Leicester City 2-0 Everton: Foxes cruise to victory as Blues' problems continue to stack up

First-half goals from Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray gave the Foxes their new boss Claude Puel the best start to life at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester City 2-0 Everton: Foxes cruise to victory as Blues' problems continue to stack up
Photo: Getty Images/Plumb Images.
Leicester City
2 0
Everton
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs, Ndidi, Iborra, Chilwell (Albrighton, min. 82), Gray, Mahrez (Okazaki, min. 74) and Vardy (Iheanacho, min. 90).
Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Lennon (Baningime, min. 45, Mirallas (Niasse, min. 45), Rooney (Sigurdsson, min. 73) and Calvert-Lewin.
SCORE: 1-0 Vardy, Min. 20. 2-0, Gray, Min. 32.
REFEREE: Referee - Andre Marriner (ENG)

First-half goals from Jamie Vardy and Demarai Gray were enough for Leicester City to pick up all three points against Everton, as the visitors' winless run continues.

New manager Claude Puel’s team completely dominated the first-half against interim boss David Unsworth’s visiting side to compound the Toffees' problems in the Premier League as they remain winless since the end of September.

Vardy opened the scoring after 20 minutes following a dazzling 60-yard run from Gray. The winger beat Tom Davies in his own half, then proceeded to blow past Idrissa Gueye on the half-way line before laying off a simple ball to Riyad Mahrez who was unmarked.

The Algerian winger simply had to slide a ball across the Everton box to Vardy as the striker proceeded to hammer home past Jordan Pickford to cap off a brilliant Leicester counter-attack.

From there, it was evident that the Blues defence was unable to handle the Foxes’ pace as they found joy and space against Unsworth’s sides high-line.

Puel’s side doubled their lead 12 minutes later as again Gray showed he was too much for the Everton back line to hand.

The 21-year-old jockeyed with Davies again before whipping a ball into the Everton box. Jonjoe Kenny appeared to clear the cross but with the ball bouncing in front of him, Gray’s attempted cross room a deflection off the young defender and skidded past Pickford at his back post.

Foxes control first 45

The first-half was all about Puel’s sides energy and pace. They found joy down the wings against Leighton Baines and Kenny but were only encouraged by Unsworth’s side to continue their attacking freedom by the Blues defensive high-line.

Early chances came for Ben Chilwell and Wes Morgan as the pair fired close-range chances over the bar from successive corners.

The Blues didn’t trouble Kasper Schmeichel until late into the first period but spots of the own pace caused his defence problems.

Wayne Rooney produced a number of through balls that found their way in beyond Christian Fuchs and that’s where the Blues had found their opening. Yet, they were unable to make it pay.

Another ball behind the Austrian left-back had Everton players screaming for a penalty just before half-time but had their protests waved away by referee Andre Marriner. Aaron Lennon was fouled by Fuchs as he burst towards the six-yard-box.

Despite being clearly fouled the penalty shout was not given, only adding to the Blues first-half misery.

Kevin Mirallas was an energetic outlet for Unsworth’s side. The Belgian forward had two curling efforts from outside the 18-yard-box but Schmeichel was equal to both.

Two goals down, Unsworth’s side continued pushing forward but their high-line at the back gave the Foxes something to attack.

Seemingly taking their foot off the gas, Puel’s side offered little going forward with the first-half coming to a close but the Blues remained unable to trouble Schmeichel and his defence.

Visitors in free fall but second half better

Just like Wednesday’s defeat to Chelsea, Everton showed fight in the second-half but the damage had been done.

Half-time changes saw Unsworth bring off his wide players in Lennon and Mirallas and replaced them with youngster Beni Baningime and Oumar Niasse, changing system to a midfield diamond with the Congo-born 19-year-old, being used as the protector of the back-line.

The changes allowed the Blues to push further up the pitch and win the ball back inside the Foxes half but as in the first half, they remained unable to trouble Schmeichel or his defence.

Niasse and Calvert-Lewin both went close but not close enough.

Rooney was replaced late by record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson and as he trotted off to the subs bench, the former England captain seemed unimpressed by the decision.

The Blues, with only two wins from fourteen games, are staring down a battle nobody saw coming in pre-season, a relegation battle.

Manager-less and with a crucial Europa League game with Lyon during the week before returning to Goodison Park next Sunday to take on Watford, the worst possible scenarios are becoming serious realities for the Toffees.