Returning Vardy leads Leicester to Toffees triumph on Premier League coronation day
Lee Gormley | May 7, 2016
Leicester City 3-1 Everton
- Jamie Vardy strikes after just five minutes on his return to action
- Andy King adds a second on 33 minutes following his assist for opener
- Vardy tucks home second-half penalty after winning it himself
- The Foxes frontman then misses second spot-kick after 70 minutes
- Kevin Mirallas pulls a consolation goal back in dying minutes
- Leicester lift the Premier League title after win
Foxes down Toffees before title presentation
Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City rallied to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium, on an evening when Foxes skipper Wes Morgan lifted their Premier League trophy in front of rapturous home support.
The celebrations had already begun well before kick-off, but the hosts made sure there was further reasoning for jubilant scenes, as Jamie Vardy netted only five minutes into his first outing since returning from suspension.
Midfielder Andy King had perfectly set the Foxes’ in-form marksman up for that opener before dispatching the second himself. Vardy then converted a second-half penalty and missed a second spot-kick to secure a routine triumph, with Kevin Mirallas bagging a consolation, before the eventual title presentation.
Vardy kicks off celebrations early
Before kick-off, the King Power faithful were treated to a breathtaking rendition of Nessun Dorma from Italian tenor and composer Andrea Bocelli, a close friend and compatriot of Leicester boss Ranieri, evoking memories of Italia ’90.
When proceedings eventually got underway, it was Everton who were orchestrating the opening stages, as they dominated possession with the likes of James McCarthy and Tom Cleverley seeing plenty of the ball, while Ranieri even got an early touch on the sidelines.
Having missed the last two outings through suspension, it took just five minutes for Vardy to open the scoring on his return to action, firing in from close range after a delightful right-sided cross from King, who has now won league titles in three different divisions with his club.
After setting up the opener with a pinpoint delivery, King almost turned from provider to goalscorer after 10 minutes, as he got a header on Riyad Mahrez’s identical cross from the right wing, but Joel Robles was equal to the task this time.
The Foxes continued to allow the visiting Merseysiders to dictate play as they searched for their usual burst forward on the break. They were able to find it with 13 minutes gone too, following a typical interception from N’Golo Kante, but Christian Fuchs was denied by a well-timed challenge from Aaron Lennon.
King extends Leicester lead
If Leicester’s season was one of overachieving, then Everton’s have undoubtedly been underachieving, as they haplessly lie in the lower positions of the domestic standings, and they were showing no real signs of danger in the first-half on their travels.
Kante was controlling things in the middle now, with McCarthy and Cleverley’s influence vanishing, while Romelu Lukaku was finding it increasingly frustrating up front and Mahrez was giving Leighton Baines plenty of problems.
A downpour of rain had hit the King Power, but nothing could dampen the home spirits, especially after King came charging into the Toffees box on 33 minutes to tuck home his side’s second, following great work from Mahrez, who got the better of Baines once again.
PFA Player of the Year Mahrez went surging at the Everton defence on the verge of half-time, with young centre back Matthew Pennington taking him out and receiving a cautioning for his efforts, though the Foxes couldn’t add a third as the midway point was reached.
Toffees miss chance to fight back
After the break, Everton had a great chance to pull one back through Oumar Niasse, but the Senegal forward was unable to dispatch past Kasper Schmeichel from a precise Ross Barkley pass, while the stopper later thwarted Lukaku from close range too.
With the hour mark passed at the home of the champions, Marc Albrighton and Shinji Okazaki almost created an opening for a third goal, if not for John Stones standing strong in his penalty area.
Joel was then on hand to deny flying full back Fuchs as he found himself one-on-one in front of goal off a Mahrez through ball, as the Foxes, who are 25/1 with Coral to retain their crown next season, remained just two in front.
Vardy scores then misses from spot
Vardy again was causing havoc to the Everton backline, and Pennington paid the price for a clumsy coming together with the Leicester frontman, as the youngster conceded a penalty. It was the fouled England striker that then thumped home from the spot to extend the lead to 3-0 with his 23rd league strike of this sensational campaign.
Jeffrey Schlupp was then the man to be taken out in the danger area by substitute Darron Gibson, but Vardy was unable to go level with Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, as he sent his second spot kick sailing well over the crossbar after 70 minutes.
Roberto Martinez’s soft Toffees were sitting back and letting the hosts control the latter proceedings, as they looked well consigned to a disappointing defeat on the road, though Belgium winger Mirallas was able to beat Schmeichel after 88 minutes with a tidy finish.
Although, Leicester saw out the final minutes to earn a well deserved 3-1 success before Morgan and co finally got their hands on their Premier League trophy, as celebrations rightfully continued.