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Rodgers denied his first point with late lapse at Watford

Watford 2:1 Leicester City 

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Brendan Rodgers got off to a losing start at Vicarage Road on Sunday, with City conceding a late goal in a 2-1 defeat…

Rodgers made the change that many thought was more suited to the players, with Morgan in for Gray and a three man defence.
But it wasn’t an immediate success as the home side went for City from the start.
Morgan went over as he attempted to clear a free-kick but Mariappa’s shot from close in was blocked by Schmeichel and then Morgan threw himself in front of Deulofeu’s follow up shot.
Watford went ahead in the 5th minute from another free kick, a devilish delivery from Deulofeu saw Deeney, from an offside position, apply a slight touch to send the ball past Schmeichel.
City took a while to recover from this early blow and didn’t show anything up front until Barnes got in down the left, but his cutback was snuffed out by Watford’s defence.
In the 14th minute a free-kick from Maddison was flighted towards the run of Vardy, but Foster was alert to the danger and they crashed into each other, both requiring a spell of treatment.
City now had most of the possession, with Watford happy to sit on their lead.
Ricardo cut in and delivered a ball to Chilwell but his low shot was turned wide by Barnes.
The game settled into something of a stalemate and chances were rare. Deulofeu fired in a shot that didn’t test Schmeichel, before there were penalty appeals for a ball that hit Mariappa on the arm from behind.
Mariappa then nodded away a corner which Tielemans met on the volley. It may have been an attempted shot but turned into a perfect ball out to Maddison, but his cross was cleared by the busy Mariappa.
It had been a disappointing half that hadn’t seen Foster forced into any meaningful action.

The second half carried on in the same vein, with City retaining possession, but unable to penetrate a well-drilled Watford defence. Barnes had a shot blocked and Ndidi then sent a low long-range effort straight at Foster.
Chilwell then swung a cross over that Maguire hoofed into the stand.
A Watford break then saw Deeney and Schmeichel involved in a race. The City keeper got there first, but Deeney earned a yellow card for catching him on the foot.
Rodgers made his first change in the 66th minuite bringing Gray on for Barnes and City began to look more of a threat.
Maddison, looking improved from recent performances, set up Gray for a shot that was blocked, and then Ndidi sent a cross onto the bar.
City then levelled int he 75th minute. As City broke forward Tielemans threaded a perfect ball through to Vardy who outpaced Mariappa before steering a clever shot past Foster.
City looked the more likely winners at this stage, but then Rodgers was forced into a couple of changes, with Vardy going off injured, replaced by Iheanacho, and Tielemans, still not up to 90 minutes of Premier League football, making way for Mendy.
With five minues remaining Gray sent a ball forward, Iheanacho’s first touch was poor, but he got a lucky bounce. With Maddison breaking to his left the right ball would have sent him through, but Iheanacho couldn’t deliver it.
Morgan then sent a header wide after good work from Evans, and it looked as though the points would be shared.
But poor game management cost City a point in the second minute of time-added-on.
Schmeichel delivered a clearance straight to the head of Docoure, who nodded it forward Deeney, who produced a fine hooked pass to Gray, and his run between Morgan and Maguire was capped with a cool finish past Schmeichel.
Watford resisted a late series of City corners to claim the three points and Brendan Rodgers had plenty of food for thought.

“I have a fantastic group of players who are very keen and have a great spirit and they really want to learn. I said to them despite the result they have had a really good week of training and they have taken on board what items we spoke about. We know we need to improve and there are lots of areas we need to get better in, but there is plenty of potential there. This is the second youngest team in the Premier League and there is growth there and we have another weeks work then and then look forward to our first home game.”

Watford: Foster, Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas, Doucouré, Capoue,
Hughes (Cleverley 90), Pereyra, Deulofeu (Gray 69), Deeney. 
Substitutes: Gomes, Success, Masina, Quina, Kabasele.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Evans, Morgan, Maguire, Ricardo, Tielemans (Mendy 82), Ndidi, Chilwell, Maddison, Barnes (Gray 66), Vardy (Iheanacho 83).
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Ward, Fuchs, Ghezzal.

Referee: Jonathan Moss. Attendance: 20,062.

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Can’t Buy That Feeling – Inside Leicester City – The Best of The Fox Interviews

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We have finally got round to compiling all our interviews into one book and it is available now from Conker Editions Ltd HERE
and Amazon HERE

Also available from the Leicester City Fanstore and Waterstones in Leicester.

The FOX has been interviewing Leicester City players, managers, famous fans and board members for almost three decades, building up a body of work that takes you right into the very fabric of the club, with memories spanning the last 60 years.

As a City fan, you’ve come to know hundreds of players through their performance on the pitch, through potted career biographies and football sticker images. But what about the real characters behind the blue shirt and the back-page reports?

Can’t Buy That Feeling takes you inside Leicester City from the perspective of those who were there – behind the scenes at the long-running soap opera packed with comedy and tragedy, triumph and disaster, financial ruin and amazing title wins.

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Leicester feel Hornets sting

Watford 2:1 Leicester City

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City’s poor run continued at Vicarage Road, where Watford were 2-0 up by the 12th minute on Saturday afternoon…

Claudio Ranieri brought Vardy, Amartey and Albrighton back into a starting line-up that looked like last season’s title winners, minus Schmeichel and Kante.
But the team sheet was where the similarity ended,  as City found themselves a goal down after 32 seconds. Pereyra crossed from the left, Deeney nodded on with a delicate header into the path of Capoue, who sent his first time effort into the turf and up beyond Zieler’s reach.
If this stunned the Champions, worse was to come in the 12th minute when the hosts went further ahead. Pereyra cut in from the left, stepped round Drinkwater and curled a sublime shot into the top right hand corner.

