LIVERPOOL, England (REUTERS) - Jamie Vardy's 58th-minute strike gave Leicester City a 1-0 win at Everton on Tuesday (Jan 1) and condemned the Merseysiders to their fourth defeat in five Premier League games.
Leicester boss Claude Puel made four changes from the team that lost to Cardiff City on Saturday, including leaving midfielder James Maddison on the bench, while Marco Silva recalled Brazilian Richarlison to his starting line-up.
After a poor first half, the decisive goal came when Everton defender Michael Keane mis-controlled the ball to Ricardo Pereira, who sent Vardy through.
The striker made no mistake with a low drive past Jordan Pickford before celebrating with a cartwheel in front of the travelling Foxes fans.
Gylfi Sigurdsson blasted over from a promising position for Everton but Leicester should have doubled their lead when Harry Maguire somehow missed the target from point-blank range.
Everton, with just one win from their last eight games have now failed to win in their last four home matches while the win moves Leicester up into seventh place, on 31 points, four behind Manchester United.
Everton boss Silva was frank in his assessment of his team's performance.
"A disappointing result, poor performance to be honest. In this moment we have to be honest and look clear at the game.
"Poor performance since the first minute, we knew what they came here to do, playing a 4-5-1 and waiting for our mistake," said the Portuguese who accepted his players looked nervous.
"When you play so anxious you make easy mistakes like the one we conceded. There is no reason they are under the normal pressure we'll find the reason for that," Silva added.
Puel was delighted with the way his team carried out his gameplan.
"The organisation of the team was perfect and I am happy for the players because we lost our last game at home to Cardiff and it was not a fair result," the Frenchman said.
"We said after that game we wanted to take three points away. It was a difficult challenge of course but the team showed character.
"We know all the players are tired like us but the most important thing was to show our strength in this moment. We needed to have a different adaptation for this game. In this situation it is not just the quality but the physical makes a difference. We needed to find the right situation to move."