Pickford taunts Maddison after bottle tactic leads to penalty miss

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has told James Maddison to “learn his lesson” after his penalty miss on Monday. Maddison saw his effort saved by his England team-mate as Leicester drew 2-2 with the Toffees at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester were handed a golden opportunity to go 3-1 up late in the first half. Michael Keane handled the ball in his own box and Michael Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

But Pickford stood still and saved Maddison’s effort which was tamely struck down the middle. After the save, cameras picked up the homework that Pickford had stuck to the side of his water bottle.

It suggested that Maddison shoots his penalties down the middle 60 per cent of the time. Pickford has revealed he decided on Monday morning that he wouldn’t dive.

And he has taunted Maddison by claiming he should stop playing “poker” with his spot-kicks. Pickford told Sky Sports: “Madders, he needs to learn his lesson. Don’t play poker by the sounds of it.

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“To be fair I do my homework, I called it this morning where I was going to go. But no, he’s a good player and he’ll expect me to make movement.

“He’s got great delivery, if he whips it or opens up I think he expects me to dive, so I’ve double-bluffed him and gone one up on him. So yeah, it was a big moment in the game and quite happy I saved it because that’s what I’m there to do, you know, try and help my team-mates out if they make mistakes.

“Sometimes it’s harsh, the penalty, but I’ll try my best to get them out of trouble. Yeah he does [go down the middle most of the time], the cameraman was good tonight!”

Former Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was in the Sky Sports studio. At half-time he paid tribute to Pickford’s save.

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He said: “You saw Mo Salah against Tottenham and you saw Calvert-Lewin going down the middle. I think a lot of the time on pressure pens the striker will choose to go down the middle and he’s read it well.”

The miss proved costly for Leicester as Everton equalised nine minutes into the second half through Alex Iwobi. Dominic Calvert-Lewin had earlier given the visitors the lead before goals from Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy turned the game on its head in the space of 11 minutes.

Both sides pushed for a winner in a thrilling encounter at the bottom of the table. The point for Leicester moved them above both Leeds and Nottingham Forest, while Everton remain 19th.

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