Leicester City concedes early, loses away at Watford
WATFORD, England (AP) — Struggling champion Leicester conceded inside 33 seconds and lost to Watford 2-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday, its latest defeat before a Champions League fixture.
After 12 games of its title defense, Leicester is languishing in 15th place in the 20-team league on 12 points — two above the relegation zone. Claudio Ranieri's side has already lost six times, double the number of defeats it had in the whole of last season.
Leicester's fans started a rendition of "Champions of England, you'll never sing that" at kickoff, only to see their team quickly fall behind when Roberto Pereyra crossed from the left, Troy Deeney flicked the ball on, and the on-rushing Etienne Capoue stretched out his right boot to score.
There were more chances for Watford before Pereyra cut in from the left and fired an inswinging right-foot shot into the far corner in the 12th minute.
Leicester pulled a goal back when Miguel Britos was over-eager in covering to meet Jamie Vardy, who accepted the contact and went down. Riyad Mahrez drilled the resulting penalty into the center of goal.
Leicester's best opportunities came from set-pieces, but the connection was lacking and Watford had the better chances to restore its two-goal lead in the second half.
Leicester has lost four of its five games before playing group matches in the Champions League this season. On Tuesday, Ranieri's team can qualify for the knockout stage by beating Club Brugge.