For Burnley, they missed a chance of earning a point and climbing out of the relegation zone for the first time since September. Everton, who would have dropped into the bottom three, will know that the fight for survival is still well and truly on at Turf Moor, regardless of this result.
Earlier, Leicester’s players minus their matchwinners, were denied by a series of saves by Nick Pope. The England goalkeeper was at his best in the first half to keep the scores level.
Pope was called into action to deny Patson Daka, who found himself in front of goal after a mistake from James Tarkowski. Burnley’s goalkeeper also palmed away an effort from Ricardo Pereira, who was taken off at half-time.
“They opened us up a few times. Popey made some great saves in the first-half. But defensively, attacking wise it just wasn’t where we have been,” said Dyche, who is sweating on an injury to Ben Mee.
“I ask a lot of these players. Physically as well. I don’t want to be too critical as we have had a really strong run, performances as well as results. I need to remember that, but there were a few off it.”
The game completely turned with Vardy and Maddison being brought on for the final 20 minutes. Vardy had a scissor-kick fly over the crossbar and had a penalty shout turned away when Charlie Taylor clipped him.
Then the subs combined with eight minutes left to devastating effect. Vardy plucked a long ball out of the air after staying onside, then teed up Maddison who cut inside and curled powerfully into the bottom corner. Harvey Barnes set up Vardy’s goal with a cross from the left which was steered home with a header.
“I don’t think you can lose that [scoring touch]. It is instinct,” said Vardy. “It has been a long nine weeks resting it and then four weeks getting the muscles back up. The main thing was to get back on and put a performance in.
“You always want to come on but you always have to listen to the medical team as well and I’ve been back in training just the last four days. Getting 20 minutes it is good for myself, there are no more issues.”
Rodgers revealed that Vardy could have easily skipped the game to carry on his rehab. “He couldn’t start, he has only trained for a few days,” he said. “It is a great credit to him because he came to us and said he’d love to be involved and that shows you what he is all about. He’s been super-hungry.”