Everton were looking to record their first victory since mid-March after failing to earn the bragging rights over local rivals Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks.
Leicester have been in good form since Craig Shakespeare took over from Claudio Raneiri in March too, and Jamie Vardy seems to have re-discovered the form which made him a household name in the 2015-16 season.
Lukaku has failed to score in his last two games but at home he has proven to be the deadliest striker in the Premier League in 2017 and the league’s top goal-scorer was on the mark yet again as Everton recorded a 4-2 victory against Leicester.
Here are three things we learned from Everton’s performance at Goodison Park on Sunday evening;
High-scoring game displayed Everton’s defensive frailties
The Merseysiders couldn’t have started any better when Tom Davies took advantage of a terrific run by Kevin Mirallas to put Everton in the lead after just one minute of action. However, their lead didn’t last long as Leicester were able to tear through the Blues’ midfield with ease on the counter and Islam Slimani netted the equaliser within three minutes of Davies’ opener. Marc Albrighton then put Leicester in the lead with a perfectly placed free-kick; undoing all of Everton’s hard work in the opening stages.
They showed grit and creativity going forward but Everton’s midfield lacked in structure and they were opened up far too easily at the back. It was a similar story against Liverpool at Anfield and they were lucky not to concede more goals against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw just over a week ago.
After taking the lead so early on, it was disappointing not to see Everton build upon their start and they showed a lack of composure in the first half – reacting to Leicester’s comeback rather than building momentum and controlling the game.
Lukaku’s departure would be a disaster for Everton
The tall Belgian has now scored in each of his last eight home games for Everton and despite criticism after failing to score against Manchester United and Liverpool, he proved why he has become so valuable to the Toffees with another ruthless performance against Leicester.
If they fail to keep him at Everton, it will be a disaster for the club given he is their biggest goal threat. Without Lukaku’s goals this season, Everton would have scored just 30 goals throughout the campaign, which is less than every team in the Premier League except Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
Aside from his two goals, he produced several moments of class including a delightful back heel flick which set-up an opportunity for Ross Barkley in the box. It was only a matter of time before he scored another too and he made sure of it with his 23rd Premier League goal of the season in the second half.
Barkley showed his worth
The English midfielder was tipped to become the next bright star when he broke into the Everton first team however, under Ronald Koeman his performances have been disappointing to say the least. He was criticised heavily by the Everton boss at the start of the season and Koeman demanded Barkley provided more of a threat in the final third.
Against Liverpool he was extremely poor and he did very little to change his side’s fortunes against Manchester United the following week. However, against Leicester he looked bright, energetic and deadly from the off and it was Barkley’s pin-point delivery which set-up Lukaku’s first goal in the opening half.
He continued to provide a threat and worked well alongside the Belgian in the final third. The only thing missing from his game was a goal and Barkley was unlucky not to get one as he constantly found himself in threatening positions.