Jamie Vardy’s second-half strike for Leicester handed Everton their fourth defeat in five games in an error-strewn Premier League encounter at Goodison Park.

The England forward’s 58th-minute goal was one of the few highlights of a turgid affair.

Full-back Ricardo Pereira capitalised on defender Michael Keane’s error to play in the England striker, who finished with an angled drive past Jordan Pickford.

Everton were not much of a force in attack, with Jonjoe Kenny’s first-half shot off the bar the closest they came to scoring.

The Toffees, who have now not won in their past four home games, remain 10th in the table, while Leicester move above Wolves into seventh place.

Defeat caps miserable Christmas for Everton

Everton spent more than £200m on players in two summer transfer windows, but some fans will be wondering where their quality signings have been hiding in recent games.

A 5-1 win at Burnley has been the only highlight of a rotten festive period in which they have conceded 12 goals in five games and failed to score in their past two.

Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel was tested only twice in the game, by substitute Cenk Tosun on both occasions. The first was a firm 20-yard strike which he punched clear before the Dane reacted to push away a close-range header late on.

It was a mistake by £30m signing Michael Keane, who failed to control a Leicester long ball, which resulted in the decisive goal.

He and the rest of the Everton players will hope to avoid another slip-up when they host League Two side Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Vardy class proves the difference

In contrast to Everton boss Marco Silva, Leicester counterpart Claude Puel has had a wonderful festive period.

That is now three wins in four games, with those victories coming against Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.

Those were the type of sides the Foxes were beating during their title-winning season in 2015-16.

They lack the consistency of that campaign and have lost some key players since, but one standout act from that season has remained and he once again made the difference.

Vardy only had one shot on target in the match, but he made it count. It was one of his typical finishes, running on to a through-ball before striking home left-footed from an angle.

The celebration was less typical – a cartwheel and a somersault.

Poor advert for the Premier League

The first 15 minutes of a forgettable first half were farcical. Two teams, laden with millions of pounds of talent, could barely hold on to possession for more than a few seconds.

The graphic below illustrates the misplaced passes during that period. Everton’s Kenny was the worst culprit of the 20 outfield players – he attempted 14 passes, with an accuracy of only 35.7%.

Leicester defender Ben Chilwell lost possession 22 times in the first 45 minutes, having only done so on 17 occasions in the entire match against Cardiff three days ago.

Misplaced passes graph

What’s next?

Everton are at home to Lincoln City in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Leicester travel to Newport County on Sunday (16:30).

Line-ups

Everton

  • 1Pickford
  • 43Kenny
  • 4Keane
  • 5Zouma
  • 12DigneBooked at 80mins
  • 8André GomesBooked at 52minsSubstituted forBernardat 62′minutes
  • 17Gueye
  • 11WalcottSubstituted forTosunat 70′minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 10G Sigurdsson
  • 30Richarlison
  • 29Calvert-Lewin

Substitutes

  • 3Baines
  • 13Mina
  • 14Tosun
  • 20Bernard
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 23Coleman
  • 26Davies

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Simpson
  • 6EvansBooked at 75mins
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 38Choudhury
  • 24Mendy
  • 25Ndidi
  • 31GhezzalSubstituted forAlbrightonat 45′minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forGrayat 90+3′minutes
  • 14Ricardo Pereira

Substitutes

  • 4Söyüncü
  • 7Gray
  • 10Maddison
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 20Okazaki
  • 28Fuchs
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
39,052

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home5
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 0, Leicester City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 0, Leicester City 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Jamie Vardy.

Offside, Everton. Dominic Calvert-Lewin tries a through ball, but Cenk Tosun is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Cenk Tosun (Everton) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Keane with a headed pass.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Attempt blocked. Cenk Tosun (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kurt Zouma with a headed pass.

Offside, Leicester City. Wilfred Ndidi tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Hand ball by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).

Attempt blocked. Cenk Tosun (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernard with a cross.

Offside, Leicester City. Ben Chilwell tries a through ball, but Harry Maguire is caught offside.

Foul by Jonjoe Kenny (Everton).

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Cenk Tosun (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Cenk Tosun (Everton).

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Lucas Digne (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lucas Digne (Everton).

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hamza Choudhury.

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Jonny Evans (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Richarlison (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Attempt saved. Cenk Tosun (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Richarlison (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt missed. Richarlison (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ben Chilwell.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Attempt blocked. Richarlison (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernard.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kurt Zouma.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Jonjoe Kenny.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Cenk Tosun replaces Theo Walcott.

Attempt blocked. Lucas Digne (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Richarlison (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Bernard replaces André Gomes.

Attempt missed. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Theo Walcott with a headed pass.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 0, Leicester City 1. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira with a through ball.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

goal

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here