Leicester 0-2 Everton: Toffees increase pressure on champions
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 27/12/16 7:28am
Everton beat Leicester City 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day to increase the pressure on the struggling Premier League champions.
The visitors opened the scoring through Kevin Mirallas six minutes into the second half, before Romelu Lukaku's injury-time strike wrapped up the points.
As a result, Claudio Ranieri's side have slipped to 16th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone, while Everton have moved up to seventh place.
Leicester left both Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater on the substitutes' bench, while they also brought in Shinji Okazaki, Ben Chilwell and Marcin Wasilewski for the suspended Jamie Vardy, Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman benched Ross Barkley and Enner Valencia after their last-gasp loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, with Gareth Barry and Mason Holgate coming in, while Joel Robles and Kevin Mirallas replaced the injured Maarten Stekelenburg and James McCarthy.
However, in a desperately disappointing first half, one of the few highlights was the sight of the suspended Vardy wearing one of the face masks bearing his own face that the club's owners had placed on every seat in the stadium ahead of kick-off in protest at the appeal over the striker's three-game ban being rejected.
The champions began the contest playing with pace, closing down their opponents at will, with first Daniel Amartey testing Robles with a low drive from 25 yards, before Demarai Gray - in for Mahrez - flashed an effort just past the Spaniard's far post.
Other than that, it was the assured display of Chilwell on his Premier League debut that was the main talking point at the break, with the 20-year-old outstanding at the back for the Foxes.
But the contest really came to life after Mirallas's 51st-minute strike broke the deadlock, the visitors' first effort on target in the game, although Ranieri will be furious with his team's defending for the goal.
Robles launched a long ball upfield that somehow made its way through to the Belgian, who then kept his cool to beat Kasper Schmeichel with a low drive from the right-hand edge of the area, albeit with the help of a crucial deflection off Wasilewski's leg.
That prompted Ranieri to bring on both Mahrez and Leonardo Ulloa, with the latter immediately spurning a great chance to equalise with his first touch after placing a header straight at Robles from an unmarked position near the penalty spot.
Thereafter Everton had few worries seeing out the contest, with Idrissa Gueye somehow firing over from just six yards out with seven minutes to go after being picked out by Lukaku's inviting ball across the box, before the Belgium international sealed his team's win.
Again it came from a routine clearance by Robles for Lukaku to fight for with Wes Morgan near the right-hand touchline, a battle that the powerful frontman won hands down as he brushed aside his marker's attentions.
After that there was only ever going to be one result with Lukaku bursting into the box, turning Wasilewski inside out, before easily beating Schmeichel as Leicester suffered their ninth loss of the season, three times as many as they managed in the whole of the previous campaign.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Wasilewski (6), Chilwell (8), Gray (7), King (6), Amartey (7), Albrighton (6), Slimani (6), Okazaki (6)
Used subs: Drinkwater (6), Ulloa (7), Mahrez (6)
Everton: Robles (8), Holgate (6), Ashley Williams (7), Funes Mori (6), Coleman (6), Gana (7), Barry (6), Baines (7), Lennon (6), Mirallas (7), Lukaku (7)
Subs: Barkley (7), Cleverley (6), Davies (6)
Man of the Match: Joel Robles