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This stung City into a reaction and they were awarded a penalty after a quarter of an hour.
Britos bundled Vardy over with a clumsy challenge and Mahrez halved the deficit from 12 yards.
The rest of the half was a complete scrap, with neither side able to string three passes together and some niggly challenges. Chances were few and far between, with a Huth header over the bar being City’s closest effort.
City still trailed at the break, but had been the better side in the later stages of the half.

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The second half was equally scrappy, as City pursued an equaliser and Watford, on the back of a 6-1 defeat at Anfield, were grimly determined to hang on to the win.
Pereyra had the goal at his mercy with a close range header, but sent it too close to Zieler who pulled off a good save to keep City in the game.
As the clock ticked down, City attacked down the flanks through Mahrez and then Gray, but they lacked the aerial presence in the middle and several crosses were headed clear or easily caught by Gomes.
Schlupp was also brought on and delivered two decent cut-backs from the left, but fellow-sub Musa failed to take advantage when well placed.
Referee Neil Swarbrick didn’t help City’s cause. A free-kick was awarded against Huth for getting his head to a cross, and Vardy was also penalised after a race to a loose ball ended with a 50-50 challenge  between him and Gomes.

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Several shots from the edge of the area were blocked by a yellow wall and there were loud appeals for handball from the away section on three occasions, though all of them were for hard shots from close-range.
Watford survived a frantic late spell, though Gomes didn’t have a shot to save, and City paid for their slow start with another defeat.

Claudio Ranieri remained positive: “Watford scored two fantastic goals and then we did a very fantastic reaction, Gomes didn’t make any saves but I think until the end we had a chance to score a goal because the team was alive. But against us today there was a big wall to stop all our shots at goal. We lost the match but the spirit is high. I’m proud of them.”

Despite the Premier League struggles, City could qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night, and Ranieri needs to keep the mood buoyant.

Watford: Gomes, Britos, Kaboul, Prodl, Amrabat (Guedioura 86), Deeney (Okaka 90), Behrami, Zuniga, Janmaat, Capoue, Pereyra. Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Mariappa, Sinclair, Watson, Ighalo. 
Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs (Schlupp 68), Drinkwater, Amartey, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 78), Okazaki (Gray 68), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hamer, Hernández, Wasilewski, King. 
Referee: N Swarbrick. Attendance: 20,640. 
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 

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Leicester Miss Out in Dramatic Finale

Watford 3:1 Leicester City

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City missed out on a Wembley Play-Off final in the most agonising way possible at Vicarage Road when Troy Deeney smashed home the decisive goal for Watford, seconds after Anothony Knockeart’s penalty miss in the 7th minute of injury time…

Nigel Pearson fielded an unchanged side again and City pressed forward right from the kick off gaining three corners in quick succession.  Knockaert’s flag-kick found De Laet at the near post but his was blocked by Deeney.
But Watford looked dangerous going forward and a ball over the defence from Deeney set Vydra up but he snatched and missed the target as he had done in the first leg.
The lively Deeney then tested Schmeichel with a shot from the edge of the area.
This good spell for the Hornets was capped with a 15th minute opener, Vydra making no mistake this time with a stunning volley to square the tie.  However City responded well to this set back and hit back with an equaliser just four minutes later.
James’ corner found Nugent at the far post and he sent a header beyond Almunia’s reach to restore City’s lead in the tie.
Deeney then forced another save from Schmeichel while Knockeart fired an effort over the bar.
City had preserved their advantage up to the three-quarter mark, and were 45 minutes from Wembley.

Early in the second half Knockaert sent a free kick narrowly over the bar and then a Nugent header went straight to Almunia.
On the hour both sides made a chance with swapping Kane for Wood and Zola introducing Forestieri for Doyley with more accent on attack.
It soon paid off for the home side when Vydra exchanged passes with Deeney before sending a precise low shot past Schmeichel to level the tie.
Pearson then brought Drinkwater on for Dyer.
The game entered a nervy last twenty minutes… Battocchio was denied by Schmeichel while Nugent and Kane both wasted well placed free-kicks sending them sailing over the crossbar.
As the 90 minutes came up Watford began to turn on the pressure, but this was broken up somewhat by a lengthy spell of treatment and it was City who were presented with a girt-wrapped ticket to Wembley with 97 minutes on the clock.
Knockaert surged into the penalty area on the right and went down under a challenge from Chalobah. It may have been a little harsh, but after a couple of seconds thought Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.

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Knockeart’s spot kick was saved by Almunia, who also managed to block the Frenchman’s follow up effort.
To add insult to injury Watford then charged upfield, Forestieri floated a cross over from the right, Hogg nodded it back and smashed it into the net, sending Watford to Wembley seconds after the ball had been on their penalty spot.

It was a dramatic and devastating end to a season, but in truth on the day and over the campaign as a whole, Nigel Pearson’s man had fallen short.

Watford: Almunia, Deeney, Doyley (Forestieri 65), Briggs, Vydra, Anya, Abdi, Cassetti, Battocchio (Hogg 79), Chalobah, Ekstrand. Unused Subs: Bond, Eustace, Hall, Pudil, Geijo.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, King, Dyer (Drinkwater 67), Keane, James, Schlupp, Knockaert, Nugent, Wood (Kane 61). Unused Subs: Logan, Konchesky, Marshall, Vardy, Moore.

Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 16,142.

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