Premier League
Everton2Leicester1

Everton 2-1 Leicester City

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott joined Everton in a deal worth more than £20m earlier in the transfer window

Manager Sam Allardyce said new signing Theo Walcott had begun to repay Everton after he scored twice in a 2-1 Premier League win over Leicester.

Walcott, making his second appearance since joining for £20m from Arsenal, helped the hosts to their first victory in eight games in all competitions.

The England international opened the scoring by tapping in Gylfi Sigurdsson's pass after Ben Chilwell lost possession in his own penalty area.

Walcott's second came shortly before half-time, volleying in from close range at the back post after Michael Keane headed on Wayne Rooney's lofted pass.

"He has got something to prove and this is a big transfer at this time of his career," said Allardyce. "He has started to pay us back immediately."

Leicester were given a way back into the game with 20 minutes remaining when Rooney conceded a penalty by pulling back Wilfred Ndidi.

Jamie Vardy smashed the spot-kick into the bottom corner for his 12th goal of the season.

There were nervy moments for Everton when Kelechi Iheanacho hit the crossbar and then the post, while Cuco Martina cleared Matty James' shot off the line.

Aleksandar Dragovic cleared a snap shot to deny England winger Walcott a hat-trick, after goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel collided with Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Everton's first win in any competition since 18 December condemned Leicester to a first defeat of 2018.

Hours before the game, Premier League leaders Manchester City decided not to pursue a deal for Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez, who handed in a transfer request on Tuesday.

Walcott shines & Coleman's comeback

Theo Walcott

Full-back Seamus Coleman made his Everton return after 10 months out with a double leg break sustained playing for the Republic of Ireland.

He was one of three changes in the back four from the 1-1 draw against West Brom in Everton's previous league game and he lasted the full 90 minutes.

Coleman, 29, was a reassuring presence in defence for Allardyce's side, and offered a real threat and much-needed width going forward.

He linked up well with Walcott on the right and Everton's best attacks came down that flank.

"It was like having a new player," Allardyce said. "He is the example of a perfect professional and someone for every youngster at Everton to look up to.

"He has been out for months and plays like that. Imagine what he will be like when he is match fit - it's scary.

"A new partnership is born - Theo Walcott and Seamus Coleman down the right. That combination was really good."

Walcott, 28, provided much more than goals, leading Everton's defensive press and winning possession seven times.

Everton had registered only 25 shots on target in their previous 10 games under Allardyce, but they managed four against Leicester, all from Walcott.

The one question mark for Everton will be over another January signing, £27m striker Cenk Tosun, who was dropped to the bench and did not feature.

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Allardyce praises Walcott-Coleman partnership

'Hopefully Mahrez will come back with a smile'

It was reported that Mahrez did not train with his Leicester team-mates on Tuesday before the trip to Goodison Park.

The news Manchester City had walked away from a deal because of the £95m cost filtered through about 17:00 GMT, but Foxes manager Claude Puel said the uncertainty had not been a distraction.

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Leicester lost control of the game - Puel

Although it was a victory to hold on to their talisman, Mahrez was badly missed in the first half as Leicester looked devoid of ideas in attack and struggled with Everton's high press.

Vardy cut an isolated figure up front, while the defence struggled in possession.

Leicester did improve after the break and pushed for an equaliser after the penalty, but one shot on target is not a good return and they will hope Mahrez can slip back in for the visit of Swansea on Saturday.

Mahrez, who has scored nine goals this season, was named PFA Players' Player of the Year when Leicester won the Premier League in 2015-16.

"We will see with Riyad - perhaps there is some disappointment," Puel told Sky Sports.

"Hopefully he will come back quickly and with a smile and happy to play with us. It's a good thing for the club."

Man of the match - Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott
A near perfect performance from Theo Walcott, and Sam Allardyce said the winger has "already started to pay us back"

Stats - Big Sam's big milestone

  • This was Allardyce's 1,000th game in charge of an English club (W389 D263 L348).
  • Walcott has been directly involved in three goals in his first two Premier League games for Everton (two goals and one assist), as many as he had in his previous 20 league games for Arsenal.
  • This was the first time Walcott had scored twice in a Premier League game since October 2016.
  • Since the start of the 2016-17 season, only Kevin de Bruyne (29) and Christian Eriksen (21) have more assists in the Premier League than Gylfi Sigurdsson (16).
  • Marc Albrighton made his 200th Premier League appearance.
  • Jamie Vardy has converted nine of his 11 penalties in the Premier League.

What's next?

Walcott will be reunited with his former club as Everton travel to Arsenal on Saturday (17:30 GMT), while Leicester host Swansea (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 23Coleman
  • 6Jagielka
  • 4Keane
  • 15Martina
  • 17Gueye
  • 26Davies
  • 11Walcott
  • 10RooneySubstituted forSchneiderlinat 81'minutes
  • 18G SigurdssonSubstituted forCalvert-Lewinat 82'minutes
  • 19NiasseSubstituted forWilliamsat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Schneiderlin
  • 5Williams
  • 7Bolasie
  • 14Tosun
  • 29Calvert-Lewin
  • 33Robles
  • 43Kenny

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 18AmarteySubstituted forFuchsat 74'minutes
  • 16Dragovic
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25NdidiBooked at 90mins
  • 22James
  • 11AlbrightonBooked at 90mins
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forDiabatéat 58'minutes
  • 7GraySubstituted forIheanachoat 75'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 8Iheanacho
  • 12Hamer
  • 14Adrien Silva
  • 21Iborra
  • 28Fuchs
  • 29Benalouane
  • 33Diabaté
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
38,390

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 2, Leicester City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 2, Leicester City 1.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Ashley Williams replaces Oumar Niasse.

Attempt missed. Seamus Coleman (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

Attempt missed. Michael Keane (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

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

Foul by Harry Maguire (Leicester City).

Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Dominic Calvert-Lewin replaces Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Morgan Schneiderlin replaces Wayne Rooney.

Attempt blocked. Matty James (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Chilwell with a cross.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box following a corner.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) hits the bar with a left footed shot from very close range following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Demarai Gray.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs replaces Daniel Amartey.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 2, Leicester City 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty Leicester City. Wilfred Ndidi draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Wayne Rooney (Everton) after a foul in the penalty area.

Offside, Everton. Idrissa Gueye tries a through ball, but Oumar Niasse is caught offside.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Aleksandar Dragovic.

Foul by Matty James (Leicester City).

Theo Walcott (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Fousseni Diabaté replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Foul by Oumar Niasse (Everton).

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Everton. Tom Davies tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

Hand ball by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City25222173185568
2Man Utd25165449183153
3Liverpool25148357292850
4Chelsea25155545192650
5Tottenham25146549222748
6Arsenal25126746341242
7Burnley259882022-235
8Leicester259793734334
9Everton2587102840-1231
10Bournemouth2577112836-828
11Watford2576123344-1127
12West Ham2569103143-1227
13Crystal Palace2568112338-1526
14Newcastle2566132335-1224
15Brighton2559111834-1624
16Stoke2566132550-2524
17Huddersfield2566131944-2524
18Southampton25411102536-1123
19Swansea2565141836-1823
20West Brom25311111934-1520
View full Premier League table

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