Tag Archives: riyad mahrez

The FOX issue 207 – in the shops now

The 207th edition of The FOX – is now in the shops…

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Featuring: An exclusive interview with former City striker Matty Fryatt on the day he announced his retirement; Fully Programmed from February 1973; Fox Diary; the History of Leicester City in 100 Objects; the impact of VAR from the Foxes Trust; Rewind – The birth of Fox Leisure; Foxed in the Head – doesn’t go to West Ham in 1974 but makes it to Peterborough; Farewell to Rodney Fern; ; The Leicester/Vfl Bochum connection explained by Chris Baker; John Hutchinson on the Boys of ’61; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; and FiftySomething is up for the Cup…

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All for less than the price of a pint. *

*Except in Wetherspoons.

Matty Fryatt interview extract…

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FOX: Martin Allen was soon on his way, then Gary Megson swiftly came and went. How did you get on with Ian Holloway?

MF: Well, at that point we had Steve Howard, Barry Hayles, Iain Hume, myself and DJ Campbell.
He knew that we all effectively had goals in us, but you can’t play five forwards. Sometimes he would put Iain on the right wing, me on the left wing, Steve and DJ in the middle and perhaps Barry in the hole. Or perhaps you would play for one half and then someone else would come on. It was never settled and it was a bit lopsided. If you are a forward playing wide then you aren’t thinking about crossing the ball, you’re thinking how can I get in on goal. I wasn’t blessed with electric pace so I couldn’t beat a full back and get a cross over. Then you’d play one game and then not be seen for the next three. Then you’d be back in, at right wing, or up front, or in the hole. It really was all over the shop. I don’t think he ever worked out what to do with his forward line, and we didn’t really have any wingers.
When you look at that team that went down, it was a disgrace. I know we had a record number of points for going down, but it shouldn’t have happened. And I was absolutely diabolical that season, I couldn’t finish a chance to save my life. But there was so much chopping and changing, even after we had won a game.

FOX: The last game of the season at Stoke saw the club relegated to the third tier for the first time ever. Were the players aware of the enormity of that game?

MF: I think deep down, we were relegated before the game, although it wasn’t a bad performance on the day. I think the game before, losing 3-1 to Sheffield Wednesday at home, was the one that did it. After that the feeling was that we were down, that’s how I felt anyway. It was just awful.

FOX: Nigel Pearson was given the job of getting us out of League One, and this coincided with a big upturn in form for you…

MF: I just couldn’t wait for that previous season to end, and needed to get away from football for a bit. I went away on a break and I was determined that I would come back, get to peak fitness, get myself into a good mindset, and prove to everyone what I was about. I wasn’t thinking about what league we were in, I was just determined not to have another poor season.
Fortunately it just kicked off from the opening game when I got two goals against MK Dons. My confidence was back and from then on my thinking was, how many will I score today?

 

You can buy a copy of FOX 207 online via Paypal HERE.

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Blades blunted as Leicester reach the quarter-finals

Leicester City 1:0 Sheffield United

1718 sheff u home b

A Jamie Vardy header in the 66th minute ended Sheffield United’s resistance at the King Power Stadium on Friday night, as City progressed to the FA Cup quarter-final stage…

Claude Puel sent out something close to a full-strength side for this tie, with Morgan restored to the heart of the defence after an eight game absence.
Riyad Mahrez’s first home appearance since he went AWOL saw mostly cheers, with the odd bit of booing.
United looked well-drilled at the back and let City have plenty of early possession, but there were few chances created.
Vardy had a shot blocked and Gray sent an effort well high and wide, before the first proper chance came in the 16th minute. Gray went on a good run down the middle before slipping a ball left to Vardy, who sent a low shot a foot wide of the far post.
Chilwell then cut in from the left and set up Ndidi for a long range shot that was too close to Blackman to trouble him.
United came more into the game and had a chance of their own. A cross from the right was headed out by Simpson, but deflected off Maguire and sat up nicely for Stevens to shoot from 8 yards out, but Maguire managed to throw himself in the way and block the effort brilliantly.

