Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City3WatfordWatford0

Leicester City 3-0 Watford

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi's goal was his third for Leicester after his £14m move from Genk in January

Leicester City guaranteed their Premier League survival with a deserved home victory over struggling Watford.

The 2015-16 champions took the lead when Wilfred Ndidi blasted in from 10 yards out after the Hornets had failed to clear Danny Drinkwater's dinked cross following a short corner.

The Foxes twice hit the woodwork before Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead as he pounced on a mistake from Adrian Mariappa to shoot low past Heurelho Gomes.

Marc Albrighton added a third goal in injury time when he collected Jamie Vardy's pass and shot into the net.

Watford, who suffered their third successive defeat, dropped to 15th in the Premier League, six points above the relegation zone with three games remaining.

Leicester's Ranieri sacking justified

The three points for Leicester finally ended any lingering doubts they would drop into the Championship only 12 months after securing their first ever Premier League title.

Indeed, the tight nature of the division takes the Foxes up to ninth, as they aim for only their second top-10 finish in English football's top flight in 17 seasons.

It has been a disappointing defence of their title, but to have secured their survival with three games remaining can be seen as a success, considering the position they were in when Craig Shakespeare replaced the sacked Claudio Ranieri in February, with the club only one point above the relegation zone.

Indeed, they have won seven and drawn one of the 10 Premier League games that Shakespeare has been in charge of, and they capitalised on some poor Watford defending in their latest win.

A cross from the unmarked Danny Drinkwater set up the first goal as Watford failed to pay attention from a short corner, although the Hornets' Etienne Capoue had a chance to clear the danger before Ndidi smashed home.

The second goal saw Mahrez punish Mariappa's mistake to score from a tight angle before Albrighton sealed the win ending a fine counter-attack as his shot, following Vardy's pass, went in off the post.

Leicester's third goal in injury time came with a very quick counter-attack. Thirteen seconds is all it took for the Foxes to go from one end of the pitch to the other. Demarai Gray (number 22) passed to Jamie Vardy (nine), who ran directly at the Watford defence before releasing the overlapping Marc Albrighton, who scored

Where next for Watford and Mazzarri?

Watford have now failed to score in three matches and, mathematically at least, they could still go down.

For the Hornets to be relegated, they have to lose all three of their matches, Hull have to win twice convincingly, Swansea need to win both of their games and Crystal Palace need to pick up two points.

Watford, who end their season with games against Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City, had chances against Leicester but Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel did well to deny Stefano Okaka and two efforts from Tom Cleverley.

However, Leicester also had further opportunities and twice hit the woodwork - Mariappa inadvertently shooting against his own post and Mahrez seeing a deflected effort bounce off the top of the crossbar.

Watford finished 13th in the Premier League last season, a position that was not good enough for Quique Sanchez Flores to keep his job, and, given his side's poor run, boss Walter Mazzarri will be concerned about his own future at the club.

Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez's 12th goal of the season was his first in nine games in all competitions

Watford's problems away from home continue - stats

  • Craig Shakespeare is only the fourth manager to win his first five home Premier League games, after Manuel Pellegrini (11), Sven Goran Eriksson (nine) and Carlo Ancelotti (seven).
  • Riyad Mahrez scored on his 100th Premier League appearance - the first Algerian to reach that milestone in the competition.
  • Mahrez has now scored in each of his past three Premier League appearances against the Hornets, the first time he's done so against a single opponent in the division.
  • Watford have failed to score in five consecutive away league games for the first time since December 1979 (a run of seven).
  • Jamie Vardy's assist for Marc Albrighton's goal was his 60th goal involvement in the Premier League, more than any other Leicester player in the competition (41 goals, 19 assists).
  • Watford have never won a Premier League game in which they've been losing at half-time, drawing seven and losing 48.
  • Only against Chelsea in August 2014 (eight) has Kasper Schmeichel made more saves in a Premier League game for Leicester than the seven he made today.

'We have to be pleased with what we have achieved' - what they said

Shakespeare pleased with 'scrappy' win

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare told BBC Sport: "I'm pleased with the result, the performance wasn't quite there but ultimately it is about the result and it is another clean sheet.

"When I took over, the most important thing was to be competitive, climb the table and never set a points target. Now mathematically we are safe. In football you have to try and win every game, of course it is difficult, but we have to be pleased with what we have achieved."

On picking up 22 points in 10 Premier League games since replacing the sacked Claudio Ranieri, Shakespeare added: "It is not a bad return, but all the credit has to go to the players.

"The remit was to take it [the manager's job] until the end of the season and we will then sit down and discuss it. I've not been told anything else so that's what we will do."

Individual mistakes cost Watford - Mazzarri

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri told BBC Sport: "We are disappointed and am sorry for our fans. We committed some individual mistakes, their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves, they played on the counter-attack and managed to score some goals.

"I am very sorry to lose 3-0 against this team. In the first half, we could have scored before them and they punished us for stupid individual mistakes. You wouldn't commit these mistakes if you had more experience. We have a very young squad.

"I am not thinking about my future. We managed to get to 40 points with six matches left, that was our objective, maybe the players were a bit tired."

What's next?

Watford play at Everton on Friday, 12 May (19:45 BST) and Leicester are away at Manchester City on Saturday, 13 May (12:30 BST).



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 29Benalouane
  • 6Huth
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forGrayat 78'minutes
  • 4DrinkwaterSubstituted forKingat 67'minutes
  • 25Ndidi
  • 11Albrighton
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forSlimaniat 63'minutes
  • 9Vardy


  • 3Chilwell
  • 7Musa
  • 10King
  • 13Amartey
  • 19Slimani
  • 21Zieler
  • 22Gray


Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Gomes
  • 27KabaseleSubstituted forZuñigaat 72'minutes
  • 5Prödl
  • 6Mariappa
  • 7N Amrabat
  • 8Cleverley
  • 16Doucouré
  • 29CapoueSubstituted forDeeneyat 67'minutes
  • 22Janmaat
  • 33Okaka
  • 21NiangSubstituted forPereiraat 83'minutes


  • 9Deeney
  • 10Success
  • 11Behrami
  • 18Zuñiga
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 42Eleftheriou
  • 47Pereira
Roger East

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamWatford
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 3, Watford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 3, Watford 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Leicester City 3, Watford 0. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Juan Zuñiga (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Islam Slimani (Leicester City).

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stefano Okaka (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Abdoulaye Doucouré.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Sebastian Prödl.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

  10. Post update

    Andy King (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Juan Zuñiga (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Nordin Amrabat.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Leicester City. Kasper Schmeichel tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Watford. Stefano Okaka tries a through ball, but Troy Deeney is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefano Okaka (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dion Pereira with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Dion Pereira replaces M'Baye Niang.

  18. Post update

    M'Baye Niang (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Stefano Okaka (Watford).


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