Leicester City 3-1 Everton: Jamie Vardy makes a goalscoring return as Premier League champions put on a show
The party was well underway in Leicester, but the newly-crowned Premier League champions showed no hangover as they beat Everton 3-1 at the King Power.
Leading marksman Jamie Vardy made a goalscoring return, beating Joel Robles after just five minutes. Claudio Ranieri has been hailed the new King in East Midlands, but it was midfielder Andy King who increased the volume in the stadium after 33 minutes when he lashed home with a royal finish inside the box.
Vardy did well to beat the offside trap on 65 minutes and he was brought down in the box by Matthew Pennington. The England forward stepped up to coolly fire past Robles – his 26th goal for club and country this season – to send the Foxes even further in dreamland.
The home side were awarded another penalty soon after but Vardy opted for power, sending the ball flying into the stands. Leicester fans cheered ironically as Everton pulled one back in the closing stages of the game, Kevin Mirallas finishing well under Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester were professional as ever as they put on a show before collecting the Barclays Premier League trophy.
The Foxes have captured the imaginations of football fans across the globe as they have regularly put on a show, going from 5000/1 outsiders to confirmed champions. But it was Ranieri’s compatriot and legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli who stole the show before kick-off, revealing a Leicester City kit as he lifted the roof infront of a capacity crowd. And the historic team were soon welcomed onto the field with a guard of honour formed by the out-of-form Everton.
The title party started at Jamie Vardy’s house on Monday as Tottenham dropped points at Chelsea, and Vardy showed no let up when he met King’s cross in the box, converting with a first-time volley from six yards.
Assist-maker King, who joined Leicester in 2006, has won League One, the Championship and now the Premier League with the Foxes. And he capped a fine week of celebrations by meeting the ball in the box, smashing it powerfully past Robles and into the back of the net.
PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez was desperate to get on the score sheet after a fantastic season in the East Midlands. He tried to get the ball onto his left foot to curl a shot in the far corner and minutes later he failed to convert a free-kick from a deadly position.
Everton were dreadful with some fans suggesting they WANT Roberto Martinez to get the sack from Goodison.
Young defender Pennington, who escaped a red card for a last-man challenge on Mahrez in the first half, fouled Vardy in the box after the former non-league striker broke through. The ex-Fleetwood man stepped up to convert past Robles and the celebrations in the King Power continued.
Vardy had the chance to catch Harry Kane in the scoring charts when Darron Gibson brought down Jeffrey Schlupp. The 29-year-old stepped up to take the resulting penalty, this time putting his foot through the ball and sending it flying over the crossbar. His first senior hat-trick would have to wait.
Mirallas’ goal late on did not dampen spirits, except Schmeichel’s, who was furious not to get the clean sheet.