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At the other end Mahrez prodded a ball through for Vardy to run onto but the impressive Blackman swiftly narrowed to angled to save.
Half-time arrived without City finding a way through United’s defence, and the Blades only chance had been the closest call.

The low-key end to the first half continued after the break, with United enjoying more possession,  but little going on at either end. A neat turn from Gray sent Mahrez in but his shot was blocked.

1718 sheff u home c

But City eventually found a way through in the 66th minute and it was Mahrez who created the chance out of virtually nothing with the pass of the game.
Faced with two defenders down the right he checked back, had a look up, and spotted Vardy, lurking with intent at the far post. He delivered a perfect ball for Vardy to send a looping header over Blackman and into the net.

1718 sheff u home a

Gray went close with a low shot, but Blackman got a touch to send it round the post, before Baldock’s low side-footed shot saw Schmeichel get down smartly to save.
Moments later a Chilwell cross was nodded back by Mahrez for Vardy to net, but the celebrations were halted by an offside flag.
In the 84th minute Claude Puel brought Albrighton on for Vardy, looking to close the game out, and there were no moments of drama in the final stages.

City had reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012, and were 90 minutes away from a Wembley appearance.

Puel commented on the architect of City’s goal:  “The most important thing in the game was the fans supported Riyad, and when I replaced him it was a good feeling with the fans. It’s important to stay united about this. The situation is behind us, it’s important to look forward. Now we have two home games in the Premier League and it’s important to get the support of the fans.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Gray, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez (James 90), Iheanacho, Vardy (Albrighton 84).
Substitutes: Hamer, Silva, Dragovic, Fuchs, Diabaté.
Sheff Utd: Blackman, Basham, Wright (Evans 76), O’Connell, Baldock, Carruthers (Duffy 76), Lundstram, Lafferty, Stevens, Donaldson, Wilson (Brooks 45)
Substitutes: Sharp, Stearman, Heneghan, Eastwood.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 28,336.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

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Swansea hold Leicester to a frustrating draw

Leicester City 1:1 Swansea City

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

A strong first half performance from City wasn’t enough to claim the points as Swansea took their chance for a 1-1 draw at the KPS on Saturday.

The talk in the media, the pubs and the stands before the game was all about Riyad Mahrez , who continued to be AWOL following his transfer deadline day disappointment.
Claude Puel made five changes to the side that lost at Everton, with Silva, Diabate, Fuchs, Simpson and Iheanacho brought into the starting XI.
Diabate soon made his mark, but it was on Clucas’s ankle in a clumsy challenge and the youngster was booked.
City dominated the early stages of the game, pressing hard on Swansea and forcing them into errors, and they broke through in the 17th minute. Some lovely footwork by Iheanacho saw him beat two defenders on the edge of the area, slipping the ball through for Vardy to slot past Fabianski for his 12th goal of the season.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

Three minutes later Swansea’s first meaningful attack of the game saw Sung-Yeung set up Dyer, but Ndidi nipped in with a fine tackle as he shaped to shoot.
Albrighton then shot from distance, but didn’t test Fabianski.
City cranked up the pressure and fine run down the left by Diabete saw him sting Fabinski’s palms with a shot. Iheanacho’s fierce follow-up shot then struck Mawson on the shoulder.
Moments later, Ndidi surged into the area and netted past Fabianski, but the ref consulted with the linesman before disallowing the goal for an offside much earlier in the move.
The 36th minute saw a long delay when Fer appeared to catch his studs in the turf and he had to be stretchered off with a serious looking injury.
Swansea had a little more possession towards the break, but still offered nothing up front and City’s 1-0 lead at half-time really should have been bigger.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

