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Ever insipid Everton!

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Both teams came into this one paddling the same canoe — sufferers of managerial unsteadiness. The host however, were better positioned, having just appointed a substantive manager in Claude Puel, who was overseeing his first competitive game for the King Power giants. For Everton, caretaker manager and former Under-23 coach David Unsworth did little to cover himself in glory; never mind making a point to get the job full time. Ain’t going to happen if you ask me!

Puel made a master stroke change to the Foxes’ starting line-up with the introduction of Demarai Gray, who was making only his 2nd start this campaign. And the young Englishman made it count. Leicester City were on the offensive from the start, with Gray, Wes Morgan and Ben Chilwell asking questions of Everton’s defense. The Toffees looked out of sort in their 4-4-2 arrangement. In contrast, Leicester’s game kind of had some changes to its flow pattern. They passed the ball more fluently, and Gray was having a field day. And with 17 minutes on the clock, the young English player made a blistering run from his own half past three Everton players, found Riyad Mahrez who squared an appetizing pass to Jamie Vardy. The Foxes number 9 made no mistakes hitting the back of the net. Three minutes later, the Foxes could have doubled their lead. Mahrez and Vardy combining effectively but the Algerian failed to hit target. The Foxes were tossing the ball around and teasing their guests.

Gray made it pay day again in the 29th minute when his goal-bound effort was swerved into the net by Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny. Gray was causing so much problem for Unsworth’s grey matter to handle. Shakespeare would have been gnashing his teeth for relegating a veritable warrior in battles he, peradventure, would have emerged victorious had he put his legs on the pitch rather than his butt on the cold bench. The lad was that good!

Everton’s only attacking foray was Kevin Mirallas’ shots in the dying stages of the first 45 minutes.

The second half kicked off with Unsworth making two changes — the ineffectual Aaron Lennon and Mirallas making way for Oumar Niasse and Beni Baningime.

The substitutions kind of elevated the Toffees as they got more involved. Niasse should have hit the bulls eye in the 50th minute when Wayne Rooney found him, unmarked, but the Senegalese’ first touch was appalling.

Everton took control of the game with Leicester content with their 2 goal lead. Both teams made some changes — Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced Rooney in the 73rd minute. Shinji Okazaki came in for Mahrez with 15 minutes left on the clock. Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho made late entries to the game for Puel’s men who held on for 2-0 victory.

Not an explosive game by any standard, but the Foxes won’t care. 3 points in the bag, back-to-back victories convey messages of hope and positivity. Not so for Evertonians. 6 matches already lost in their first 10 games of the season is no way to go for a club that invested hugely on players this campaign. 18th position on the league table — a relegation alert, is a misdemeanor to say the least.

 

Leicester City Vs Everton (5:00pm) : Sunday, October 29, 2017

By Uche Atuma

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