Shinji Okazaki

Classic Encounter: Foxes Defeat Toffees To Go Top At Christmas In 2015

Leicester City’s second away match since the restart is a trip to face Everton, who the Foxes recorded an important victory over during their journey to the Premier League title in 2015/16.

City visit Goodison Park on Wednesday following back-to-back top-flight draws versus Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion, to keep Brendan Rodgers’ side in third position in the table.

City have come out on top twice against Everton already this season, winning 2-1 in the league fixture at King Power Stadium in December, before progressing into the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals at the expense of the Toffees, who were defeated 4-2 on penalties later the same month.

However, our latest classic encounter rewinds back to a clash from 2015, when the Foxes were building up momentum for a shock title challenge...

Everton 2 Leicester City 3
Saturday 19 December, 2015
Premier League
Goodison Park

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Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri

Ranieri's Foxes were unbeaten in nine Premier League games going into the clash at Goodison Park, winning seven of those fixtures.

City took on Everton in a thrilling encounter which saw five goals and two penalties in the Foxes’ final fixture before Christmas in 2015.

Leicester took the lead on 27 minutes when Ramiro Funes Mori held back Shinji Okazaki in the box and Riyad Mahrez stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick.

However, the home side levelled five minutes later through Romelu Lukaku, who scored for the eighth successive game in all competitions, equalling a club record.

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Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

The Algerian winger wheels away in celebration after scoring his second penalty past Tim Howard.

Level at the break, Claudio Ranieri’s men came out of the blocks quickly in the second period and deservedly took the lead again via the penalty spot.

Top goalscorer Jamie Vardy, who had netted 15 during the first half of the campaign, raced through on goal and was tripped by Everton ‘keeper Tim Howard, with Mahrez once again finding the net from 12 yards to take his goal tally to 13 for the season.

Leicester held a two-goal cushion soon after as Okazaki found himself in the centre of the action again, firing in a third for the away side from Vardy’s low cross to seal victory on Merseyside. That goal also extended Vardy’s own Premier League record of scoring or assisting a goal in 15 successive games.

There was time for a late consolation from Belgian winger Kevin Mirallas via a sweetly-hit strike, but the three points would be heading back to Leicester, with victory ensuring Ranieri’s side would be top of the table on 25 December.

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Leicester City
Leicester City

Victory at Goodison Park kept Leicester top of the Premier League table at Christmas.

As a result, City became the only team in Premier League history to top the table over the festive period, having been bottom on Christmas Day the previous year.

Leicester maintained form in the second-half of the season, beating Liverpool and Manchester City along the way to being crowned Premier League champions for the first-time, with a 1-1 draw at Manchester United, followed by Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea, sealing the title on 2 May.

City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (c), Wasilewski, Fuchs, Mahrez (de Laet 83'), Kanté, King, Albrighton (Dyer 71'), Okazaki, Vardy (Ulloa 87')

Subs not used: Kramarić, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inler.

Goals: Mahrez 27’ 65’, Okazaki 69'

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