Jordan Pickford admits ‘double-bluff’ on James Maddison penalty as picture with instructions on water bottle emerges

Everton star Jordan Pickford says he double-bluffed James Maddison before saving his penalty against Leicester.

The England international guessed right after Maddison struck a first-half penalty down the middle in an enthralling 2-2 draw between Everton and Leicester.


Maddison struck down the middle but fellow England international Pickford was equal to it

A picture emerged of Pickford’s water bottle with a list of potential Leicester penalty-takers, including Maddison, containing instructions on what direction they’re likely to kick the ball.

And it clearly showed that the midfielder liked to hit his spot-kicks down the middle, with 60 per cent of his attempts following that pattern.

Pickford jumped on his goal-line before pouncing back into the middle to claw out the penalty, which came at the stroke of half-time and could have put Leicester 3-1 up at the break.

Instead, Alex Iwobi struck a fine volley in the second-half to earn Everton a valuable point at the King Power Stadium with both sides fighting it out at the bottom of the table.

And Pickford explained how he guessed where the penalty would go as early as the morning and revelled in getting ‘one up’ on Maddison.

Pickford told Sky Sports: “I did my homework. I called it this morning where I would go.

Pickford guessed right when Maddison took his penalty


Pickford guessed right when Maddison took his penalty

Pickford might have had some help from his water bottle

Sky Sports

Pickford might have had some help from his water bottle

“He is a good player and he would’ve expected me to move but I double-bluffed him and got one up on him.

“It was a big moment and I’m happy to save it, it’s what I’m there for.”

With only four games left and so many teams still in danger, a point did not do either side any favours in the battle to stay in the Premier League.

Everton stay in the bottom three, sitting 19th, while Leicester went into 16th but still just a point separates them.

Maddison might regret going down his favoured central path

Maddison might regret going down his favoured central path

Iwobi went on to score the equaliser


Iwobi went on to score the equaliser

But Pickford insisted that the Toffees will not go down without a fight ahead of their clash against Brighton next Monday.

He said: “We’re both fighting, both down there and there’s a bit of anxiety on the pitch.

“We got the first goal, which was nice and I thought we played a brilliant 20 minutes and did what the gaffer [Sean Dyche] wants, then we dropped off.

“From the fans’ perspective it was a good game to watch, we created a lot of chances and their goalkeeper made some good saves.

“We missed chances, but created the most since the new manager has come in so it was a plus, but also a negative.

“I thought we were brilliant, it was just those final details with the delivery. Small details win games, but we didn’t get beat.

“Brighton next Monday so rest, recovery and get ready for the game. It’s a point and we don’t come away from Leicester with zero.

“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.”

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