Leicester City 2:1 Watford
A 2-1 victory over Watford in the Remembrance Day fixture at the KPS saw Jamie Vardy make history, becoming the only Englishman ever to score in nine consecutive Premier League games.
In what is now a well-established tradition the match ball was delivered by helicopter from RAF Shawbury, while the usual ‘clappers’ doubled up as fantastic crowd mosaic poppy held aloft during the ‘Last post’.
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Fuchs regaining his starting place and Ulloa returning to the bench.
In a cagey start to the game there were few chances. Capoue forced a save from Schmeichel, while at the other end Gomes got down well to a well-struck Albrighton effort.
The first real chance fell to the Hornets in the 20th minute. Ighalo fired a fine effort against the right hand post, and then Abdi latched on to the rebound but Schmeichel had recovered well to save.
Watford had City pretty much worked out for the rest of the half, without venturing too far forward themselves. Gomes dealt comfortably with shots from Albrighton and Vardy and the sides went in goalless at the break.
Ranieri made a change at half-time, bringing on Okazaki for Schlupp and it soon paid dividends with City taking a 52nd minute lead. Kanté’s neat side-step took him into the penalty area, but he was faced with too many defenders for anything to be on. He resorted to a toe-poke with no pace on it and watched on as Gomes somehow allowed though his grasp for the ball to trundle slowly over the line for the Frenchman’s first goal for City.
Although Nyon sent a shot narrowly over Schmeichel’s bar City were soon on the attack again. Vardy had a fierce effort blocked and then Morgan headed over from a corner.
There was a nervous moment when Vardy went down injured, but he recovered to take his place in history.
Running onto a ball from Morgan he was sent cartwheeling by a clumsy Gomes challenge just inside the area.
As Vardy hadn’t been running directly at goal the Brazilian keeper escaped with a yellow card. Although regular penalty taker Mahrez picked the ball up he soon handed it over to Vardy, who made no mistake crashing the ball past Gomes for his ninth goal in consecutive games and 12th of the season.
Any thoughts of a relaxing final 15 minutes were dispelled when Kanté brought Paredes down in the area and Deeney slotted the penalty kick home. But the Hornets never managed to apply any concerted pressure and a Schmeichel save from Deeney was the nearest they got. At the other end Mahrez forced a good save from Gomes before being given a fine standing ovation as he made way for Dyer late on, possibly for his standing aside at the penalty as much as his performance.
Claudio Ranieri commented: “They are all real friends, everybody understands the project. It is a very strong group, a friendly group and there is a good spirit in the group. When we get the penalty Riyad Mahrez gives Jamie the ball and says, ‘come on, score’. It was a lovely moment. Jamie wanted to score. It is so good for him to be scoring goals. Van Nistelrooy was a truly fantastic striker and Jamie has everything to reach that quality.”
On Saturday evening City were level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater (King 90), Kanté, Schlupp (Okazaki 46), Albrighton, Mahrez (Dyer 84), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Ulloa, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inler.
Watford: Gomes, Nyon (Diamanti 76), Britos, Deeney, Cathcart, Aké, Anya, Abdi, Watson, Ighalo, Capoue (Paredes 70). Subs Not Used: Prödl, Behrami, Guedioura, Holebas, Arlauskis.
Referee: R East. Attendance: 32,029.
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