Leicester City

Foxes Humble Watford At Vicarage Road

Leicester City recorded their largest away win of the season after beating relegated Watford 5-1 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Sunday.
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Manager Brendan Rodgers made three changes to the XI, with Danny Ward, Wesley Fofana and Papy Mendy all coming in. Kasper Schmeichel, Daniel Amartey and Ademola Lookman were the men to make way as City contested their antepenultimate Premier League game of the season.

Six minutes into the match, Watford took the lead as João Pedro, following a corner, drilled low into the box and found the net via a deflection off Timothy Castagne, who could do nothing to avoid diverting it past Ward.

City were tasked with more defending four minutes later, as Castagne was able to get in the way of Ken Sema's attempt at the near post. Adam Masina then struck the crossbar as the rain began to fall in Hertfordshire. The Hornets continued their push for a second, and only a strong left-handed save from Ward, making his Premier League debut for the Club, prevented Pedro from scoring a brace on 13 minutes. 

The Foxes imposed their own press on the game in the next phase, with Youri Tielemans winning the ball back before James Maddison bent a strike just over Ben Foster's goal. He was on target with his next attempt, though, as Tielemans capitalised on a defensive error before squaring to the No.10 for his 16th goal of the season across all competitions. 

Just like that, Leicester were in front. A lovely diagonal ball from goalscorer Maddison was directed at Jamie Vardy, and with Foster committed, the No.9 got there ahead of the 'keeper, connecting 18 yards from goal to head into an empty net - his 131st Premier League goal for the Club, and his 15th across all formats this term.

On 27 minutes, Castagne lifted over with his left foot after Academy graduate Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall did well to roll his marker before pulling it back for the Belgium international full-back. Vardy located Castagne again on 34 minutes, but Foster produced a good save with his legs to steer the drive behind, before the No.27 headed off target from Dewsbury-Hall's cross just moments later.

All 2,281 members of the Blue Army were in fine voice at Vicarage Road as they urged their side on ahead of the interval. A brief moment later, Wesley Fofana slid in to clear fellow Frenchman Moussa Sissoko's cross into the area, and then Pedro curled high into the away end. 

A half-time change for City saw Marc Albrighton replace Mendy, who required treatment on the pitch in the first half. It proved to be an inspired substitution. Just 20 seconds after the break, Albrighton floated a perfect cross into Harvey Barnes, who sent a sweet volley beyond Foster for 3-1 and his 10th goal of 2021/22 in all competitions. 

Only a timely interception from Christian Kabasele denied Barnes a second in as many minutes. Vardy clipped the side-netting on 52 minutes, with City hungry for more against the Hornets. Four minutes later, a second switch for the visiting outfit meant Daniel Amartey would come on for Jonny Evans.

A left-footed pearler from Dewsbury-Hall very nearly made it 4-1, however the ball whistled past Foster's right-hand post. Barnes then connected with a Maddison delivery, although he was unable to nod towards the net on the hour mark.

Watford were a threat on the counter-attack, with Ward saving from Pedro at his near post to prevent the hosts from reducing the deficit to one goal. City's lead was added to, however, with 20 minutes to go, after Vardy raced onto a Barnes pass, missed by Craig Cathcart, before slotting beyond Foster.

Ward was still being called into action, with the Wales stopper diving low at the near post to parry Sema's low pass behind. Kabasele couldn't hit the target from the resulting corner-kick. Six minutes later, the City No.12 was there again as he got two hands to a Pedro attempt from inside the box.

Vardy's afternoon came to a close on 81 minutes, with Zambia star Patson Daka his replacement. Although the game was in its latter stages, there was still time for a fifth goal for City. Maddison played in Barnes, who side-footed into the far corner to add gloss to the scoreline.

Only a good one-handed save from Foster prevented substitute Daka from making it six in added time, but the damage had already been done and Leicester ran out worthy winners.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy

The City No.9 wheels away after putting his side 2-1 up at Vicarage Road.

City fell behind after only six minutes when João Pedro struck for the Hornets, but they composed themselves and were level 12 minutes later through James Maddison before Jamie Vardy struck a vital goal midway through the first half to turn the game on its head.

A brace from Harvey Barnes and Vardy's second of the afternoon put the game beyond Watford in the second period. 

Who impressed?

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Jamie Vardy

The Foxes striker now has four goals in his last two Premier League appearances.

Former striker Iwan Roberts told LCFC Radio while in the pressbox at Vicarage Road: "There are a few, James Justin down the left was excellent. Wesley Fofana was superb. Harvey Barnes got two goals today and James Maddison in the first half ran the show. I’m going to go for Jamie Vardy. He scored two goals the other night, two goals tonight and he just keeps getting better and better."

Where do we stand?

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Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes scored a brace for the first time since March 2020.

Leicester, with two matches to play, occupy ninth position in the Premier League table.

Coming up...

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Kasper Schmeichel, Brendan Rodgers & Danny Ward

Danny Ward is congratulated after a win on his Premier League debut for City.

A penultimate Premier League match of 2021/22 follows on Thursday, when City tackle Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (8pm kick-off), before their campaign ends at home to Southampton on Sunday (4pm kick-off). 

The details...

All times BST.

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