With the home crowd expecting to see City finish the job, they never really got started.
And Swansea equalised in the 53rd minute, with their only on-target effort of the game.
Sung-Yeung’s fine corner kick found Fernandez, who somehow found some space in a crowded area to nod home from 6 yards.
City’s miserable record of defending set-pieces continued.
Swansea were enjoying more possession at this stage,  but City went close on the break in the 63rd minute. Diabate fed Vardy down the right and then raced forward to get on the end of his cross, but his low shot went inches wide of the left hand post.
Claude Puel made two changes in the 68th minute, bringing Gray and James on for Silva and Iheanacho.
Gray soon had a chance from a Fuchs cross but sent an acrobatic effort way over the bar.
After a clash of heads with Bony, Maguire swiftly got to his feet and had a chance in the 76th minute. Albrighton’s cross found Maguire at the far post but his header under pressure found the side-netting.
Okazaki came on for Simpson in a more attacking line-up and City put the Swans under relentless pressure with a long series of corners and Fuchs long-throws into the box.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

But the Swansea defence stood firm and dealt with everything that was thrown at them.
The thought that we needed a special player with the skill to unlock a solid defence was hard to avoid.
Swansea managed to run the clock down and City had to make do with a point on a hugely frustrating afternoon.
Claude Puel was getting tired of questions about Riyad Mahrez: “Today it is just after the game and Riyad is not my pre-occupation. My pre-occupation is about my players who are available. We wanted to keep this positive attitude and continue this good work and keep the focus on the pitch and quality also.
It is a big frustration. I think first well done to this team because they defended very well. They had just one chance in the game and I think we played very well in the first half. We created a lot of chances. We created of chances with quality and good combinations, a good understanding. It was amazing but without the final the clinical edge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Okazaki 80), Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs, Diabaté, Ndidi, Silva (James 68), Albrighton, Iheanacho (Gray 68), Vardy.
Substitutes: Chilwell, Hamer, Iborra, Benalouane.
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, (Carroll 36), Ki Sung-yueng, Clucas, Dyer (Bony 71), J Ayew (Routledge 90).
Substitutes: Abraham, Narsingh, Nordfeldt, Bartley.
Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 31,179.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

Leave a comment

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Walcott double sinks Leicester at Goodison

Everton 2:1 Leicester City

1718 everton away b

Transfer deadline day cast a shadow over City’s game at Everton on Wednesday night, as they lost 2-1 on a cold and wet night…

Riyad Mahrez, the subject of interest from Manchester City, didn’t travel to Merseyside with the squad. This meant a starting place for Gray, while FA Cup heroes Diabaté and Iheanacho were on the bench along with Silva and Iborra.
For the opening twenty minutes this line-up worked well, playing an assured passing game that had Everton chasing shadows and murmurs of discontent from the home crowd.
Despite this dominance, City weren’t creating many chances. The best one came in the 10th minute when Ndidi got a looping header to an Albrighton cross, but his effort hit the bar.
But the tide then turned when Everton took a 25th minute lead. Chilwell dwelt on the ball in his own area, looking for a pass when he should have cleared, and he was robbed by Martina. Sigurdsson then crossed for an unmarked Walcott to stroke home his first goal for Everton.
This gave Goodison a huge lift, and the game was transformed, with City looking shaky as Everton had their tails up.
City had a huge let off in the 35th minute when Amartey’s poor clearance set up Niasse for an easy chance, but he screwed his shot just wide of the right hand post. It was only a temporary reprieve however, as Everton doubled their lead a minute later.
Rooney hoisted a high ball into the box, Keane nodded it down, and Walcott was unmarked to net his second from close in.
Right from the kick-off Everton had another chance when a Maguire error saw Niasse steaming down the middle, but his control let him down and Schmeichel beat him to the ball.
For City it had been a half of two halves, and it couldn’t end quickly enough.

