By 90Min
March 03, 2019

Brendan Rodgers suffered defeat in his first game in charge of Leicester at Vicarage Road as Watford struck late to seal a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the Premier League on Sunday.

Rodgers' side got off to the worst possible start as Watford enjoyed a bright opening spell in the match, with Troy Deeney heading home Gerard Deulofeu's free kick to put the Hornets ahead in the opening five minutes.

Watford held their lead comfortably for much of the second half, with Leicester struggling to create clear-cut chances, but the Foxes caught the hosts cold when Youri Tielemans slipped a fine pass through to Jamie Vardy. The England striker raced clear through on goal before slotting coolly past Ben Foster to draw the visitors level with 15 minutes remaining.

The game seemed to be drifting towards an inevitable draw during the closing stages, but there was still one more twist in the tale as Andre Gray struck a 92nd minute winner to send Vicarage Road into ecstasy. The striker raced through on goal before slotting calmly past Kasper Schmeichel to snatch all three points for the Hornets.


WATFORD

Key Talking Point

Much of the pre-match talk surrounded the potential galvanising effect of Brendan Rodgers' arrival at Leicester, but Watford continued to go about their business impressively on Sunday.

The Hornets have made great strides under Javi Gracia in firmly establishing themselves among the 'best of the rest' outside of the top six in the Premier League this season, and the home side proved once more that they were not just there to make up the numbers on Sunday.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Without a set target to aim for in the league, Gracia has done an excellent job of keeping his side motivated. Deeney and Deulofeu were excellent in attack and provided a constant threat, whilst the back four and midfield were expertly drilled with focus and discipline throughout.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Foster (6); Janmaat (6), Mariappa (7), Cathcart (7), Holebas (7); Doucoure (7), Capoue (7); Hughes (6), Pereyra (6); Deulofeu (7*), Deeney (7)

Substitutes: Gray (7), Cleverley (N/A)


STAR MAN - Gerard Deulofeu


After scoring a hat-trick to inspire Watford's 1-5 win away to Cardiff last weekend, Deulofeu rose to the fore once again on Sunday with an influential attacking display. The Spaniard provided a constant threat with his direct runs at the heart of Leicester's defence when Watford moved the ball forward.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Watford's attack had often lacked that extra dimension with Troy Deeney leading the line alongside another traditional number nine, but the utilising of Deulofeu's pace and technical quality in central areas offers the Hornets a more varied threat in attack. The Spaniard's pin-point delivery from the free kick which Deeney converted was a fine example of his quality.


LEICESTER

Key Talking Point

A key issue which Brendan Rodgers must address as Leicester's new boss is his side's poor record of starting games slowly. The Foxes have conceded 12 goals this season inside the opening 15 minutes of games - the most of any team in the Premier League.

Watford needed just five minutes to break the deadlock on Sunday, undoing the visitors far too easily with a set piece so early in the game. 

Wes Morgan was reinstated to the Leicester side as part of a back three designed to stiffen up the backline, but the ease with which Deeney found space in the box to head his side in front suggested that Rodgers has much to do in improving the defensive resolve of his team.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Schmeichel (6); Evans (6), Morgan (5), Maguire (6); Pereira (7), Tielemans (7), Ndidi (6), Chilwell (7); Maddison (6), Barnes (6); Vardy (7)

FBL-ENG-PR-WATFORD-LEICESTER

Substitutes: Gray (5), Mendy (5), Ihenacho (5)


STAR MAN - Youri Tielemans


In a game in which Leicester lacked a great deal of telling quality, Youri Tielemans provided a cool and composed head in the middle of the park, picking out passes with ease and making the Foxes tick.

The Belgian picked out a fine through ball to put Jamie Vardy through on goal for Leicester's equaliser, and it seems likely that the January loan signing from Monaco could be key to unlocking the Foxes' considerable attacking potential on a more consistent basis.


Looking Ahead

Watford face a huge test next time out in the Premier League as they travel to face title-chasing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday, whilst Brendan Rodgers' second game in charge of Leicester will see the Foxes host a struggling Fulham side next weekend.

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