Leicester 2-0 Watford: Jamie Vardy and James Maddison on target

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison scored as Leicester beat bottom-club Watford to climb back to second in the Premier League.

After a goalless first half, Vardy fired the hosts ahead from the penalty spot after Adam Masina had fouled Jonny Evans.

Maddison then made sure of the win in stoppage time, breaking away before slipping the ball past Ben Foster in the Watford goal.

The win moved Leicester back above Manchester City into second place, eight points behind leaders Liverpool who hammered Everton 5-2.

It was also Leicester’s seventh consecutive top-flight win, equalling a club record that was set in March 1963 and surpassing any run they were able to manage in their title-winning season in 2015-16.

Defeat, meanwhile, leaves managerless Watford bottom of the table and they are now seven points adrift of safety after Southampton beat Norwich to move out of the relegation zone.

The Hornets did not manage a shot on target at the King Power Stadium until the 90th minute when Domingos Quina hit a tame effort at Kasper Schmeichel as the visitors slumped to a ninth defeat in 15 games.

Foxes’ incredible run under Rodgers goes on

Brendan Rodgers’ reign at Leicester got off to a losing start with a 2-1 defeat at Watford back in March, but the two sides have gone in opposite directions since that day.

The Foxes have gone on to collect 52 points from 24 games compared to just 15 for the Hornets over the same period, while this win was Leicester’s 11th from their opening 15 games of the season – the first time they have won so many games at this stage of a league campaign.

This was not Leicester at their fluid, attacking best but even so they could still have won by an even bigger margin.

Harvey Barnes was twice denied by Foster either side of half-time, while Vardy was harshly denied a penalty in the first half when he was adjudged to have dived despite replays suggesting he had been fouled.

Leicester are putting together form they did not even manage in their title-winning campaign and show no signs of slowing down. Talk of a second Premier League title may still be premature but they certainly appear ready to pounce should Liverpool slip up during a busy December.

A change in the dugout but Watford’s woes continue

Watford dispensed with their second manager of the season at the weekend with the departure of Flores, and it was tasked to Under-23s boss Hayden Mullins to inspire the beleaguered Hornets to only a second win of the season.

The former defensive midfielder tried to stamp his mark on the team by switching from a back five to a back four and it certainly led to an improved defensive display from the Hornets as they looked solid in possession and kept a normally free-scoring Leicester at bay for almost an hour.

But Watford’s familiar failings in attack were once again laid bare as they failed to create anything of note in the final third. Gerard Deulofeu was largely anonymous while Troy Deeney showed plenty of endeavour without being able to trouble a disciplined Leicester side.

The Hornets have now failed to score in eight of their 15 league games this season – the worst record in the Premier League – and it highlighted the size of the task facing an incoming manager.

Man of the match – Harvey Barnes (Leicester)

‘We had to be patient’ – what they said

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, speaking to Match of the Day: “It was a tough game for us. Hayden Mullins had Watford very well organised. We had to be patient this evening and worked very hard for that but I thought we deserved it.

“Jamie Vardy is absolutely fantastic. I thought he should have a penalty in the first half. I don’t know why that was overturned. In the current rules that is normally given but it wasn’t and we gathered our composure and continued to work away to get the goal.

“It was a real team effort tonight and to get seven wins on the spin in the Premier League is a great achievement. The team is developing and are proving they have a winning mentality and mindset. We will do our best (to stay in top two), we fight and work and see where it takes us.”

Watford caretaker manager Hayden Mullins: “I think up until the penalty we were in the game and even after it we were still in the game. We have come away from home to a team that has done really, really well and put a performance in.

“What I saw tonight was a side in us that came away from home and showed good levels of fitness, good intelligence on the field, put in a great performance and took it right to the wire. There were loads of positives.

“The boys have responded fantastically well. I’m so proud of what they did tonight.”

Vardy closing in on record run – the stats

  • Leicester City have now equalled their top-flight league record for consecutive wins (seven games), with the only previous occasion coming between December 1962 and March 1963.
  • Watford have won just eight points in their last 18 Premier League games (W1 D5 L12) – opponents Leicester City have won more than this in their last three league games alone (three wins, nine points).
  • Watford have scored just nine goals in 15 Premier League matches this season; an average of 0.6 per game. The only team to have averaged less in the top five European Leagues this season are La Liga team Leganes (0.53 per game).
  • Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has scored in seven successive Premier League appearances, his best streak since his record-breaking 11-match run in November 2015.
  • Jamie Vardy has now scored 50 Premier League goals at home for Leicester City; 30 more than any other player (Muzzy Izzet: 20).
  • Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has scored 23 goals in 25 games under Brendan Rodgers in the Premier League; the same tally as he scored under the management of Claude Puel in 51 Premier League games.

What next?

Leicester travel to Aston Villa on Sunday, 8 December (14:00 GMT) while Watford host Crystal Palace a day earlier (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Leicester

Substitutes

Watford

Substitutes

Match Stats

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. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Justin with a headed pass.

Attempt saved. Domingos Quina (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kiko Femenía.

Foul by Dennis Praet (Leicester City).

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

Booking

Adam Masina (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

Attempt missed. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Masina with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Troy Deeney.

Foul by Dennis Praet (Leicester City).

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

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

Attempt blocked. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Justin.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Domingos Quina replaces Will Hughes.

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Success (Watford).

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. James Justin replaces Harvey Barnes.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Isaac Success replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

Hand ball by Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kiko Femenía.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces Youri Tielemans.

Foul by Harvey Barnes (Leicester City).

Kiko Femenía (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

Booking

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Ismaila Sarr (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James Maddison with a cross.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Adam Masina.

Attempt blocked. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

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