There were no changes for either side for the second half, and no change in City’s woeful play either with constant defensive errors and hardly a pass finding a man.
Sigurdsson forced Schmeichel into a good save, before Niasse wasted another decent chance.
Claude Puel made his first change after 58 minutes, bringing on Diabaté for Okazaki, but like fellow striker Vardy, he was hardly getting a touch, as Everton controlled their own defensive third.
But City were then handed a 70th minute life-line. Rooney tugged Ndidi as he ran into the area to meet a cross and the referee pointed to the spot. Vardy blasted the penalty into the bottom left hand corner, sending Pickford the wrong way and it was City’s turn to get fired up.
Iheanacho and Fuchs came on for Gray and Amartey as City changed to three at the back and pressed forward. And Iheanacho came close to scoring after just two minutes.
City’s pressing saw Rooney forced into conceding a corner. Albrighton delivered it and Maguire got a diving header on target. Iheanacho, three yards out, stuck out a boot and diverted it onto the crossbar, before chasing the rebound and  hitting the post with a shot on the turn.
Two minutes later James had a shot from close in cleared off the line, but then Everton managed to get a grip on the game, aided by what was now torrential rain.
In the 85th minute Schmeichel came out to collect a cross held up in the swirling wind and collided with Calvert-Lewin, but Drogovic took up his position in goal to head clear.
City couldn’t find a way back and tasted defeat for the first time in 2018.

Without offering any excuses it was hard to believe that transfer deadline day hadn’t affected City’s performance.
Claude Puel commented on the Mahrez situation: “I was ready to accept all decisions. We can understand his reaction. A difficult situation for him and the club. We received something at the last moment and it was harsh for us. All the players, staff, will help him come back with a smile.”

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Martina, Gueye, Davies, Walcott,
Rooney (Schneiderlin 81), Sigurdsson (Calvert-Lewin 82), Niasse (Williams 88).
Substitutes: Bolasie, Tosun, Robles, Kenny.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey (Fuchs 74), Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, James, Albrighton, Okazaki
(Diabaté 58), 
Gray (Iheanacho 75), Vardy.
Substitutes: Hamer, Silva, Iborra, Benalouane.

Referee: 
C Kavanagh. Attendance: 38,390.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

Leave a comment

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Win over Watford moves Leicester up to 7th place

Leicester City 2:0 Watford

1718 watford home c

Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez earned a 2-0 win for City against Watford at the KPS on Saturday…

Claude Puel reverted to the line-up that started at Chelsea, with new signing Diabaté getting a place on the bench.
Before the kick-off there was a minute’s applause in honour of the recently departed Cyrille Regis, as well as City players Rodney Fern and Gordon Wills.

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Watford pressed forward early on and gained a couple of corners, but the spell of pressure ended with a Carrillo shot that was way off target.
City should have gone ahead in the 6th minute, when a long ball forward from Okazaki saw Vardy bearing down on goal, but after he cut inside the defender his shot was too close to Hornet’s keeper Karnezis.
City had another chance a minute later, when Mahrez delivered a free-kick to the far post, and Maguire nodded it back for Ndidi in the six yard box, but his shot was blocked at point-blank range.
Doucoure sent a shot straight at Schmeichel, and then the City keeper ordered no wall for a 35 yard free-kick, but it was struck too tamely to trouble him.
Real chances were rare at this stage of the game, but Deeney had the ball in the net in the 36th minute. The offside flag halted the celebration, but it was a very tight decision.
Instead, it was City who took a 38th minute lead.
Vardy was racing across the penalty area when Wague brought him crashing down for an obvious penalty. His blast down the middle having been sussed out earlier in the season, Vardy placed this one nicely into the bottom right hand corner, sending Karnezis the wrong way.

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Half-time saw no changes and City had a decent chance five minutes into the second half. Vardy raced down the left and picked out Okazaki in the middle, but his first time shot went straight at Karnezis.
Two minutes later Mahrez swung a corner over to the far post, but Ndidi headed it well wide, and then Vardy got a shove in the back when chasing a ball into the area, but didn’t go over.
City were well on top now and the Watford defence scrambled a Chilwell cross away with Vardy lurking at the far post.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 65th minute, bringing Gray on for Okazaki.
In the 70th minute there were loud appeals for a penalty when Doucouré appeared to trip Mahrez from behind in the area, but Lee Probert waved play-on.
Moments later Mahrez played Vardy through, but the flag was raised for offside as he struck the post. Another very tight decision.
City had a scare in the 75th minute when Gray bore down on goal and shot from close-in, but Maguire had raced back to block his shot. The big defender had been excellent all afternoon.

