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Vardy double as Leicester beat Watford

Published on: 28 November 2021

Jamie Vardy scored 24 goals in 2015-16 as Leicester, under Claudio Ranieri, won the Premier League title

Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester beat Watford in a hugely entertaining match to ruin Claudio Ranieri's return to the King Power Stadium.

Ranieri was in the opponents' dugout for the first time since guiding the Foxes to the 2015-16 Premier League title and received a great reception from the home fans.

But in a chaotic and thrilling game played in blizzard conditions, his current side played a big part in their own downfall.

There looked to be no danger when Jonny Evans launched a free-kick forward, but William Ekong ducked under the ball and that allowed James Maddison to fire the 16th-minute opener past Daniel Bachmann.

Watford were gifted a chance to equalise in the 30th minute when Wilfred Ndidi clumsily chopped down Emmanuel Dennis and Joshua King fired his penalty into the top corner.

But the hosts retook the lead four minutes later with an unmarked Vardy glancing a header in from Maddison's corner. The pair combined again just before half-time with Vardy lifting a fine finish for his second and Leicester's third goal.

Dennis then dispossessed Timothy Castagne and calmly finished to make it 3-2 in the 61st minute, but the hosts quickly restored their two-goal advantage when Harvey Barnes set up Ademola Lookman for a close-range tap-in.

The victory takes Leicester up from 13th into ninth, while Watford remain 16th, four points above the relegation zone.

    Leicester v Watford as it happened, plus reaction and analysisGo to the Leicester pageGo to the Watford page

Watford's defensive frailties on display

Leicester's win was only their fifth of the season from 13 Premier League matches. Manager Brendan Rodgers will have been delighted with his side's effort in tough, sometimes farcical conditions, in their second game in four days after a 3-1 win over Legia Warsaw on Thursday.

Watford had beaten Manchester United 4-1 last time out - a result that cost United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job. But they looked fragile in defence throughout against the Foxes. Vardy nearly had a first-half hat-trick, but was denied by the legs of Bachmann.

It will have been an afternoon of mixed emotions for Ranieri as Leicester fans sang songs praising him throughout the match - a tribute to the club's achievements five years ago when they won the league after being written off as 5,000-1 no-hopers at the start of the campaign.

Ranieri has now had six games in charge of Watford and lost four of them. His side have not had a clean sheet all season and need to dramatically improve at the back and do so quickly.

European champions Chelsea visit Vicarage Road on Wednesday and reigning Premier League title holders Manchester City follow on Saturday.

If Watford defend like they did at the King Power Stadium, they could well be on the end of two thrashings.

Player of the match

VardyJamie Vardy

with an average of 8.08

    LeicesterLeicester CityLeicester CityWatfordWatfordWatford

Leicester CityAvgSquad number9Player nameVardyAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameMaddisonAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameBarnesAverage rating


Squad number11Player nameAlbrightonAverage rating


Squad number37Player nameLookmanAverage rating


Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-HallAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameEvansAverage rating


Squad number25Player nameNdidiAverage rating


Squad number33Player nameThomasAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameSöyüncüAverage rating


Squad number27Player nameCastagneAverage rating


Squad number42Player nameSoumaréAverage rating


Squad number1Player nameSchmeichelAverage rating


WatfordAvgSquad number25Player nameDennisAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameKingAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameSissokoAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameJoão PedroAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameCleverleyAverage rating


Squad number29Player nameCucho HernándezAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameFletcherAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameLouzaAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameCathcartAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameTufanAverage rating


Squad number21Player nameKiko FemeníaAverage rating


Squad number11Player nameMasinaAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameTroost-EkongAverage rating


Squad number26Player nameBachmannAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-2-3-1


    1Schmeichel27Castagne6Evans4Söyüncü33Thomas42Soumaré25Ndidi37LookmanSubstituted forAlbrightonat 75'minutes10MaddisonSubstituted forDewsbury-Hallat 88'minutes7Barnes9Vardy




Formation 4-1-4-1


    26Bachmann21Femenía15Cathcart5Troost-Ekong11Masina6LouzaSubstituted forJoão Pedroat 45'minutes29Hernández8CleverleySubstituted forTufanat 45'minutes19Sissoko7King25DennisSubstituted forFletcherat 71'minutes


    2Ngakia3Rose10João Pedro16Gosling17Fletcher18Tufan27Kabasele35Elliot42Morris

Referee:Andy MadleyAttendance:34,310Match StatsHome TeamLeicesterAway TeamWatfordPossessionHome57%Away43%ShotsHome18Away16Shots on TargetHome8Away5CornersHome8Away6FoulsHome5Away19Live TextPost update

Match ends, Leicester City 4, Watford 2.

90'+8'Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 4, Watford 2.

90'+7'Post update

Hand ball by Ashley Fletcher (Watford).

90'+4'Post update

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Joshua King (Watford).

90'+2'Post update

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Luke Thomas.

90'Post update

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

89'Post update

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Daniel Bachmann.

89'Post update

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


Substitution, Leicester City. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall replaces James Maddison.

86'Post update

Attempt blocked. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

85'Post update

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Adam Masina.

84'Post update

Attempt missed. Ozan Tufan (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kiko Femenía with a cross.

83'Post update

Boubakary Soumaré (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83'Post update

Foul by Ozan Tufan (Watford).

82'Post update

Boubakary Soumaré (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82'Post update

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

77'Post update

Offside, Leicester City. Timothy Castagne tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

77'Post update

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77'Post update

Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).

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