Premier League
EvertonEverton2LeicesterLeicester City3

Everton 2-3 Leicester City

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport
Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez celebrate Leicester's third goal
Leicester are now five points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League

Leicester City ensured they will be top of the Premier League at Christmas by beating Everton at Goodison Park.

Riyad Mahrez scored the first of two penalties after Ramiro Funes Mori held back Shinji Okazaki.

Romelu Lukaku levelled, but Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard tripped Jamie Vardy to allow Mahrez to again convert from the spot.

Okazaki fired in a third for the Foxes, who held on despite Kevin Mirallas' late strike.

Relive Leicester's win over Everton

Listen to Leicester fan sobbing on BBC Radio 5 live

Leicester, predicted to be relegation candidates by many commentators before the start of the season, are now the only team in Premier League history to be bottom on Christmas Day one year and top the following Christmas.

Claudio Ranieri's side will go into their game at Liverpool on 26 December as leaders, regardless of the result of Monday's match between second-placed Arsenal and third-placed Manchester City.

No sign of Foxes bubble bursting

Discussion around Leicester's remarkable season has centred on how long they can continue to upset the odds and remain in the title picture.

Once again they provided an energetic, controlled performance that will leave the doubters waiting at least one more week for any signs of a collapse.

Vardy touches
Jamie Vardy's touches in the opposition area were few and far between, but he made the most of his small number of opportunities

There was a worry for Leicester late on as Vardy clutched his hamstring while being replaced, and Ranieri will know that the fitness of his England striker is key to his side's burgeoning title hopes.

Vardy, who has 15 league goals this season, has been a sensation, alongside team-mate Marhez, who took his tally to 13 with two well-taken penalties.

The pair were involved in all the Leicester goals, Mahrez releasing Vardy to win the penalty for Leicester's second, and former Fleetwood forward Vardy providing the low cross which Okazaki shot left-footed into the bottom-left corner.

Gary Lineker tweet
Match of the Day presenter and Leicester City fan Gary Lineker got what he wished for

Toffees fans getting restless

Everton played their part in an entertaining, open game, but it was not enough to prevent extending their winless run in the league to four games, following three successive draws.

There were notable groans and sounds of frustration around Goodison Park in the latter stages, which will make manager Roberto Martinez aware he is not matching the expectations of his club's supporters.

Lukaku's continuation of his scoring run, which now stands at seven consecutive Premier League games, was made possible by of the industry of Ross Barkley, who had two efforts on goal before the ball fell to the Belgian to fire into the far corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

And it was Barkley's creativity again that gave Everton late hope, as he slipped in Mirallas with a clever backheel flick for a sweetly hit 89th-minute strike past Kasper Schmeichel at the near post.

But Barkley's performance was not enough to lift the 10th-placed Toffees out of their mid-table slumber.

Robbie Savage tweet
Leicester can win the league, says their former midfielder Robbie Savage

Man of the match - Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
Like most of his team-mates, Vardy was everywhere. Everton did well to keep him away from goal early on, but he still ended up with two assists

What they said

Everton boss Roberto Martinez: "Leicester will always make it a game that will suit them. That's real credit to them.

Everton have to be better - Martinez

"They are outstanding on the counter-attack and I thought we stopped that really well.

"They tried to take as long as they can with every restart and it seems that frustrated our play a little bit.

"We had a sense of control and that allowed Leicester to get goals from disappointing positions. We need to learn and get a lot better."

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri: "I am satisfied because we were against a fantastic team. We worked so hard to concentrate during all the match.

Ranieri enjoying Foxes 'dream'

"It only gets harder when you are down the table. For our fans and everybody it is a dream. We have to concentrate now and clear our mind.

"Our target is 40 points and I want to speak to my players. It is important to understand what they believe they can achieve and also I will say my ideas about them.

"If some players relax they go out the team. That is my philosophy and they know that."

The stats you need to know

  • Only 11 of the previous 23 teams to have been top of the Premier League at Christmas have gone on to win the title, although five of the past six
  • Jamie Vardy has won six penalties in the Premier League since the start of the 2014-15 season, more than any other player
  • Riyad Mahrez has scored seven goals in nine Premier League appearances in the month of December, including 2015
  • Jamie Vardy has scored or assisted a goal in 15 successive Premier League appearances, extending his own Premier League record
  • Romelu Lukaku is the first Everton player to score in eight successive matches in all competitions since Dave Hickson between January and March 1954
  • Gareth Barry made his 100th competitive appearance for Everton; it is the third team for which he has played at least 100 games in all competitions (also Man City and Aston Villa)
  • Leighton Baines made his 250th Premier League start for Everton, only the fourth player to do so after Tim Howard, Leon Osman and David Unsworth

What next?

Everton travel to Newcastle on 26 December, looking for a first league win in five games, while Leicester are at Liverpool, before hosting Manchester City in a top-of-the-table clash on 29 December.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 24HowardBooked at 64mins
  • 23Coleman
  • 5Stones
  • 25Funes MoriBooked at 61mins
  • 3Baines
  • 20Barkley
  • 18Barry
  • 15Cleverley
  • 19DeulofeuSubstituted forLennonat 74'minutes
  • 10Lukaku
  • 9KonéSubstituted forMirallasat 74'minutes


  • 1Robles
  • 4Gibson
  • 11Mirallas
  • 12Lennon
  • 17Besic
  • 21Osman
  • 32Galloway


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 27WasilewskiBooked at 81mins
  • 5Morgan
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forde Laetat 83'minutes
  • 10King
  • 14Kanté
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forDyerat 71'minutes
  • 20Okazaki
  • 9VardySubstituted forUlloaat 87'minutes


  • 2de Laet
  • 19Kramaric
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Dyer
  • 29Benalouane
  • 32Schwarzer
  • 33Inler
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamLeicester
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 2, Leicester City 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 2, Leicester City 3.

  3. Post update

    John Stones (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tom Cleverley (Everton).

  6. Post update

    Nathan Dyer (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  8. Post update

    Hand ball by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Barry (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

  11. Post update

    Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Marcin Wasilewski (Leicester City).

  13. Post update

    Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Dyer (Leicester City).

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Everton 2, Leicester City 3. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Lennon.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Jamie Vardy.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Marcin Wasilewski.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Ritchie de Laet replaces Riyad Mahrez.

As It Stood

3Man City16102432171532
5Man Utd178542214829
6Crystal Palace179262316729
8West Ham166642521424
13West Brom175571723-620
20Aston Villa1714121431-177
View full Premier League table

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