Match ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 0.
Leicester City 2-0 Watford: Vardy penalty helps Foxes beat Hornets
Leicester City manager Claude Puel compared James Maddison to Glenn Hoddle after the midfielder's superb goal ensured a comfortable victory over Watford.
The England Under-21 midfielder made the points secure after juggling Marc Albrighton's searching pass on his foot and knee before dispatching a sumptuous effort past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The Foxes are now unbeaten in five Premier League matches, while for Maddison it represented a chance to atone for his red card at Brighton last week.
And Puel - who played with Hoddle at Monaco - suggested the 22-year-old's talent is reminiscent of the former Tottenham and England midfielder.
Hoddle, who played for Spurs, Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea between 1975 and 1995, and also managed his country in the 90s, is regarded as one of the finest midfielders of his generation.
He is currently recovering from a heart attack he suffered in October.
"There's a comparison there because he [Maddison] can invent some different moves," Puel said.
When asked if he had seen a goal like Maddison's, Puel replied: "Yes, with Glenn Hoddle - and I would like to wish Glenn all the best in this moment.
"After his sending-off he [Maddison] wanted to give a good reward for his team mates, to come back. He was very upset with himself last week."
Jamie Vardy's first-half penalty had put Leicester ahead, with the forward converting from the spot for the second week running after being brought down by Foster.
While the visitors created a series of chances, their day went from bad to worse in the second half with midfielder Etienne Capoue dismissed for a two-footed tackle on Kelechi Iheanacho late on - a decision the Hornets say they will appeal.
The result leaves Watford, who have won just twice in their past 10 fixtures, in 10th while Leicester move up to eighth.
Incisive Leicester cut through
While Watford dominated possession with 62% it was the hosts who demonstrated the greater attacking thrust, largely thanks to the pace and movement of their front four.
While Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi laid the platform in midfield, the quartet of Vardy, Maddison, Albrighton and Demarai Gray prospered on the counter-attack.
Vardy's run off the shoulder of Watford defenders Craig Cathcart and Adrian Mariappa resulted in Foster clattering in to him for the Leicester penalty - the 13th the former England forward has converted out of 15 attempts in the top flight.
And a sweeping riposte initiated by Maddison from a Watford attack then brought the second goal, with Vardy turning Mariappa and Albrighton picking out the midfielder, who had raced 50 yards to receive his pass.
Leicester continued in the same vein after the break.
Content to soak up pressure, Ricardo Pereira's surge forward from full-back then released Gray, who smashed his shot against the post.
Watford fail to fire
Watford manager Javi Gracia had suggested his team needed to rediscover their cutting edge in the build-up to this game.
But having managed just one goal in their previous three matches, there were few signs his players were close to recovering their goal-scoring instincts at the King Power Stadium.
Instead it was more of the same for the Hornets, who also have a question mark over their form on the road, with this defeat their 14th in their past 19 matches away from Vicarage Road.
Top scorer Roberto Pereyra's form is symptomatic of those troubles.
Four of the five goals scored by the Argentine this season have been at home and he passed up a glorious chance to reduce the gap early in the second half.
But he was not the only one guilty of wasting opportunities.
Isaac Success fired over when through on goal and substitute Andre Gray missed three excellent chances as Gracia's team battled in vain to retrieve the two-goal deficit.
"We created the chances but we didn't shoot on target. We need to improve these situations. We are losing points because we are not efficient," said Gracia.
Man of the match - James Maddison (Leicester City)
Penalty-winner Vardy - the stats
- Leicester City have won all five of their home Premier League matches against Watford, scoring 10 goals and conceding just once.
- Watford have won just one of their past 12 away matches at the King Power Stadium against Leicester in all competitions (D2 L9), a 2-1 victory in April 2013 in the Championship.
- Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Jamie Vardy has won more penalties in the Premier League than any other player (14).
- All three of Vardy's Premier League goals against Watford have been at the King Power Stadium.
- James Maddison has been directly involved in four goals in his six Premier League home games for Leicester this season, scoring three and assisting one.
- Watford's Etienne Capoue was sent off in a league game in Europe's top five divisions for the first time since May 2013 for Toulouse versus Sochaux.
Leicester travel to Fulham on Wednesday 5 December (19:45 GMT) for their next Premier League fixture while Watford host leaders Manchester City on Tuesday 4 December (20:000 GMT).
- 14Ricardo Pereira
- 6EvansSubstituted forIborraat 84'minutes
- 11AlbrightonBooked at 62mins
- 10MaddisonBooked at 90mins
- 7GraySubstituted forSöyüncüat 69'minutes
- 9VardySubstituted forIheanachoat 72'minutes
- 29CapoueBooked at 90mins
- 19HughesSubstituted forChalobahat 76'minutes
- 37PereyraSubstituted forDeeneyat 55'minutes
- 7DeulofeuSubstituted forGrayat 55'minutes
- 10SuccessBooked at 85mins
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 0.
James Maddison (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).
Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Etienne Capoue (Watford) is shown the red card.
Foul by Etienne Capoue (Watford).
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ben Chilwell.
Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Kiko Femenía with a headed pass.
Isaac Success (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Isaac Success (Watford).
Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Leicester City. Vicente Iborra replaces Jonny Evans.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.
Craig Cathcart (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City).
Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Isaac Success.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Nampalys Mendy.
Attempt missed. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.
Corner, Watford. Conceded by Jonny Evans.
Substitution, Watford. Nathaniel Chalobah replaces Will Hughes.
Substitution, Leicester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Jamie Vardy.
Kiko Femenía (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).
Substitution, Leicester City. Caglar Söyüncü replaces Demarai Gray.
Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by José Holebas with a cross.
Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).
Demarai Gray (Leicester City) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Etienne Capoue.
Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Gerard Deulofeu.
Substitution, Watford. Troy Deeney replaces Roberto Pereyra.
Attempt missed. Roberto Pereyra (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gerard Deulofeu following a fast break.
Offside, Watford. Will Hughes tries a through ball, but Gerard Deulofeu is caught offside.
Offside, Leicester City. James Maddison tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.
Second Half begins Leicester City 2, Watford 0.
First Half ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 0.
Attempt missed. Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.