Liverpool did what only one other team have been able to manage all season – beat Leicester City – with Christian Benteke opening that right boot of his at the perfect time to hand his team a much-required Barclays Premier League victory on Boxing Day.

Coming off a woeful effort, which saw them go down 3-0 to Watford last weekend, Liverpool needed to come up with a good riposte, and while the performance wasn't anything resembling the man-how-awesome-was-that kind, it was good enough to stop the league leaders from picking up another victory in this most crazy of Premier League seasons.

With the match locked in at a disappointing 0-0 just past the hour mark, Roberto Firmino, so invisible until then, decided to come to life, playing a one-two with Emre Can off a throw-in, before laying the ball perfectly on a plate for Benteke, only in the game for the injured Divock Origi, to place the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards.

Leicester just could not hit top gear at Anfield on Boxing Day, failing to find their usual spark going forward, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, the two deadliest players in the Premier League this season, kept extremely quiet.

The only time Mahrez threatened was with a trademark twinkling feet run and a shot which forced a good save from Simon Mignolet in the first half, but Vardy was very much on the periphery.

How quiet Vardy was, was proved by the fact that Claudio Ranieri decided to take the Premier League's top scorer off for Leonardo Ulloa, in hope of giving Liverpool a different, more physical problem.

However, it was Liverpool who looked more likely to finish the match off with a second goal, even if clearcut chances, again, were few and far between. There was an absolutely crazy passage of play right at the end, though, as Benteke missed an open goal with Kasper Schmeichel at the other end, in a bid to score a late equaliser, with Leicester then only just failing to really test Mignolet with a header, which proved to be the final act in the game.

Leicester City still remain top of the table, despite the loss, even if Manchester City have closed the gap to three points, while Arsenal can go above the Foxes with victory over Southampton in the final match on Boxing Day.

Liverpool took full advantage of Manchester United's failings with this victory, even if fourth place is still not quite within their grasp.

Boxing Day results: Stoke City 2-0 Manchester United; Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace; Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham; Liverpool 1-0 Leicester City; Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland; Chelsea 2-2 Watford; Tottenham 3-0 Norwich City; Swansea City 1-0 West Brom.