two consecutive matches against Brighton and Man City.