Everton soundly beaten by jubilant Foxes

by | 07/05/2016  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Leicester City 3 - 1 Everton

Kevin Mirallas scored a late goal but it was scant consolation on another miserable afternoon for Everton's travelling faithful

Everton played the gracious guests at Leicester City's coronation, barely putting up a fight against the new Premier League champions who coasted to victory at the King Power Stadium.

Jamie Vardy scored twice and passed up the chance for a memorable hat-trick when he skied a second spot kick over the crossbar while Andy King slotted home to make it 2-0 by the halfway stage.

Kevin Mirallas, on as a second-half substitute for Oumar Niasse and a rare bright spot among the outfield players for Everton, scored a late consolation for the Blues but it wasn't nearly enough to dampen the jubilation among Foxes fans as they marked their inconceivable title triumph with an emphatic win.

With Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman and Gareth Barry out injured, Roberto Martinez started with young defender Matthew Pennington at centre-half alongside John Stones, Tom Cleverley in defensive midfield and deployed Bryan Oviedo as a makeshift right back again despite his horror show at Anfield last month.

Niasse started in the same team as Romelu Lukaku for the first time, with Aaron Lennon and Ross Barkley designed to provide attacking support but there was precious little of it from Martinez's men despite their clear dominance of possession.

If Leicester were distracted by their week of celebrating since the title was confirmed last Monday and the presentation of the trophy at the end, they didn't show it and it took them just five minutes to exploit the visitors' glaring weaknesses when defending crosses.

King took advantage of oceans of space wide on the right to swing in a cross and Vardy pounced on it to knock it past Joel Robles with a first-time finish.

King himself almost doubled the advantage in the 10th minute when he was picked out by another accurate delivery from the right but he planted his header straight at Robles who caught it gratefully.

Christian Fuchs was then almost in as he steamed towards the Blues' box but Lennon had tracked back smartly and dispossessed him with a last-ditch tackle.

Everton had plenty of the ball but struggled to create much going forward but when Oviedo was played in on the overlap to centre for Lukaku in the 16th minute, Marcin Wasilewski toed it away before the Belgian could get to it. Lennon caught hold of a bouncing ball off a corner but fired well wide.

Meanwhile, at the other end, N'Golo Kanté hammered a shot goalwards that Robles initially spilled but was able to gather at the second attempt.

Riyad Mahrez, Leicester's usual star of the show was kept unusually quiet by the combination of Leighton Baines and Cleverley but he played a decisive role in the home side's second goal after 32 minutes. The Algerian danced into the area and between two white jerseys, was slide-tackled by Baines but the ball fell straight to the untracked King who swept home.

Everton improved slightly at the start of the second half and should have halved the deficit almost straight away when Niasse was put clean through but all he managed to do was put the ball straight into Kasper Schmeichel's head as the ‘keeper raced out of his box and the ball was cleared.

The ball came back in again from the other side and Lukaku tried to back-heel in from close range but again Schmeichel was on hand to preserve his clean sheet. And the Dane was there again to deny Lukaku with a point-blank save just before the hour mark when Stones knocked down a corner and the striker nodded goalwards.

Fuchs found himself in on goal again shortly afterwards but was foiled by Robles's out-stretched leg as Leicester threatened to deepen Everton's embarrassment but the Spaniard's save only delayed the inevitable. Three minutes later, Vardy beat the linesman's flag and was bearing down on goal but was tripped by Pennington leaving referee Andre Marriner with no choice but to award a penalty.

Vardy slammed it home, taunted Robles rather unnecessarily as he wheeled away and Leicester were 3-0 up. It should be been 4-0 seven minutes after that but after Darron Gibson had chopped down Jeffrey Schlupp with a late tackle in the box and Vardy was handed a second penalty, the England striker blazed over the bar.

Three more decent openings for Vardy went begging, one where Pennington robbed him of the ball brilliantly at the last second, while Oviedo forced a save from Schmeichel with a shot from distance but it was Mirallas, a 62nd-minute

introduction for Niasse who grabbed Everton's goal with a fine individual goal. His determined run took him past a couple of defenders before he benefited from a fortunate bounce that put in to a one-on-one situation with Schmeichel whom he beat with a neat side-foot finish.

Was to be as good as it would get on a miserable day for Everton who were humbled again in front of a televised audience keeping the focus squarely on Martinez whose time at Goodison Park must surely be coming to an ignominious close.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page

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