- Associated Press - Sunday, April 9, 2017

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Two goals from Romelu Lukaku ensured Everton ended Craig Shakespeare’s perfect record as Leicester manager with an entertaining 4-2 victory in the Premier League on Sunday.

There were four goals in the opening 23 minutes, with teenager Tom Davies giving Everton the lead after just 30 seconds. Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton hit back for the champions, only for Lukaku’s strikes either side of a Phil Jagielka header to put Everton out of reach.

Leicester had won five consecutive league games after sacking Claudio Ranieri in February following a run of results that left it just above the relegation zone.

But with survival now all but secured and a Champions League quarter final first leg to come against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Ranieri’s successor made five changes to the starting lineup.

Everton matched a club record by winning its seventh straight home league game, with Lukaku scoring in each of those matches.

It was a frenetic opening at Goodison Park as Kevin Mirallas drove through the center, leaving Leicester defenders in his wake before being hauled down. However, referee Robert Madley played the advantage as the ball rolled into the path of Davies, who placed his finish inside the near post to equal the fastest goal in the Premier league this season.

Just four minutes later, Demari Gray went on a spectacular run of his own, showing blistering pace to carry the ball from one end of the field to the other before releasing Slimani, who calmly slid the ball through the advancing Joel Robles’ legs to level.

There was some fortune attached as Leicester went ahead in the 10th. Marc Albrighton’s free kick from the left wing appeared to be intended as a cross but evaded everyone including Robles to find its way into the top corner.

Unlike Albrighton, Ross Barkley was able to direct his cross perfectly for Lukaku to meet it without breaking stride and head past Kasper Schmeichel to make it 2-2.

Schmeichel made a diving intervention to prevent Barkley getting on the scoresheet himself, but Everton would not be denied from the resulting corner.

Another pinpoint cross, this time supplied by Mirallas, was met by Jagielka in the 41st to give Everton the lead at halftime.

After a comparatively subdued opening to the second half, Everton extended its lead as Leicester once more failed to defend a corner.

Jagielka was involved again as his header rebounded to Lukaku, who powered the ball home at the back post in the 57th minute, taking his league tally for the season to 23.

Seventh-placed Everton extended its lead over West Bromwich Albion to 10 points. Leicester remained 11th.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide