Premier League
Everton4Leicester2

Everton 4-2 Leicester City

ROmelu Lukaku
Lukaku is now four goals clear of Tottenham's Harry Kane in the Premier League scoring stakes

Everton registered their seventh straight home league win as Romelu Lukaku scored twice to check Leicester's renaissance under boss Craig Shakespeare.

Tom Davies poked in for the hosts after 30 seconds, before Leicester rallied with a slick counter-attacking goal from Islam Slimani and a superb free-kick from Marc Albrighton.

But Leicester, much changed before Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final at Atletico Madrid, never looked comfortable.

Lukaku headed in a Ross Barkley cross to draw Everton level and Phil Jagielka was allowed too much space at a corner as the Toffees reached the break ahead.

Lukaku drilled in from close range after the interval and the withdrawal of the bright Demarai Gray and striker Jamie Vardy seemed to signal Leicester's attentions turning towards Europe.

Onwards and upwards for Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku's future at Everton is uncertain

With his 22nd and 23rd Premier League goals putting him four clear of Harry Kane in the top-flight scoring charts, Lukaku will soon have to search further afield for his scoring benchmarks.

His game-sealing second - a sharp finish after cleverly lurking in the shadow of Jagielka at a corner - means that only five other men have scored more in Europe's top four leagues.

Top goal scorers in England, Spain, Germany & Italy
27 - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
26 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
25 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
24 - Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eden Dzeko (Roma)
23 - Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Anthony Modeste (Cologne), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

The last time that Everton had such a prolific goalscorer was Gary Lineker in the 1985-86 season. Lineker left at the end of that campaign for Barcelona and, after Lukaku turned down a £140,000-a-week contract extension last month, it seems European football is the minimum required to keep him at the club.

Victory moves Everton level with sixth-placed Arsenal, below them on goal difference, albeit having played three games more.

Seventh should be good enough for a Europa League place, however, with Manchester United winning the League Cup and the FA Cup semi-finals being contested by teams above them in the table.

Open-season first half

Yohan Benalouane
Leicester had not lost in the previous seven Premier League games that Yohan Benalouane (centre, hands on hip) has played

One goal in 30 seconds, three inside 10 minutes and five before the half was out. An extraordinary first 45 minutes was more a product of flimsy defending rather than incisive attacking, however.

Leicester have kept clean sheets in their last two games with Yohan Benalouane filling in for Wes Morgan at the centre of defence, but the Tunisian looked out of his depth from the first minute at Goodison Park.

As Kevin Mirallas drove towards the penalty area in the match's first attack he rashly sold himself to spread panic through the visitors backline and allow Davies space to score the joint fastest Premier League goal of the season.

Tom Davies goal
From number 30 Mason Holgate's throw-in (19 seconds), via number 11 Kevin Mirallas' run (23-28 seconds) to number 26 Tom Davies scoring the joint-fastest goal of the season

At the other end Everton seemed to miss the suspended Ashley Williams' authority and organisation as Gray burst forward on a swift counter to slip in Slimani but it was Benalouane's presence, rather than the Wales international's absence, that was to prove the more telling feature of the match.

First the Leicester centre-back allowed Lukaku to stroll in front of him to restore parity in the 23rd minute and then lost contact with Jagielka as the captain sent his side to the dressing room ahead at the end of a breathless first half.

Madrid on the mind for Foxes

Rihad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez was brought on in the 60th minute by Shakespeare (right)

Victory for Leicester at Goodison Park would have extended their winning streak in the league to six matches - more than they achieved at any point in last season's title-winning campaign.

However, their title defence, fatally undermined by their form under Shakespeare's predecessor Claudio Ranieri, has now been eclipsed by their run to the last eight of the Champions League.

The return of the rested Wilfred Ndidi in midfield should add much-needed steel to the side for a testing evening in the Vicente Calderon as they aim for silverware that would arguably surpass even last season's Premier League coup.

Man of the Match - Romelu Lukaku (Everton)

Romelu Lukaku
As well as his two goals, Romelu Lukaku was a constant outlet for his side, contesting eight aerial duels with the Leicester defence

What the managers said

Everton boss Ronald Koeman: "Romelu Lukaku is one of the best strikers in the world and I think the boy is improving in different aspects.