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In the final ten minutes of the game City continued to press for a second goal, rather than protect the lead, but they struggled to find a way through.
Vardy came off for Silva in the 89th minute and he would claim an injury time assist as City put the seal on their victory.  Silva played Mahrez in down the left and he accelerated around his marker before producing a slide-rule finish that went across Karnezis and just inside the far post.

The three points, and Burnley’s defeat against Manchester United, saw City up to 7th place in the Premier League.

Claude Puel commented: “First half there was not enough quality for us with passes, the rhythm of game was not important. In the second half, with good play, good space, we played well. With scoring another goal, we needed to be more clinical, we had a lot of chances. Until the last goal it was difficult to play against this team, congratulations to them because it’s a tough game and a difficult team to play.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 65), Vardy (Silva 89).
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Fuchs, Benalouane, Diabaté.
Watford: Karnezis, Janmaat (Okaka 81), Wagué (Prödl 61), Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Watson, Doucouré, Carrillo, Pereyra (Gray 60), Richarlison, Deeney. Substitutes: Mariappa, Sinclair, Capoue, Bachmann.

Referee: 
L Probert. Attendance: 31,891.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

 

Leave a comment

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Leicester see off Terriers in a game of two halves

Leicester City 3:0 Huddersfield Town

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

After a poor first half at the KPS on New Year’s Day, City produced a fine display after the break to brush Huddersfield aside, with goals from Mahrez, Slimani and Albrighton…

There were a few surprises when Claude Puel’s squad was announced, with James in for Iborra, Slimani replacing the injured Vardy, and a place for the long-awaited Adrien Silva on the bench, with the FA giving him special clearance after his four month exile.
Although City pressed forward in the early stages of the game, it was Huddersfield who had the first shot on goal when Lolley struck a 25 yarder straight at Schmeichel.
City’s first chance came in the 8th minute when Fuchs whipped in a cross from the left and Slimani’s header forced Lössl to tip the ball over the bar, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
Referee Graham Scott had the travelling Town fans up in arms in the 20th minute when Williams broke through the middle and was halted by a clumsy challenge from Maguire on the edge of the area. Williams did, however, go down a little too easily and the ref waved play on.
In the 25th minute Morgan slid into an ungainly and unecessary tackle on Mounie on the halfway line and appeared to pick up a groin injury.
Although he tried to carry on for a couple of minutes the City captain had to limp off, replaced by Dragovic.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

It was a poor game by this stage, summed up when the ball fell for Ndidi after a goalmouth scramble but he sliced his shot well wide.
The tough December schedule had seen plenty of poor games and injuries across the Premier League, and this game wandered to half-time almost without incident.

However, City rallied themselves at the break and produced a far better second half performance.
In the 50th minute Slimani improvised a header to reach an Albrighton cross that was slightly behind him, forcing a save from Lössl.
Two minutes later a moment of inspiration lit up the afternoon as City took the lead.
Albrighton hooked a high ball towards the far post, where Mahrez met it with a superb volley across Lössl and into the net.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

City had the ball in the net again two minutes later, but Okazaki was judged to have fouled a defender on his way to goal.
City didn’t have long to wait for a second, however. In the 59th minute Mahrez played a defence-splitting pass to send Slimani in on goal. As Lössl advanced swiftly to meet him, Slimani chipped the ball over the keeper and it bounced into an unguarded net.
You could see Slimani’s confidence grow, and soon after his goal he almost set Mahrez up with a back-heel, that struck a defender’s arm.
Claude Puel made a change in the 75th minute, bringing Gray on for Mahrez. The crowd gave him a huge ovation, hopefully not for the last time.
It was all Leicester now, and Ndidi headed against the bar from corner.
In the 86th minute, Puel introduced Adrien Silva to the game in place of James, and the crowd responded with something close to hysteria with his every neat pass, and ball-winning challenge being cheered to the rafters.

