By 90Min
January 31, 2018

On a night to remember for Theo Walcott, the new Everton signing truly stole the show with a first-half brace in a much needed 2-1 win for Sam Allardyce's Toffees. 

Leicester didn't have the best of pre-match preparation going to Goodison Park, with deadline day drawing to a close, talisman Riyad Mahrez missed the game after handing in a transfer request only to be denied joining Manchester City after four bids for the Algerian international were rejected by the Foxes.

On the other hand, Everton put in an inspired performance on the night that saw the much-anticipated return of Seamus Coleman to their starting lineup for the first time in 10 months, since his horrific leg break.

Both teams started brightly, however, it was Everton's new signing Theo Walcott who first tested the Foxes' trusted shot-stopper Kasper Schmeichel from 40-yards out with a stinging shot.

The visitors then started to get a grip on the game, with Wilfred Ndidi coming excruciatingly close with a header which hit the bar, in a chance the Nigerian international really should have converted.

On his 200th Premier League appearance, Marc Albrighton was causing Everton all kinds of problems down the right flank a quarter of an hour into the action, repeatedly whipping in the ball to dangerous areas of the Toffees box to no avail, however.

Against the run of play, the game was turned on its head when Theo Walcott tapped in from close-range after some extremely sloppy defending from Ben Chilwell which was capitalised on by Gylfi Sigurdsson, who slid the ball gracefully across the 6-yard box for Walcott to open his account for Everton.

A period of dominance followed from Everton, with Oumar Niasse coming painfully close to doubling the Toffees lead, after some solid play by Sigurdsson on the wing. 

With confidence in Goodison Park growing, with the players and fans alike, Everton found the ball in the back of the net again, with some brilliant link-up play between Wayne Rooney and Michael Keane, which found Theo Walcott for his and Everton's second of the night; the blue half of Merseyside were roaring going into the interval. 

The second-half began much like the first ended, with Everton trying to utilise their counter-attacks and using the roar of the Goodison faithful to their advantage.

Theo Walcott then turned provider, with some terrific play down the right-wing whipping a ball into the 6-yard box, which Gylfi Sigurdsson nearly capitalised on. 

Leicester were desperate to get Jamie Vardy involved in the game, with Everton dominating possession, and looking likely to get a third; anxiety amongst the Foxes was really starting to show. 

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Walcott and Coleman were showing signs of a promising partnership for Everton fans to look forward to in the future and were causing Claude Puel's side all kinds of problems down the right wing.

In a controversial decision, Wayne Rooney conceded a penalty, from which Jamie Vardy converted comfortably; the game was well and truely back on out of nowhere with 20 minutes to play. 

Claude Puel struck whilst the iron was hot and brought on striker Kelechi Iheanacho to bolster his attacking options, who nearly equalised with his first kick of the game, hitting the bar, in a fortunate escape for Sam Allardyce's men.

With 10 minutes to go, the security blanket Theo Walcott provided Everton in the first-half of play was starting to wither, and Leicester repeatedly attacked the Everton back-line; and the tension from the Everton fans was starting to show in their teams play. 

Everton managed to hold-out however, in a massive win for Sam Allardyce's men, and a terrific night for new signing Theo Walcott.

On a day to forget for Claude Puel's Leicester side, the foxes welcome high-flying Swansea to the King Power Stadium, with Riyad Mahrez likely to return awkwardly after his deadline day antics.

Nevertheless, Everton will go into their next fixture against Arsenal full of confidence and will be hoping Theo Walcott can produce another performance like the one he put in tonight against his old employees.


Line-ups:

Everton starting XI: 

Leicester City starting XI: 

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)