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Koeman pleased despite 'crazy' start

"Everybody knows he's a key player for Everton and we will try to do everything to keep him here but the final decision is always with the player. Everyone knows he has his own ambition but we will try our best.

"After we got to 4-2 we really controlled the game and it's one of the most complete performances of the season."

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare: "We've got a big run of games coming up. I need to use the squad. The team that was picked was good enough to come here and get the result.

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Shakespeare disappointed not to win 'basketball game'

"We've said before we don't dwell on results. We can't do because we're training tomorrow for a big game on Wednesday.

"We have to move on quickly and we will learn from it. You're always a bit disappointed but we will brush ourselves down and we will be ready for Wednesday."

Lukaku out-scores Middlesborough - the stats

  • Everton have now won seven successive Premier League home games - equalling their Premier League club record.
  • Everton have already scored more Premier League goals at Goodison Park in 2017 (26 in seven games) than they did in the whole of 2016 (25 in 18 games).
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored in seven successive Premier League matches at Goodison Park (12 goals) and has scored in all eight appearances there in 2017 overall (seven in league, one in FA Cup).
  • Lukaku's run is the best in Everton's Premier League history at home, beating Duncan Ferguson and Francis Jeffers's runs of scoring in six successive appearances at Goodison Park.
  • Lukaku now has 23 Premier League goals this season; one more than Middlesbrough have as a team (22).
  • This was the first Premier League game to see three goals scored by the 10th minute of the match since Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal in February 2011, when Newcastle came from 0-4 behind.
  • This was only the third Premier League match this season to see five goals scored in the first half, following Hull v Middlesbrough on 5 April and Crystal Palace v Liverpool on 29 October.
  • Phil Jagielka has scored two Premier League goals over the space of six days - his previous two Premier League goals came over a period of 897 days.

What's next?

Everton will look to extend their winning streak at Goodison Park to eight matches when they take on Burnley on Saturday at 15:00 BST. Leicester take on last season's runner-ups Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday at 19:45 BST.

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Robles
  • 30Holgate
  • 38Pennington
  • 6Jagielka
  • 3BainesBooked at 45mins
  • 17Gueye
  • 2SchneiderlinSubstituted forBarryat 73'minutes
  • 26Davies
  • 8Barkley
  • 10R Lukaku
  • 11MirallasBooked at 29mins

Substitutes

  • 18Barry
  • 19E Valencia
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 31Lookman
  • 43Kenny
  • 46Williams

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 13Amartey
  • 29Benalouane
  • 6HuthBooked at 29mins
  • 3Chilwell
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forUlloaat 78'minutes
  • 10KingBooked at 64mins
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 22GraySubstituted forMahrezat 61'minutes
  • 19Slimani
  • 9VardySubstituted forMusaat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Musa
  • 14Kapustka
  • 17Simpson
  • 21Zieler
  • 23Ulloa
  • 26Mahrez
  • 27Wasilewski
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
39,573

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home12
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 4, Leicester City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 4, Leicester City 2.

Hand ball by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).

Robert Huth (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Phil Jagielka (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kevin Mirallas.

Attempt saved. Ross Barkley (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas.

Romelu Lukaku (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City).

Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Marc Albrighton.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Gareth Barry replaces Morgan Schneiderlin.

Foul by Kevin Mirallas (Everton).

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Andy King (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Tom Davies (Everton).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Ahmed Musa replaces Jamie Vardy.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Demarai Gray.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 4, Leicester City 2. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Phil Jagielka following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Phil Jagielka (Everton) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas with a cross.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Daniel Amartey.

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Islam Slimani (Leicester City).

Hand ball by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Morgan Schneiderlin.

Attempt saved. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea31243465254075
2Tottenham31208364224268
3Liverpool32189568402863
4Man City31187660352561
5Man Utd301512346242257
6Arsenal29166761362554
7Everton32159857362154
8West Brom32128123941-244
9Southampton30117123737040
10Watford31107143652-1637
11Leicester31106153951-1236
12Burnley32106163244-1236
13Stoke3299143447-1336
14West Ham32106164257-1536
15Bournemouth3298154559-1435
16Crystal Palace3094173950-1131
17Hull3286183364-3130
18Swansea3284203767-3028
19Middlesbrough31412152237-1524
20Sunderland3155212456-3220
View full Premier League table

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