Jamie Vardy struck twice as Leicester City celebrated their first match since being crowned Premier League champions with a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
- Leicester 3 Everton 1
- Vardy opens scoring early on
- King doubles champions’ lead
- Vardy scores one penalty but misses another
- Mirallas pulls a goal back
After a grand opening which saw Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri introduce countryman and legendary opera singer Andre Bocelli, the Foxes’ party showed no sign of letting up when Vardy, returning from suspension, took less than six minutes to open the scoring.
And just after the half-hour mark, Wales midfielder Andy King added a second as the hosts visibly enjoyed the adulation of the evening.
Vardy grabbed his second, and Leicester’s third, with a penalty, and the England striker could have completed a hat-trick when his side were awarded another spot kick, only to blaze the ball over the bar.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 7, 2016
If there were any doubts whether Leicester’s players would take this fixture seriously after being named champions in midweek, they were quickly erased when Vardy got ahead of Everton’s defenders to convert King’s cross with a smart finish.
In a performance which summed up both sides’ seasons, the hosts were playing with superb abandon, while the Toffees looked shaky at the back and failed to find any cohesion going forward.
One of the biggest cheers of the afternoon was reserved for King, who has now one League One, the Championship and the Premier League with Leicester.
The long-serving midfielder finished coolly after the ball broke to him inside the penalty area to give the home side a comfortable two-goal lead at half-time.
Vardy made it 3-0 just after the hour mark, firing low and hard past Joel Robles after young defender Matthew Pennington had fouled the forward in the box.
Robles then thwarted the 29-year-old with a smart save, before Vardy missed from the penalty spot after Darron Gibson’s daft challenge on substitute Jeffrey Schlupp.
Belgium winger Mirallas gave the away support something to cheer when he burst into the area and kept composed to slide the ball past Kasper Schmeichel, but the day belonged to Leicester, who were presented with the Premier League trophy to celebrate their first top-flight championship in the club’s 132-year history.