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Leicester suffer a frustrating 2-0 defeat at home to Everton

The Toffees didn't offer much, but the combination of suspensions to key players and some questionable substitutions led to another loss.

Leicester City v Everton  - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Riddled by suspensions, a Boxing Day match against Everton was always going to be a difficult fixture, but a clear lack of attacking quality handed the visitors a 2-0 victory.

Missing half the defence thanks to the suspensions of Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs, many fans weren't feeling too optimistic, especially considering Marcin Wasilewski and Ben Chilwell looked dire in that 5-0 hammering at Porto earlier this month.

It wasn't much of a surprise that the Toffees looked to test Chilwell early on, but the young left-back impressed, holding his own and making some solid runs down the flank, something we're not used to seeing from the more defensive minded Fuchs.

Leicester City v Everton  - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

But it wasn't just Chilwell who was looking to impress early on. Demari Gray, who started in place of Riyad Mahrez, clearly had a point to prove. He was crafty with the ball, but clearly knew when to get rid of it, something Mahrez hasn't been doing lately. He pulled off an amazing piece of skill in the 15th minute, receiving a Marc Albrighton pass and making a clever turn to escape the defender before dragging his shot wide from 25 yards.

Despite those early positives, it was clear the Foxes were getting frustrated, as the Everton defence seemed to be getting something on every ball that found its way into the area. Ashley Williams was at the heart of it all, winning the aerial battle and making a couple crucial tackles.

As the half wore on Everton seemed to find their groove. Rather than lumping long balls up towards Lukaku, which suited the Leicester defence quite nicely, the Toffees began switching play along the ground, this change nearly resulted in a goal for Kevin Mirallas just before halftime, as the outstretched Belgian nearly got his foot on a powerful ball across the 6-yard box.

After that scare, the Foxes headed into the half with plenty of questions to answer. It was clear a change was needed, but the substitution of Danny Drinkwater for Shinji Okazaki was nothing short of puzzling. It wasn't like the Foxes were being overrun in midfield, and although Okazaki hadn't been great, two up top seemed like an absolute must.

Now, maybe Ranieri wanted someone who could deliver a better ball into the area, but why wouldn't you replace one of your two midfielders? Neither are great when it comes to playing the ball, so why not make a like-for-like substitution? Personally, I would've subbed Andy King, whose heart seemed to be set on punting long balls up to the Everton defence, something that was definitely not helping us in any way on either side of the ball.

Leicester City v Everton  - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leicester City v Everton  - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Everton managed to take the lead through a long ball down the middle. Mirallas found himself clean through on goal, getting between Wes Morgan and Wasilewski, taking an angled strike at goal. That strike deflected off the outstretched foot of Wasilewski and into the back of the net to give Everton the 1-0 lead in the 51st minute.

It was all downhill from there for the Foxes, as the team continued lumping poor balls into the box. The double substitution of Mahrez and Leonardo Ulloa for Gray and King also raised some questions. Gray was probably our most promising attacking player today, why would you substitute him over Albrighton? Gray's far more attack-minded, especially considering Albrighton couldn't beat the first man on the majority of his crosses, meaning he was offering nothing attack-wise when we were in desperate need of a goal. Another odd substitution, that didn't change much of anything.

The better of the chances fell Everton's way, with Lukaku sealing the game in the 90th minute after beating Morgan on the break and swiftly rounding Wasilewski before slotting the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 and game over for the Foxes.

Overall, Everton didn't look like anything special, yet Leicester failed to capitalize. It really was a frustrating day that leaves the Foxes with few positives to take into a 6-pointer on New Years Eve against West Ham.