During his first game in charge of the Foxes, Brendan Rodgers made only one change to the side that defeated Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek, as skipper Wes Morgan replaced Demarai Gray in a 3-4-2-1 formation.
A difficult start to the Northern Irishman’s reign saw Hornets captain Troy Deeney flick a header past Kasper Schmeichel, who just moments earlier was on hand to deny Adrian Mariappa at the front post.
The Foxes recovered from their early setback and managed to gain a foothold in the game as Academy graduate Harvey Barnes fired over the crossbar on 18 minutes after a good cross from England international left-back Ben Chilwell.
A well-timed challenge from Jonny Evans prevented Abdoulaye Doucouré from doubling the Watford advantage, while Schmeichel was on hand again just after the half-hour mark to gather Gerard Deulofeu’s low shot.
After the interval, it was Schmeichel who this time had to deny Frenchman Doucouré as the Watford midfielder sent a curling effort on goal that the Denmark international stopper was equal to.
The game developed into a stop-start affair, but City continued to dominate possession of the ball and on 75 minutes nearly went ahead as Wilfred Ndidi’s delivery hit the top of Ben Foster’s crossbar.
However, a minute later, City had their equaliser. Youri Tielemans registered his second assist in a week to set up Jamie Vardy’s 10th Premier League goal of the season, as the No.9 applied a fine finish to the Belgium international midfielder’s well-weighted through-ball.
After Vardy’s strike, Rodgers’ men looked the most likely to go on and win the game, with Morgan heading wide from six yards out after good work from James Maddison on the left flank.
But it was Watford who sealed all three Premier League points in stoppage time as Deeney hooked the ball over the top of the City defence and into the path of Andre Gray, who fired beyond Schmeichel to win it for the hosts.
The Portugal international operated in a wing-back role against Watford.
With 61 per cent possession throughout 90 minutes of action at Vicarage Road, City looked good value to claim at least a draw from the encounter in Hertfordshire.
Behind for over 70 minutes, the Foxes battled to get back on level terms as Jamie Vardy cancelled out Troy Deeney’s opener, but Andre Gray’s late, late effort meant the points went to Javi Gracia’s side.
Wes Morgan made his first appearance for City since their 4-3 reverse to Wolverhampton Wanderers in mid-January.
Back in Leicester City’s starting XI for the first time in six outings, Wes Morgan delivered a typically solid display for his men at Vicarage Road.
Defensively sound alongside Jonny Evans and Harry Maguire in Brendan Rodgers’ back three, Morgan even had an opportunity to put City ahead just minutes before Andre Gray’s winner.
Where do we stand?
Jonny Evans beats goalscorer Troy Deeney to a header in Hertfordshire.
The latest round of Premier League fixtures sees City remain 11th in the Premier league standings with nine fixtures to play. The Foxes sit one point behind Everton, who occupy 10th position.
The Northern Irishman applauds the Blue Army following his first game in charge of Leicester City.
Brendan Rodgers’ first home game in charge of the Foxes sees him welcome Fulham to King Power Stadium on Saturday 9 March (3pm GMT kick-off).
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