Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City2WatfordWatford1

Leicester City 2-1 Watford

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Jamie Vardy
Only Ruud van Nistelrooy has scored in more consecutive Premier League games than Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy scored for a ninth successive Premier League game as Leicester beat Watford to go level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table.

Vardy got Leicester's second from the spot, converting after he was tripped by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Gomes had already gifted Leicester the lead, somehow letting Ngolo Kante's tame shot slip through.

A Troy Deeney penalty gave Watford hope, but Leicester closed it out.

It was arguably harsh on the Hornets, who had the better of the first half.

Still, a seventh win of the season took Leicester behind the top two on goal difference alone. Needing a remarkable escape from relegation last season, their 25 points from 12 games is as many as they managed in their first 31 last term.

Fox in the box

Jamie Vardy

Vardy had been kept quiet by an organised Watford defence in the first half and was even the subject of an injury scare after Leicester took the lead.

Ranieri hails 'fantastic' Vardy

Jumping to control the ball with no other player around him, Vardy landed awkwardly and was in discomfort as he lay on the ground, holding his groin.

However, after receiving treatment, he produced a moment typical of his stellar season.

Running clear of the Watford defence, he latched on to a through ball and was only stopped by a clumsy challenge from the onrushing Gomes. Vardy, handed the ball by regular penalty-taker Riyad Mahrez, smashed the resulting spot-kick high into the net.

Only Ruud van Nistelrooy, with 10, has scored in more successive Premier League games than Vardy, who is part of the England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and France.

Most successive goals in Premier League games
PlayerFinal game in scoring runClubNumber of games in scoring run
Ruud van Nistelrooy23/08/03Man Utd10
Jamie Vardy07/11/15Leicester9
Ruud van Nistelrooy19/01/02Man Utd8
Daniel Sturridge23/02/14Liverpool8
Mark Stein05/02/94Chelsea7
Ian Wright23/11/94Arsenal7
Alan Shearer30/11/96Newcastle7
Thierry Henry09/05/00Arsenal7
Emmanuel Adebayor11/02/08Arsenal7

Heurelho's howlers

Though Watford were under pressure from an improved Leicester display at the beginning of the second half, they were ultimately only undone by the mistakes of their goalkeeper.

Gomes, so impressive so far this season, inexplicably gifted the hosts the lead with a comical error that gave Kante his first goal for Leicester.

The midfielder showed good skill inside the area, wriggling away from three defenders, but could only manage a tame shot. Still, Gomes allowed the ball through his hands, under his body and into the corner of the net.

Then, as Vardy ran through, Gomes was hasty in charging off his line. The Leicester striker was on the very edge of the 18-yard box when he was needlessly brought down.

Second-half City

Heatmap
The second-half heatmap shows how Vardy and Mahrez (left) had more influence higher up the field than Ighalo and Deeney (right)

Leicester, arriving on the back of a four-game unbeaten run, were stifled in the first half by Watford, themselves buoyed by wins against Stoke and West Ham.

Central defenders Miguel Britos and Craig Cathcart dealt with Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, while the visitors, who had the majority of possession, could have taken the lead, only for Odion Ighalo's shot to come back off the post.

But as Leicester once again improved after the break - 17 of their last 19 league goals have come in the second half - Ighalo and strike partner Deeney saw increasingly less of the ball.

And even though Deeney gave Watford an unexpected lifeline from the spot after Juan Carlos Paredes was tripped by Kante, the Hornets did not come close to an equaliser.

Key man of the match - Heurelho Gomes

Heurelho Gomes
It is cruel, but also inescapable that Gomes inadvertently had the biggest say in this game, as his embarrassing error gifted Leicester the first and his haste gave away the penalty for the second

What's next?

After the two-week international break, Leicester go to Newcastle on Saturday, 21 November, when Vardy will look to score for a record-equalling 10th successive game. Watford entertain Manchester United in that day's early kick-off.

The stats

  • Vardy is the only player to score in nine consecutive games in the same Premier League season, as Van Nistelrooy's goals came between March and August 2003.
  • 11 of the 12 goals Watford have conceded in the Premier League this season have come in the second half.
  • The Foxes are the only team in the Premier League who have scored in every match this season.
  • Leicester have lost just two of their last 13 Premier League home matches and those defeats came against Chelsea and Arsenal.
  • Watford have won only one of their last nine away games at Leicester, including play-off games.

What they said

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "We could not have imagined this, but it is only November. It's not May. We still have to achieve 40 points first.

"Jamie is fantastic. He'll be fit for England. After the goal he continued to run and fight - he's OK.

"It is important to continue the momentum. It's not easy for us, but we are very ambitious."

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores: "We have to accept that there are accidents in football sometimes.

Flores defends Watford keeper Gomes

"Huerelho knows he has out support, it is they style of this team. He feels he is guilty, but the rest of us don't feel that way. We are really happy with his performance in general.

"We had lots of possession of the ball. Leicester were playing for the counter-attack and we didn't always use the possession of the ball in the right way."

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Huth
  • 28Fuchs
  • 11Albrighton
  • 14Kanté
  • 4DrinkwaterSubstituted forKingat 90'minutes
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forOkazakiat 45'minutes
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forDyerat 84'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 20Okazaki
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Dyer
  • 29Benalouane
  • 32Schwarzer
  • 33Inler

Watford

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1GomesBooked at 65mins
  • 2NyomSubstituted forDiamantiat 76'minutes
  • 15Cathcart
  • 3Britos
  • 16Aké
  • 21Anya
  • 29CapoueSubstituted forParedesat 70'minutes
  • 23Watson
  • 22Abdi
  • 9Deeney
  • 24Ighalo

Substitutes

  • 5Prödl
  • 8Behrami
  • 14Paredes
  • 17Guédioura
  • 25Holebas
  • 32Diamanti
  • 34Arlauskis
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
32,029

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Watford 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Alessandro Diamanti (Watford).

  4. Post update

    Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Andy King (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Daniel Drinkwater.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Nathan Dyer replaces Riyad Mahrez.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shinji Okazaki.

  10. Post update

    Alessandro Diamanti (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

  12. Post update

    Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Heurelho Gomes.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Watford. Alessandro Diamanti replaces Nyom.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Leicester City 2, Watford 1. Troy Deeney (Watford) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  20. Post update

    Penalty Watford. Juan Carlos Paredes draws a foul in the penalty area.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City118122691725
2Arsenal118122181325
3Leicester127412520525
4Man Utd12732178924
5West Ham126332316721
6Tottenham115511991020
7Southampton125521913620
8Everton124532016417
9Liverpool114521212017
10Crystal Palace115151211116
11Watford124441112-116
12Stoke124441012-216
13West Brom124261016-614
14Swansea123451216-413
15Norwich123361623-712
16Chelsea123271623-711
17Newcastle122461322-910
18Bournemouth122281225-138
19Sunderland121381326-136
20Aston Villa111191020-104
View full Premier League table

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