Leicester 2-0 Everton: Claude Puel earns first win as visitors' problems mount
By Lewis Jones at the King Power
Last Updated: 30/10/17 7:27am
Claude Puel started life at Leicester with a 2-0 win over Everton, with the visitors remaining marooned in the relegation zone.
With David Unsworth in caretaker charge following the sacking of Ronald Koeman, Everton were punished by Leicester's pace on the break as Jamie Vardy (18) and a heavily deflected Demarai Gray effort off Jonjoe Kenny (28) gave them an early advantage.
Puel, who was appointed as Leicester's third manager of 2017 on Wednesday, had to watch his side defend deep for the majority of the second period - but the visitors lacked the imagination or variation in their play to trouble the scorers.
This latest defeat leaves Everton in the relegation zone having taken just eight points from their opening 10 games, while Leicester climbed to 11th.
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Simpson (7), Chilwell (7), Morgan (7), Maguire (7), Fuchs (7), Gray (8), Iborra (7), Ndidi (7), Mahrez (7), Vardy (7).
Subs: Okazaki (6), Albrighton (6), Iheanacho (6)
Everton: Pickford (6), Kenny (5), Williams (6), Jagielka (5), Baines (6), Lennon (6), Mirallas (6), Gueye (6), Davies (6), Rooney (6), Calvert-Lewin (6).
Subs: Niasse (6), Baningime (6), Sigurdsson (6)
Man of the match: Demarai Gray
Leicester came out of the blocks flying for their new boss and were ahead inside 18 minutes.
The goal was everything Everton lacked; pure pace and aggression. The flowing move was instigated by a 70-yard counter attacking surge by Gray. He released Riyad Mahrez, who crossed for Vardy to sweep home from close range.
Leicester doubled their lead on 28 minutes - although they were given a huge helping hand by the unfortunate Kenny, whose attempted clearance from a Gray centre comically flew beyond his own goalkeeper.
Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray replaced Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton for Leicester while Aaron Lennon made his first Premier League start since January for Everton in one of three changes from the defeat against Arsenal.
Unsworth handed a Premier League debut to 19-year-old Beni Baningime at the break and he looked composed at the base of Everton's midfield, but the visitors remained unimaginative in possession when in the final third.
Fellow substitute Oumar Niasse broke into some appealing positions but his finish was distinctly lacking as Leicester saw out the game relatively comfortably.
As the final whistle sounded, the home fans cheekily chanted: "All that money, and you're going down."
Man of the match: Demarai Gray
His lung bursting run tipped the game in Leicester's favour and he earned the luck he received with his goal, which owed a huge amount to Kenny's wild clearance.
Jamie Carragher said: "He's been spoken about a lot these last couple of years in terms of potential. He's never quite nailed down a position but he's made a great start under the new manager. He'll be thinking he could be a mainstay, especially if Riyad Mahrez becomes a No 10 behind Jamie Vardy."
- Leicester have won three games in a row in all competitions since Craig Shakespeare's departure, having won just three of Shakespeare's last 13 matches in charge.
- Vardy has been involved in 13 goals in his last 15 Premier League games at the King Power Stadium (11 goals, 2 assists).
- Mahrez has assisted nine of Jamie Vardy's Premier League goals - more than any other player.
- Everton named eight English players in their starting XI, the second time they've done so in the space of nine Premier League games (also against Man City); prior to this, they hadn't done so in any of their previous 780 Premier League games, since naming eight in the starting XI against Manchester United on Boxing Day 1997.
- Everton have now conceded 20 goals in the Premier League this season, their most after 10 matches of a league season since 1994-95 (22).
Leicester are in front of the Sky Sports cameras again next Saturday with a lunchtime fixture away at Stoke City while Everton face a trip to Lyon in midweek with the aim of keeping their Europa League hopes alive before hosting Watford next Sunday afternoon.