Jamie Vardy

Leicester Begin 2019 With Triumph At Everton

Jamie Vardy struck the winner for Leicester City as they defeated Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.
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Claude Puel made four changes to his side for the clash on Merseyside, with Danny Simpson, Jonny Evans, Hamza Choudhury and Rachid Ghezzal all making a return to the starting XI.

An uneventful first half saw Vardy, Ghezzal and Ricardo Pereira all have efforts for the visitors, while Everton right-back Jonjoe Kenny struck the woodwork with a fierce drive from range.

Puel introduced Marc Albrighton after the interval in place of Ghezzal, and the winger nearly created a goal for City after Jordan Pickford could only palm a delivery to the feet of Ricardo, who couldn’t capitalise.

Leicester found their opener on 58 minutes. Michael Keane’s error saw the ball fall to Ricardo, who immediately slipped in Vardy. The No.9 raced onto the pass and fired under Pickford before pulling off a brilliant somersault in front of the Blue Army.

From then on, City looked comfortable. They defended in numbers, looked dangerous on the counter-attack and were a threat from set-plays.

Academy graduate Ben Chilwell forced Pickford into a save with 10 minutes to play and Harry Maguire had a penalty appeal turned away a minute later after his header hit Keane in the area.

For Everton, Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson both had strikes blocked, while Kasper Schmeichel did brilliantly to deny substitute Cenk Tosun in injury time.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy celebrates with a somersault after handing Leicester a 1-0 lead at Goodison Park.

It was Jamie Vardy who would once again provide the winning goal for Leicester City on the road, having done so at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea last month.

Capitalising on Michael Keane’s error, Ricardo Pereira released Vardy, who produced a trademark finish to seal a third triumph in four Premier League games for Claude Puel’s outfit.

Vardy, who was the joint-fifth highest Premier League goalscorer in 2018, took his 2018/19 tally to seven in the top flight at Goodison Park.

Who impressed?

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Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans heads into the arms of Jordan Pickford during a fine display for the Foxes.

Returning to the line-up after missing Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff City, Northern Ireland international centre-back Jonny Evans put in a commanding performance for the Foxes against Everton.

On numerous occasions, Evans was on hand to halt Everton’s advances, blocking two efforts from Brazil international playmaker Richarlison, as well as digging out a dangerous Bernard cross with just three minutes to play.

He also had an effort on goal himself, but he couldn’t beat Jordan Pickford with a looping header in the first half after central defensive partner Harry Maguire had nodded the ball back across goal.

Where do we stand?

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Hamza Choudhury and Papy Mendy
Hamza Choudhury and Papy Mendy

Hamza Choudhury and Papy Mendy celebrate at the full-time whistle after they both put in a battling performances in midfield.

After contesting the first Premier League fixture of the New Year, Leicester City reclaimed seventh position following their 1-0 victory at Goodison Park. They now sit four points behind sixth-placed Manchester United and two points above eight-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, with both outfits playing their game in hand on Wednesday.

Coming up…

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel heads over to the travelling Blue Army after the 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

The Foxes next face Newport County at Rodney Parade in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday 6 January (4:30pm GMT kick-off), before facing Southampton at King Power Stadium in the Premier League six days later.

Leicester City Crest

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