Red-hot Vardy leads Leicester past Watford
Leicester City secured a seventh-straight Premier League win to remain in second place in the table, as Jamie Vardy’s penalty kick and James Maddison’s late goal beat Watford at the King Power Stadium.
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Vardy smacked home a penalty kick in the second half to keep the Foxes fine run going as Brendan Rodgers’ side remain eight points off league leaders Liverpool, with Maddison putting the seal on a deserved win.
With the win Leicester have 35 points, while Watford remain bottom on eight points.
3 things we learned
1. Jamie Vardy is on fire: He was at it again as he set up Ayoze Perez in the first half, should have won a penalty kick and scored a penalty of his own to win it. Vardy has now scored in seven straight games to take his tally to this season to 13, and Watford were terrified of his runs on the last shoulder of their defense.
2. Watford solid, but unspectacular: Hayden Mullins, the caretaker boss of Watford, set his team up to be solid and they were, but going forward they showed little to suggest they can get themselves out of trouble. Troy Deeney started up top but had little support and Watford can take solace that they held their own at Leicester. They need to do more than that to push themselves off the bottom of the table.
3. Foxes grinding it out: This wasn’t vintage Leicester. Far from it. But just like they did against Everton last time out, they dug deep, kept working and did what they had to do to get all three points. They remain in the title race and although their silky attacking play got them there, dogged defensive displays will keep them there.
Man of the Match: Jamie Vardy - England fans will want him to return to international action and Vardy was a menace all game long. He is a player reborn and aside from his pace and finishing, he continues to create chances for his teammates. A superb overall display.
The Foxes almost took the lead early on as Jamie Vardy was played in down the wing and picked out Ayoze Perez but the Spaniard slid as he slammed over from 12 yards out. The offside flag had gone up but the replays showed Vardy was onside and the goal would have stood if Perez had finished.
Perez then fluffed his lines again soon after as the Spaniard was finding some gaps in the Watford defense.
Harvey Barnes then had a decent chance for Leicester as he was found on the edge of the box but he slammed his effort into the side-netting at the near post.
To their credit Watford dug deep as caretaker boss Hayden Mullins set his team up in a solid defensive unit and Leicester struggled to break them down. The Hornets did become more adventurous as the game wore on and gave a very good account of themselves in the first half.
Barnes was denied by Ben Foster just before the break as the Foxes continued to knock at the door. Vardy then went down in the box and was booked for diving but VAR checked the call and although it looked like Adrian Mariappa caught him, no penalty was awarded.
Leicester continued to push Watford back and had penalty shouts, one of which was given after Adam Masina was adjudged to have fouled Jonny Evans.
VAR was used and the penalty was given as Vardy slotted home to keep his run going of scoring in each of his last seven games, with nine goals in that run, as the Foxes dominated.
Caglar Soyuncu went close and Vardy then dinked over Foster but somehow Watford’s Masina cleared on the line.
Watford pushed for a late equalizer but were then caught by Maddison who sealed the win in style.