Watford 2 City 1
Report by Kate Thompson
The most positive thing to say about this match is that it was marginally better than the one against Crystal Palace, but not by much. Although we scored the first goal, and looked on top at this stage, Leicester managed to lose against Watford. When we played Palace, they hadn’t scored an away goal and Watford before yesterday had got one point from a possible 18.
The players and manager will deny it, but I can’t help thinking that subconsciously they think games against teams like Watford will be easy – they had to concentrate against Manchester United and got their reward, but yesterday they were beaten by a poor team but one with more determination and effort. Even Albrighton suggested that they were ‘comfortable’ after the goal, which is a damning thing to say.
The team showed three changes: Dragovic for Simpson, who we later learned is going to be out for a few weeks because of a hamstring problem; Andy King for Iborra; and Okazaki for Gray. City were on top for the first half hour; Vardy uncharacteristically missed the sort of opening he normally slots away,
Then a lovely through ball from the industrious Albrigton (by now sporting a head bandage) but Mahrez scored a headed goal after yet another sublime cross from Albrighton.
After that, we hoped the flood gates would open but it was Watford who got the next goal, after the former loanee Wague scored from close range. He was later awarded the Man of the match, according to the BBC website.
City seemed to lack energy and laboured to carve many opportunities. Halfway through the second half a free kick from yet another former City loanee, Tom Cleverley, led to Schmeichel helping the ball over the line, and that is how the scoreline stayed.
The Watford keeper, Gomez, kept out two late efforts from Morgan and Ulloa – what a shame he couldn’t have had a match against us like he did at home when a Kante ‘shot’ trickled under his body!
Very few players came out with any credit; the industrious Okazaki had one header tipped over the bar but otherwise did very little and Vardy was quiet. The two best players were Albrighton and Mahrez but too many others were poor. Chilwell’s defending led to some scary moments, such as when he lost the ball and Watford nearly scored a third.
I would have preferred Fuchs as right back, with Chilwell playing as a wing back which he does quite effectively. Dragovic worked hard but his display proved what a good – and unsung – player Simpson is. It appeared that Iborra was rested and although King worked hard, as ever, he did not have the same impact; similarly Ndidi was not the same player without Iborra.
Ah well, it is only Liverpool next at Anfield! Let’s hope City don’t make the same mistake against Huddersfield and expect an easy game – after all we did well to nick a point off them in September.
And it’s only two more matches before Silva can play for us, but it is putting a lot on his shoulders to expect him to make an immediate impact. For the record, Dragovic was replaced by Gray and Okazaki by Slimani in the 73rd minute and, in a bold move, Ulloa came on for King in the 84th minute.
LCFC: Schmeichel, Dragović, Maguire, Morgan (c), Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, King, Albrighton, Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Benalouane, Fuchs, James, Gray, Slimani, Ulloa.
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation