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Match Report: Leicester City 2 - 0 Watford

A late Vardy brace against Watford...who could have seen that coming?

Leicester City v Watford - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Recap

Leicester City overcame a stubborn Watford side by a score of 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at the King Power. A goalless first half left a lot to be desired in terms of entertainment, but that would change after the restart. A late brace from substitute Jamie Vardy gave the Foxes three points on their return from the international break.

City have often been accused of being patient for patience’s sake and the first half could be Exhibit A in that trial. The Foxes bossed possession but the Hornets looked comfortable in defence and neither side looked like making a breakthrough.

The missing urgency made an appearance in the second half, coinciding with the introduction of Fatawu and Vardy. Leicester were suddenly all over their opponents and had a fistful of excellent chances before finally finding the opening goal.

Vardy will go down as the hero but a more clinical version of the former England man would have had four. He wasn’t at his best, but his energy, especially on defence, help lift Leicester out of what had been somewhat lethargic performance. KDH was his usual imperious self and can count himself unlucky not to score. Both Mavididi and Fatawu created some fine chances in what was ultimately a well-deserved victory.

His shithousery game remains undiminished by the ravages of time.

The victory gives the Foxes 42 points from 17 matches. Dilly ding, dilly dong. We remain top of the table, three points ahead of Ipswich (although the Tractor Boys have a game in hand). More importantly, this restores a 10 point margin over third-placed Leeds United. On Wednesday, we travel to South Yorkshire to face...Wednesday. Seems about right. Next Saturday, we visit my favourite away ground, the Hawthorns, to take on West Bromwich Albion.

That streak is over. Tell your boss you need Saturdays off.

Lineups

Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira (C), Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, James Justin, Wilfred Ndidi, Hamza Choudhury, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Kasey McAteer, Stephy Mavididi, Kelechi Iheanacho

Watford: Daniel Bachmann, Wesley Hoedt, Ryan Porteous, Jamal Lewis, Ryan Andrews, Edo Kayembe, Imran Louza, Jake Livermore, Mileta Rajovic, Ken Sema, Tom Ince


Key Moments and Notes

6’- McAteer does so well to win the ball off an attacker and then flick past another white shirt. It comes to nothing, but he’s just so clever.

9’- Huge moment. Ndidi’s through ball finds Iheanacho behind the entire Watford defence. Porteus gets a handful of shirt and pulls him back, preventing the Seniorman from pursuing the ball and it rolls through to the keeper Bachmann. It wasn’t much of a grab, and the referee knew if blew the whistle it would have to be red. It would have been harsh, but you’ve seen them called.

11’- After a couple of dangerous-looking Watford attacks, Mavididi wins a free kick in midfield. The Foxes take it quickly and it’s a 3-on-1 attack. Dewsbury-Hall carries it into the left channel and picks out Hoedt instead of Iheanacho or Ndidi.

28’- Close! Ricardo wins a free kick 25 yards from the Watford goal. Justin taps the ball to KDH whose curling effort is just half a yard wide. Bachmann never moved.

36’- The concept of “key moments” is really being stretched today. Neither side have looked like scoring in recent memory. Oh well, plenty of time to refill my tea.

42’- Iheanacho goes down in the area twice after playing a one-two with KDH. The referee isn’t interested and gives Kelechi a long “you’re lucky this isn’t a yellow” look. The referee has the right of it.

43’- Close! Dewsbury-Hall loops a cross to the far post and McAteer rises highest. He heads it down and Bachmann does really well to get down and push it clear. Best chance of the match with the caveat that the bar for that distinction isn’t especially high.

45’- Faes goes on a marauding run in true box-to-box defender fashion. He plays a one-two with Iheanacho and does the rest himself. The Belgian probably has better options, but no one’s going to deny him the shot. It’s blocked and goes out for a corner. Would have been special...

Leicester City v Watford - Sky Bet Championship
I gave him a lot of grief early on, but he’s quite a player, isn’t he?
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

HALF-TIME: Leicester City 0 - 0 Watford

51’- Close! The Foxes force a turnover in midfield. Iheanacho latches on to a through ball in the left channel and pulls it back for the runners. Mavididi gets the first and ripples the side netting. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong side, but that was very, very close.

52’- Referee Sam Allison has been excellent today. Don’t tell anyone I said it, but he’s been really strong.

Leicester City v Watford - Sky Bet Championship
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but...no complaints.
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

54’- Iheanacho wins a free kick 40 yards from goal. It’s lofted in to the box and finds Vestergaard all alone six yards out. The Dane squares it instead of guiding it goalward. There’s chaos in the area, but the flag has gone up, presumably for the initial ball.

55’- Double change for the Foxes as McAteer and Iheanacho make way for Abdul Fatawu and Jamie Vardy. It’s like-for-like, as is almost always the case this year.

62’- Ndidi wins a free kick on the wing and takes it himself. He catches Watford napping and finds Fatawu in behind the defence. He pulls it back for Vardy, but the legend gets it all wrong and sends it deep into the stands. That’s Ndidi’s last action as Cesare Casadei comes on in his stead.

67’- Vardy’s in behind, but the flag goes up. He shoots anyway and picks up a yellow for his troubles.

69’- Close! Ricardo wins the ball in midfield and dinks it over the top to find KDH in the area. His turn is a thing of beauty and the shot beats Bachmann, but it comes off the outside of the post.

72’- Close! The Foxes play a short corner. Ricardo pumps it into the area and Vestergaard puts his header on top of the net with the keeper beaten.

74’- Close! Oh my. Mavididi beats his man on the left and fires it into the mixer. It finds Vardy unmarked at the far post but he somehow puts it over from close range when just allowing the ball to hit him and roll into the net would have resulted in a goal.

76’- GOAL! Vardy wins a free kick on the right. It comes in to Vestergaard whose powerful header is on-target, but Bachmann did well parry it. Vardy’s the first to react and he pokes home from close range.

83’- Now here’s a surprise: Yunus Akgun comes on for Dewsbury-Hall. Huh.

88’- Close! Porteus makes a great run from deep and the seas part for the defender. He shoots under no pressure at all and, well, it’s very much a defender’s effort and Hermansen collects easily. That’s the first shot on target for the Hornets today.

90’- Five minutes will be added on. We’re looking a little nervy now.

94’- GOAL! What an ending. Vardy is through on goal. As he looks to round Bachmann, the keeper brings him down. It’s a penalty and a second yellow for the Watford stopper. The visitors have used all of their substitutions, so Porteus puts on Bachmann’s shirt and gloves. He makes a game effort, but there’s only one way this will play out: A goal for Vardy.

It’s difficult for me to judge what with being several thousand miles away, but it seems as though the atmosphere at the King Power has been top-notch this year. Anyone with any first hand accounts? Liv?

FULL TIME: Leicester City 2 - 0 Watford