Leicester 4-2 Watford: Player ratings as Foxes triumph in terrible conditions

28 November 2021 07:03

Leicester ruined Claudio Ranieri's return to the King Power Stadium, securing a 4-2 win over his Watford side in terrible, snowy conditions in the East Midlands.

The Foxes came into this one without a win in their last three Premier League games and the victory puts them back in touching distance of the European places. Meanwhile, Watford remain four points above the drop zone.

The visitors started brightly but gifted the Foxes an opener with 16 minutes on the clock. Bizarrely, William Troost-Ekong opted to leave an innocuous long ball and James Maddison was waiting to tuck home under no pressure.

The Hornets responded well and Kasper Schmeichel was forced into a good save when the ball broke to Emmanuel Dennis from a free kick.

Watford went even closer just before the half-hour mark when Cucho Hernandez's long-range effort hit the post via a sizable Caglar Soyuncu deflection.

The away side won a penalty from their very next attack when Dennis was brought down clumsily by Wilfred Ndidi, and Joshua King made no mistake from the spot to level up the scores.

10 minutes before the break, Leicester poked their noses back in front against the run of play. A well-weighted Maddison through ball set Jamie Vardy free and he finished deftly. On the stroke of half time, Vardy doubled his tally, rising high at the near post to flick Maddison's corner past Daniel Bachmann.

The snow, which had started part way through the first period, got much heavier during the break and by the time the teams' reemerged, conditions and visibility were poor. This made for an understandably disjointed 45 minutes with players struggling to control the ball.

With an hour played, Watford had the ball in the back of the net. Timothy Castagne was dispossessed by Dennis and he raced through before dinking it over Schmeichel. There was a lengthy VAR check to determine whether the challenge was a foul, but the original decision was eventually upheld.

After another long pause while the snow covering the sidelines was removed, the game restarted and Leicester soon restored their two-goal advantage. Harvey Barnes was the creator, racing onto Luke Thomas' through ball before laying one on a plate for Ademola Lookman to tap home.

Watford continued to cause Leicester problems in the closing stages with Ozan Tufan stabbing an effort just wide six minutes from time.

Here is how both teams rated.


Leicester player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Evans assisted the opener | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Kasper Schmeichel (GK) - 6/10 - Kicking was terrible but he did make a glut of important saves.

Timothy Castagne (RB) - 5/10 - Solid for the most part. Dispossessed for Watford's second, but it did look like a foul. Should have protected the ball better anyway.

Caglar Soyuncu (CB) - 7/10 - One of his best games of the season. Did not make any mistakes and completed several important interventions.

Jonny Evans (CB) - 7/10 - One misunderstanding with Schmeichel aside he did very well, especially considering he played on Thursday. Finished with seven tackles.

Luke Thomas (LB) - 7/10 - Not his most exuberant display but he coped well in nasty conditions. Helped create the fourth with a superb through ball.

2. Midfielders

Maddison lit up the first half | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Boubakary Soumare (CM) - 7/10 - All over the place. Growing into Youri Tielemans' role more and more every game.

Wilfred Ndidi (CM) - 5/10 -
Gave away a poor penalty. Struggled to keep hold of the ball at times but his destructiveness was key after the break.

James Maddison (AM) - 9/10 -
His best display of the season by some distance. Scored and created a hatful of chances. Needs to do this consistently now.

3. Forwards

Vardy enjoyed his first goal | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Ademola Lookman (RW) - 7/10 - Quiet first half. Not great in the second either but was in the right place at the right time to score. Did better towards the end when there was space in behind.

Jamie Vardy (ST) - 9/10 - There are few sights better in the Premier League than Vardy in full flow. Long may it continue. Has now scored 93 top-flight goals since turning 30. That is bonkers.

Harvey Barnes (LW) - 7/10 - Tried a bit too hard early on. Created the fourth goal at a vital time in the game.

4. Substitutes

Marc Albrighton (RM) - 6/10 - Added stability.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (CM) - N/A


Watford player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

It got a bit snowy in the second half | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Daniel Bachmann (GK) - 4/10 - Came in for the injured Cycling GK and conceded four.

Kiko Femenia (RB) - 4/10 - Rinsed a couple of times and very little to report on the attacking side.

Craig Cathcart (CB) - 4/10 - Gave the ball away a lot. Also part of a defence that conceded four. so, yeah.

William Troost-Ekong (CB) - 3/10 - A truly monumental brain-fart gifted Leicester the opener when his side were on top.

Adam Masina (LB) - 4/10 - Came off second best in a challenge that led to the fourth goal. Full of running but final ball wasn't there.

6. Midfielders

King scored another Premier League goal | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Imran Louza (DM) - 5/10 - Barely involved before being taken off at half time.

Cucho Hernandez (RM) - 5/10 - A really bright start and was unlucky not to score. Very quiet thereafter.

Tom Cleverley (CM) - 7/10 - Unlucky to be hooked at the break after doing well. Delivery was excellent and full of energy.

Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 6/10 - A mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous - his signature flavour.

Joshua King (LM) - 7/10 - A threat with his runs in behind. Drifted centrally to ask questions of the Leicester defence and converted from 12 yards.

7. Forwards

That is Dennis, we swear | Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Emmanuel Dennis (ST) - 7/10 - Pretty electric. Scored again and continues to defy expectations.

8. Substitutes

Joao Pedro (ST) - 5/10 - Very hard for him to do anything in the snow.

Ozan Tufan (CM) - 5/10 - Plenty of bite.

Ashley Fletcher (ST) - N/A


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Source: 90min