Leicester City were 2-0 winners against managerless Everton in their first match under Claude Puel. Here are five things we learned from the match.
Puel passes his first audition
Many felt that Claude Puel was an underwhelming choice for Leicester City’s next manager but he has started as he means to go on. Puel named an interesting line up for his first match in charge as he gave two young English players (Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell) a chance. This meant that Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton dropped to the bench. The changes paid off and the Claude Puel era has started in style.
Unsworth’s risks don’t pay off
David Unsworth is currently Everton’s caretaker manager and has made no secret about wanting the job on a full-time basis. However, he made some big decisions against Leicester and they didn’t have the desired effect. Gylfi Sigurdsson was on the bench and Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas were given their first league starts of the season. This experiment did not go to plan as both Lennon and Mirallas were substituted at half-time for youngster Beni Baningime and Oumar Niasse. Sigurdsson was then brought on in place of Wayne Rooney with 16 minutes remaining. By that time it was too little too late.
Vardy loves new managers
Leicester City’s first goal under former Southampton manager Claude Puel was scored by Jamie Vardy. This is now the third time that Vardy has scored the first Premier League goal under a new Leicester City manager. He also found the net first under title winning manager Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare.
Gray shows why he deserves more starts
From the first whistle it was clear that Demarai Gray had a point to prove. The flamboyant winger produced brilliant and incisive crosses as he made a huge impact on the game. Gray ran the length of the pitch before finding Mahrez who passed to Vardy to finish from close range. A classic counter attack from Leicester was too much for Everton to handle. Leicester’s second goal seemed to have been sliced into the net by Everton youngster Jonjoe Kenny but was later officially awarded to Gray for his second Premier League goal. Gray made his first home Premier League start since April 4th. If this performance is anything to by, he won’t have to wait that long for his next one.
Everton still toothless in attack
Romelu Lukaku made it clear that he wanted to leave Everton since March when he refused to sign a new contract so they had plenty of time to find a replacement. However, they focused solely on luring Olivier Giroud from Arsenal which didn’t happen. Ronald Koeman claimed that failing to sign Giroud was a factor in his sacking. In the Premier League this season, Everton have just two goalscorers, Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse. If they don’t score, Everton don’t score. It is unfair that the goalscoring burden is placed on the young shoulders of Dominic Calvert-Lewin who is still learning the game and needs to improve. Everton will have to hang on until January before they can bring in the necessary reinforcements.