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Leicester City climb to the 7th in the table after goals from Vardy and Mahrez see off Watford

5th consecutive clean sheet for the Foxes

Leicester City v Watford - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After comical set piece defending derailed Leicester in the reverse fixture, things weren’t looking great for the Foxes in the opening 5 minutes, as they faced 3 consecutive corners, which fortunately came to nothing.

From there on out it was all Leicester City. Jamie Vardy came close in the 6th minute on the counter after he was able to get on the end of a long ball from Shinji Okazaki and drive into the penalty area. His strike was denied by a diving Orestis Karnezis, but showed a glimmer of things to come for the Foxes.

Wilfred Ndidi nearly put Leicester in front moments later after a free-kick from Riyad Mahrez caused havoc in the Watford area. Harry Maguire attempted to get on the end of it, only to divert the ball straight into the path of Ndidi, whose shot was cleared off the line.

From there neither side offered much. Watford looked awful in possession and seemed content to play a physical game, while Leicester’s movement looked better, they lacked the final ball to punish the visitors.

Things finally picked up in the 36th minute, when Watford striker Troy Deeney smashed the ball into the back of the net, only to be flagged just offside, a huge let off for the Leicester defence, who looked less than convincing in the build up.

After that let off, Leicester went right up the other end and earned themselves a penalty after Vardy was played into the area, only to be carelessly taken by former loanee Molla Wague.

Vardy calmly stepped up to take and smashed home, sending Karnezis the wrong way to give the Foxes a deserved 1-0 lead going into the break.

That momentum clearly carried into the second half, with Leicester firing potshots at goal for the opening 10 minutes.

Watford seemed completely incapable of playing the ball out of their own half, and could’ve easily been 2 or 3-0 down as the 60 minute mark approached had Leicester been a tad more clinical in the final third.

Leicester came closest to a second on 58 minutes after a brilliant Maguire drive saw the ball played out wide to Ben Chilwell, who slid an inviting ball in towards Vardy at the far post, for what looked to be an easy tap-in, only for a Watford defender to slice it away before it could reach him.

Watford’s best chance for an equalizer came in the 75th minute after an awful pass from Aleksandar Dragović allowed substitute Andre Gray to be played through on goal. Luckily for the Foxes, Gray took way too long to make his mind up, allowing Maguire to charge back and throw in a goal-saving block.

Leicester sealed the deal in stoppage time courtesy of Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian broke into the area and easily slipped past his man before firing an angled strike into the back of the net to give the Foxes the 2-0 lead and all 3 points from the tie.

The win, combined with Burnley’s defeat to Manchester United lifts Leicester to 7th place in the table. With the team firing on all cylinders, Europa League qualification is looking more and more likely for the Foxes.