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Deprived of the stars behind its improbable triumph last season, Leicester was beaten 2-0 at home by Everton on Saturday in the latest disappointing result of its Premier League title defense.

December 26, 2016

LEICESTER, England (AP) — Deprived of the stars behind its improbable triumph last season, Leicester was beaten 2-0 at home by Everton on Saturday in the latest disappointing result of its Premier League title defense.

Belgium internationals Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku scored breakaway goals in the second half to earn Everton its first away win since September and move the team into seventh place.

The last time the Foxes hosted Everton, they lifted the Premier League trophy after the game. At the final whistle this time, Leicester is just three points above the relegation zone after 18 of 38 games.

Leicester, which has won just two of its last 13 games in all competitions, was without suspended players Jamie Vardy, Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth, while manager Claudio Ranieri started with Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater on the bench.

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Vardy's loss was felt in particular, after his red card against Stoke last time out. Leicester appeared to protest at that decision by handing out around 30,000 masks depicting the face of Vardy to supporters. Leicester failed in its bid to overturn the red card.

The England striker was himself wearing one of the masks as he sat alongside some teammates in the stands.

Mirallas made it 1-0 in the 51st when he ran onto a long clearance by goalkeeper Joel Robles that dropped between Wes Morgan and Marcin Wasilewski, Huth's replacement. Mirallas split the defenders with his run and, as Morgan slipped, the winger's shot clipped Wasilewski before spinning over Kasper Schmeichel's trailing leg and into the corner.

Everton finished off Leicester in injury time when Lukaku latched onto Ross Barkley's clearance, held off Morgan's challenge, cut inside and slipped the ball under the advancing Schmeichel.

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