Jamie Vardy’s second-half strike decided a tight game at Goodison Park as Leicester overcame Everton 1-0 in the Premier League’s opening game of 2019.
Both sides made scrappy starts to the proceedings at Goodison Park, as errant passes littered the opening 20 minutes. Jonjoe Kenny’s thumping drive that rattled the crossbar was the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock.
The full-back’s rasping drive proved to be the best chance in an opening 45 minutes that Everton slightly shaded, as both sides failed to truly threaten either goalkeeper during a first-half that was in jeopardy of boiling over on a couple of occasions.
Despite an uninspired first half, Leicester improved in the second and managed to take the lead with Vardy’s fifth goal in his last six games against Everton.
Michael Keane’s poor touch allowed Ricardo Pereira to play in the Leicester striker, who produced a composed finish beyond the efforts of Jordan Pickford to score the Premier League’s first goal of 2019.
Everton had chances to equalise as they saw more of the ball, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed his effort over, while substitute Cenk Tosun would fire straight at Kasper Schmeichel after Jonny Evans’ header found the Turk in a great position.
Harry Maguire wasted a golden opportunity to double Leicester’s lead with seven minutes remaining as he fired over Ben Chilwell’s cross, before Schmeichel, who had little to do all afternoon, produced a point-blank save to keep Tosun’s header out and preserve the three points for the visitors.
After a dismal December with one win in their seven Premier League games, Marco Silva would’ve hoped to start 2019 on a positive note, although their display against Leicester gave little cause for optimism.
Despite having more attempts and more possession, their was little intensity in their play, as Schmeichel had very little to do all afternoon up until added time in the second half, while their insipid performance was compounded by Leicester’s winner, which stemmed from Keane’s initial error.