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Perfect start for Puel as Leicester ease past Everton

Pin Claude Puel's first game in charge at Leicester ended with a win. AFP
Claude Puel's first game in charge at Leicester ended with a win. AFP

Perfect start for Puel as Leicester ease past Everton

Tom Smith by Tom Smith @besoccer_com - 0 2,075

Claude Puel’s first game in charge of Leicester was a memorable one with Leicester easily dispatching Everton 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Foxes made a fast start to the game and opened the scoring after a swift break that Jamie Vardy was on the end of.

They quickly doubled their lead with a moment to forget for Jonjoe Kenny, who turned the ball into his own net on the half-hour mark, which, in the end, proved enough to see Puel’s men over the line.

Leicester started the brighter side and gave Everton an early warning sign through Demarai Gray. The winger drove at the Toffees back line and unleashed a low strike from 25-yards out, but it flashed just wide of Jordan Pickford's post.

They continued to press and almost had an opener after Vicente Iborra flicked Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick into the path of Wes Morgan, but the centre-back’s strike was well blocked by Ashley Williams, who got there in the nick of time to save his side.

Gray then broke down the right and cut back for Chilwell, but he couldn’t get over his effort and smashed the ball over the bar.

The hosts finally netted an opener following a sublime counter-attacking move. Wilfred Ndidi cleared a Leighton Baines free-kick, allowing the Foxes to break with Gray, who made a lung-busting run down the right flank, beating Davies and Rooney, before playing a delightful ball into Mahrez. The Algerian calmly squared for Jamie Vardy to easily tuck home and give Leicester a deserved lead.

Everton had a glorious chance to equalise midway through the half when Wayne Rooney picked out the run of Aaron Lennon in behind the Leicester defence. The winger squared for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but he couldn’t sort his feet out in time to tap in and the chance went begging.

And the young striker was left to rue his mistake as Leicester quickly went on to double their lead. Gray whipped in a harmless cross from the left and Kenny, in his attempt to clear the ball, miscued it completely and sliced past Pickford into the net.

The visitors responded well and could have been awarded a penalty when Christian Fuchs brought down Lennon in the box, but referee Andre Marriner waved play on.

They came close to pulling one back through Kevin Mirallas, who twice fired just wide, but Everton ultimately couldn’t find a goal before the first period drew to a close.

David Unsworth’s side continued on the front foot after the restart, with half-time substitute Oumar Niasse having the first opportunity of the second 45. Rooney clipped a ball over the top for the forward at the back post, but his first touch let him down, allowing Kasper Schmeichel to come out and collect.

Both side were limited to audacious overhead kicks, with Vardy, Niasse and Phil Jagielka all trying their luck, and long-range strikes throughout much of the second period.

The hosts finished with purpose and could have added a third in the dying minutes. Vardy broke down the right and found Iborra with plenty of space in the box, but he made a mess of it and scuffed a shot wide.

Leicester closed out the game with ease to hand Puel the perfect start to his tenure at the King Power, but does the result suggest Unsworth is not the right man to succeed Ronald Koeman as Everton manager?

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

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