Premier League
Leicester2Watford0

Leicester City 2-0 Watford

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy scored his tenth Premier League goal of the season to set Leicester on their way to victory

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both scored as Leicester beat Watford to continue the visitors' poor run.

Watford have now won just one of their last 11 Premier League matches, while Leicester improve to two wins from seven in the league and move up to seventh place in the table.

Vardy scored from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the area by Watford defender Molla Wague.

The England striker got to his feet and rifled the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Mahrez then made sure of victory with a goal in the closing stages.

Substitute Adrien Silva played it to him on the left-hand side and Mahrez finished with his left foot from a tight angle.

The Algerian could have gone down looking for a penalty under a challenge from Christian Kabasele but he stayed on his feet to score his fifth goal in his last five appearances against Watford.

Watford thought they had gone ahead in the first half but Troy Deeney's goal was ruled out for offside.

Vardy plays key role in Watford's downfall

Leicester manager Claude Puel had complained ahead of the game that he has too many strikers to choose from but there is no doubt who remains his number one.

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Foxes win was 'fantastic reward' - Puel

Vardy broke the deadlock and his pace was a constant threat to Watford's defence.

Wague, who brought Vardy down for the penalty, was substituted in the second half after he appeared to pull his hamstring when chasing the England striker.

Prior to scoring his goal, Vardy had the best chance of the first half when Shinji Okazaki played him through and he was too strong for Wague, forcing a good save from Orestis Karnezis.

Vardy was nudged in the area by Kabasele in the second half as Watford struggled to cope with him and he also hit the post after being flagged for offside.

What now for Watford's goal-shy frontmen?

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Watch Silva's final MOTD interview

Watford started the game with Richarlison, Andre Carrillo and Troy Deeney up front and by the end Andre Gray and Stefano Okaka had joined them.

Richarlison has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea this week. The 20-year-old is clearly a talented player but he also hasn't scored since November and he struggled to make an impact in this game.

Deeney returned to the starting line-up but aside from scoring an offside goal, his most telling contribution was playing Gray in for what looked like a promising chance until the excellent Harry Maguire got there to block his shot.

Club-record signing Gray is stuck on four goals for the season and Marco Silva needs to find a way to get his forward line firing.

Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Riyad Mahrez celebrates his goal against Watford
Claude Puel says he could be worth over £100m and Riyad Mahrez capped a good display with a fine goal

'Mahrez is enjoying playing' - the reaction

Leicester boss Claude Puel speaking to the BBC's Match of the Day: "The result was a fantastic reward for the squad because today was a tough game. Watford are a strong team, they battle well and they play good football. In the first half we needed a bit more quality to find the space behind them. In the second half, we did this much better without scoring a second goal and that made it difficult for us.

"What was pleasing was that we didn't give away many chances today - I think we controlled the game and it's a good feeling for us to win. For the moment, it's important for us to keep playing well on this run. If it's possible to improve the squad, of course we will look to do that, but the players have a fantastic spirit and there is a good balance about them."

On the future of goalscorer Riyad Mahrez: "Mahrez is enjoying playing with his team-mates and he shows this every time he plays."

Watford boss Marco Silva: "Today was a tough game for both teams. We didn't deserve to be losing at half-time. They started the second half better but after our changes we created some problems for them. We had two clear chances to make it 1-1, which would have been a fair result but then obviously the second goal in the last minutes ended it.

"It wasn't a great game to watch. Our boys worked really hard - we knew it was a difficult place to come but the simple difference today was that they scored their chances and we didn't."

On the poor run: "We want to win and get more points. The attitude and the commitment that I've seen these last two games is what we need. The Premier League is so difficult - we just need to turn the hard work into points and the confidence will come.

"I have confidence in all of our players."

Vardy boxes clever - the stats

  • Leicester have won eight of their last 10 home league matches (including play-offs) against Watford, including each of the last three Premier League clashes.
  • The Hornets are on their longest run without a clean sheet since October 2016 (12 games).
  • Only Stoke (18) have gone behind in more Premier League games this season than Watford (17).
  • Since the start of 2014-15 season, Jamie Vardy has won more penalties in the Premier League than any other player (13).
  • Since returning to the Premier League in 2015, this was the first game in Watford's 100 in the competition where Heurelho Gomes failed to start.
  • Watford have seen 10 goals scored in the 90th minute or later in their Premier League matches this season (five scored, five conceded).

What's next?

Leicester travel to Peterborough on Saturday, 27 January (12:30 GMT) for their FA Cup fourth-round tie, while Watford are at Southampton the same day (15:00), also in the FA Cup.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 18Amartey
  • 16Dragovic
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 26Mahrez
  • 25Ndidi
  • 22James
  • 11Albrighton
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forGrayat 65'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forAdrien Silvaat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Gray
  • 8Iheanacho
  • 12Hamer
  • 14Adrien Silva
  • 28Fuchs
  • 29Benalouane
  • 33Diabaté

Watford

  • 30Karnezis
  • 2JanmaatSubstituted forOkakaat 81'minutes
  • 13WaguéSubstituted forPrödlat 61'minutes
  • 27Kabasele
  • 22Zeegelaar
  • 23Watson
  • 16Doucouré
  • 28Carrillo
  • 37PereyraSubstituted forGrayat 60'minutes
  • 11Richarlison
  • 9Deeney

Substitutes

  • 5Prödl
  • 6Mariappa
  • 17Sinclair
  • 18Gray
  • 29Capoue
  • 33Okaka
  • 35Bachmann
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
31,891

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 0.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 2, Watford 0. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adrien Silva following a fast break.

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Adrien Silva replaces Jamie Vardy.

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

Offside, Leicester City. Harry Maguire tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Stefano Okaka replaces Daryl Janmaat.

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ben Watson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Attempt blocked. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a through ball.

Offside, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

Marvin Zeegelaar (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matty James (Leicester City).

Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Andre Gray (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

Foul by Daniel Amartey (Leicester City).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Sebastian Prödl replaces Molla Wagué because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Roberto Pereyra.

Delay in match Molla Wagué (Watford) because of an injury.

Foul by Harry Maguire (Leicester City).

Daryl Janmaat (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Riyad Mahrez is caught offside.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Christian Kabasele.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Christian Kabasele.

Offside, Watford. Molla Wagué tries a through ball, but Roberto Pereyra is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Christian Kabasele.

Foul by Matty James (Leicester City).

Roberto Pereyra (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City24212170185265
2Man Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham23135546212544
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton2349102334-1121
19West Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea2345141435-2117
View full Premier League table

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