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

City got a third in time-added-on when a Gray cross from the right deflected off a defenders arm, but the penalty appeals were snuffed out when Albrighton popped up at the far post to guide it home.
It was an outcome that had looked unlikely at half-time, but City had ended their run of four games without a win in style, and Slimani had proved that there is a viable option to Vardy up front.  The cameo played by Silva was a bonus, and even that brief glimpse promised that he could be a huge player for City in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Morgan (Dragovic 28), Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 77), Ndidi, James (Silva 86), Albrighton, Okazaki, Slimani.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Iborra, Ulloa.
Huddersfield: Lössl, Smith (Depoitre 82), Jorgensen, Schindler, Löwe (Malone 76), Williams, Mooy, van La Parra, Ince, Lolley (Quaner 59), Mounie.
Substitutes: Hogg, Coleman, Cranie, Hadergjonaj.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 31,748.

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Leicester undone by set-pieces at Watford

Watford 2:1 Leicester City

1718 watford away a

City’s problems in defending set-pieces led to defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day….

Claude Puel made four changes to his side, with Chilwell, King and Okazaki in for Fuchs,  Iborra and Gray, while Dragovic was handed a full Premier League debut in place of the injured Simpson.
For most of the first half this line-up had the measure of a Watford side who had lost their last four games. But it was a scrappy and physical game that saw Maguire, Watson and Kabasele all booked within the first 12 minutes.
The first chance to emerge from the midfield morass arrived in the 17th minute when Chilwell delivered a cross from the right, Okazaki rose above his marker to nod an on-target effort, but Gomes reacted well to tip it over the bar.
In the 19th minute Albrighton injured himself in committing a foul, but was able to continue with a bandaged head. Five minutes later he played a fine through ball to send Vardy in on goal, but the England striker sent his shot wide of the left hand post with only Gomes to beat.
Albrighton was then the architect of City’s goal when they took a 37th minute lead, twisting and turning down the left to get room for a cross which saw Mahrez ghosting in at the far post to head home.
This finally prodded Watford into life and they should have equalised two minutes later but, having rounded Schmeichel, Richarlison sent his shot into the side-netting.
However, the Hornets went in level at the break, as City failed to defend a corner.
Cleverley’s flag-kick from the left saw a scramble 8 yards out and the ball fell for former City-loanee Wagué, completely unmarked at the far post, and he had the easy task of slotting the ball home.
In time-added-on Watford almost snatched the lead, but a good move ended with Richarlison smacking his shot against the post.

Watford’s improvement continued into the second half, and City were restricted to counter attacks, with the final ball lacking.
The decisive moment of the game arrived in the 65th minute. A Cleverley free-kick from the right sailed beyond the far post, where Doucouré stretched to make contact on the touchline. The ball was heading across goal, but Schmeichel’s touch sent it over the line.
Claude Puel brought Slimani and Gray on for Okazaki and Dragovic in the 73rd minute.
When this didn’t improve matters he threw another striker on, Ulloa for King with six minutes to go.
City finally applied some proper pressure, but Gomes pulled off a couple of fine saves. From a Mahrez corner the ball sat up for Morgan six yards out, but his shot was blocked at point blank range by the Watford keeper. Moments later, following another corner, he got down well to tip an Ulloa header away.
That was City’s last throw of the dice, and familiar failings – now 13 goals of 30 conceded from set-pieces – had cost them again.
Another stat showed City’s miserable run of Boxing Day games – one win the the last 12 at this level.

Claude Puel commented: “We need to correct this. We need good attention and have to focus on second balls and mark well. When you lose a game like this, it’s a big frustration.”

 Watford: Gomes, Janmaat, Wagué, Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Cleverley, Watson (Prödl 87), Doucouré, Carrillo (Sinclair 90), Richarlison, Pereyra (Okaka 44).
Substitutes: Gray, Holebas, CapoueBachmann.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Dragovic (Gray 73), Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, King (Ulloa 84), Mahrez, Okazaki (Slimani 73), Albrighton, Vardy.
Substitutes: Hamer, James, Fuchs, Benalouane.

Referee: C Kavanagh. Attendance: 20,308.

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