Jamie Vardy rescued a dire match with an eye-catching celebration as his goal secured Leicester City a 1-0 win away at Everton in their New Year’s day Premier League fixture on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old showed remarkable agility after scoring in the 58th minute for a result that sees The Foxes move into seventh, seven points adrift of Arsenal who occupy the Europa League fifth-placed spot.
Vardy has been rumoured to have strained relations with Leicester manager Claude Puel and was taken off in the defeat by Cardiff last Saturday and said the acrobatic display had not been a spontaneous one.
“I have had it in my locker for a while,” he told Sky Sports. “I saved it for a special occasion, what better one than New Years Day. New year, new me.”
Despite the rumours surrounding their relations Vardy has been the most effective goalscorer since Puel took over in October 2017 taking his Premier League tally to 22, double the number of the next highest Foxes scorer.
Whilst Leicester have found a rich vein of form – this was their third win in four matches with the other two the prized scalps of Manchester City and Chelsea – Everton are going in the opposite direction.
Hopes that Portuguese manager Marco Silva would lead to a revival and a genuine challenge for European football have foundered of late with four defeats in their last five Premier League matches.
Silva, whose side are 10th, 11 points adrift of Arsenal, admitted their performance fell well short of what he or the fans desired.
“Disappointing result, poor performance to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.
“In this moment we have to be honest and look clear at the game. Poor performance since the first minute.”