Leicester City picked up their first Premier League win in over a month on a snowy Sunday that had it all. Here is FoL’s verdict.
After months of painful performances watching the Foxes passing the ball aimlessly around the back with no attacking threat, Brendan Rodgers finally found the right formula and it was evident from the opening minutes.
The game’s first chances in the early on were created from some exquisite long balls from Jonny Evans, almost catching out the Watford defence on both occasions. Proceedings then went back and forth before James Maddison opened the scoring in the 16th minute, making the most of an absurd error by Watford defender, William Troost-Ekong.
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Claudio Ranieri’s men wouldn’t lie down after conceding and Cucho Hernandez thought he’d equalised the game after his deflected shot ricocheted off the inside of the post and away. Less than a minute later the Hornets would get their chance as Wilfred Ndidi clumsily gave away a penalty before Josh King converted from the spot.
This looked like it would be the moment that swayed the game back in the visitors’ favour as Leicester City’s shaky defence was once again exposed. However, Jamie Vardy would have other ideas as he pounced on the end of a beautiful ball from James Maddison before chipping Daniel Bachmann in goal.
The pair would link up again in the 42nd minute for the Foxes 3rd goal as Vardy headed home Maddison’s corner to double the home side’s advantage. Six years to the day after his famous goal against Manchester United to set the Premier League record for scoring in the most consecutive games, Vardy was back to his vintage at the King Power stadium.
The Sheffield-born striker equalled Ian Wright’s record for most Premier League goals after turning 30 with his second strike being his 93rd since reaching that milestone. As the first half came to an end, the snow continued to fall making visibility difficult for all as the yellow winter ball had no effect in the conditions.
Subsequently, the second half began much like the first, with chances at both ends and errors becoming all the more common as players competed not only with the opposing 11, but with the weather as well. Unfortunately the Hornets hit back in the 61st minute as Emmanuel Dennis forced Timothy Castagne into an error before beating Kasper Schmeichel one-on-one.
Play was then stopped temporarily while officials swept the snow to make the lines visible as the snow only got heavier; the clash had all the makings for another frustrating performance where Leicester would drop two points after comfortably leading – although, loanee Ademola Lookman would have other ideas.
In the 68th minute of the game Harvey Barnes’ shot was brilliantly saved by Bachmann but only into the path of Lookman who knocked the ball home into an open net, restoring Leicester’s two-goal advantage.
Ozan Tufan missed a chance to bring the game to a grandstand finish when his volley from inside of the penalty area went narrowly wide. LCFC would then comfortably see out the game, well, as comfortably as a side can when faced with heavy snowfall. A much-needed win sees Brendan Rodgers’ side move into the top half of the table and just two points outside of the top six.