Match ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 1.
Leicester City 2-1 Watford
Jamie Vardy scored for a ninth successive Premier League game as Leicester beat Watford to go level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table.
Vardy got Leicester's second from the spot, converting after he was tripped by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Gomes had already gifted Leicester the lead, somehow letting Ngolo Kante's tame shot slip through.
A Troy Deeney penalty gave Watford hope, but Leicester closed it out.
It was arguably harsh on the Hornets, who had the better of the first half.
Still, a seventh win of the season took Leicester behind the top two on goal difference alone. Needing a remarkable escape from relegation last season, their 25 points from 12 games is as many as they managed in their first 31 last term.
Fox in the box
Vardy had been kept quiet by an organised Watford defence in the first half and was even the subject of an injury scare after Leicester took the lead.
Jumping to control the ball with no other player around him, Vardy landed awkwardly and was in discomfort as he lay on the ground, holding his groin.
However, after receiving treatment, he produced a moment typical of his stellar season.
Running clear of the Watford defence, he latched on to a through ball and was only stopped by a clumsy challenge from the onrushing Gomes. Vardy, handed the ball by regular penalty-taker Riyad Mahrez, smashed the resulting spot-kick high into the net.
Only Ruud van Nistelrooy, with 10, has scored in more successive Premier League games than Vardy, who is part of the England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and France.
|Most successive goals in Premier League games|
|Player||Final game in scoring run||Club||Number of games in scoring run|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||23/08/03||Man Utd||10|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||19/01/02||Man Utd||8|
Though Watford were under pressure from an improved Leicester display at the beginning of the second half, they were ultimately only undone by the mistakes of their goalkeeper.
Gomes, so impressive so far this season, inexplicably gifted the hosts the lead with a comical error that gave Kante his first goal for Leicester.
The midfielder showed good skill inside the area, wriggling away from three defenders, but could only manage a tame shot. Still, Gomes allowed the ball through his hands, under his body and into the corner of the net.
Then, as Vardy ran through, Gomes was hasty in charging off his line. The Leicester striker was on the very edge of the 18-yard box when he was needlessly brought down.
Leicester, arriving on the back of a four-game unbeaten run, were stifled in the first half by Watford, themselves buoyed by wins against Stoke and West Ham.
Central defenders Miguel Britos and Craig Cathcart dealt with Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, while the visitors, who had the majority of possession, could have taken the lead, only for Odion Ighalo's shot to come back off the post.
But as Leicester once again improved after the break - 17 of their last 19 league goals have come in the second half - Ighalo and strike partner Deeney saw increasingly less of the ball.
And even though Deeney gave Watford an unexpected lifeline from the spot after Juan Carlos Paredes was tripped by Kante, the Hornets did not come close to an equaliser.
Key man of the match - Heurelho Gomes
After the two-week international break, Leicester go to Newcastle on Saturday, 21 November, when Vardy will look to score for a record-equalling 10th successive game. Watford entertain Manchester United in that day's early kick-off.
- Vardy is the only player to score in nine consecutive games in the same Premier League season, as Van Nistelrooy's goals came between March and August 2003.
- 11 of the 12 goals Watford have conceded in the Premier League this season have come in the second half.
- The Foxes are the only team in the Premier League who have scored in every match this season.
- Leicester have lost just two of their last 13 Premier League home matches and those defeats came against Chelsea and Arsenal.
- Watford have won only one of their last nine away games at Leicester, including play-off games.
What they said
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "We could not have imagined this, but it is only November. It's not May. We still have to achieve 40 points first.
"Jamie is fantastic. He'll be fit for England. After the goal he continued to run and fight - he's OK.
"It is important to continue the momentum. It's not easy for us, but we are very ambitious."
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores: "We have to accept that there are accidents in football sometimes.
"Huerelho knows he has out support, it is they style of this team. He feels he is guilty, but the rest of us don't feel that way. We are really happy with his performance in general.
"We had lots of possession of the ball. Leicester were playing for the counter-attack and we didn't always use the possession of the ball in the right way."
- 4DrinkwaterSubstituted forKingat 90'minutes
- 15SchluppSubstituted forOkazakiat 45'minutes
- 26MahrezSubstituted forDyerat 84'minutes
- 1GomesBooked at 65mins
- 2NyomSubstituted forDiamantiat 76'minutes
- 29CapoueSubstituted forParedesat 70'minutes
- Roger East
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 1.
Foul by Alessandro Diamanti (Watford).
Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford).
Andy King (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Daniel Drinkwater.
Substitution, Leicester City. Nathan Dyer replaces Riyad Mahrez.
Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shinji Okazaki.
Alessandro Diamanti (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).
Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.
Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.
Substitution, Watford. Alessandro Diamanti replaces Nyom.
Goal! Leicester City 2, Watford 1. Troy Deeney (Watford) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Watford. Juan Carlos Paredes draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City) after a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Watford. Juan Carlos Paredes replaces Etienne Capoue.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Nyom.
Goal! Leicester City 2, Watford 0. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.
Heurelho Gomes (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Penalty conceded by Heurelho Gomes (Watford) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Leicester City. Jamie Vardy draws a foul in the penalty area.
Ben Watson (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City).
Attempt missed. Wes Morgan (Leicester City) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Christian Fuchs with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Almen Abdi.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Miguel Britos.
Attempt blocked. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.
Foul by Ben Watson (Watford).
Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Nyom (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Etienne Capoue.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) because of an injury.
Goal! Leicester City 1, Watford 0. N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner.
Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).