Leicester City 2:0 Watford
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.
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.
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.
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.
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