Premier League

Watford 1-5 Leicester: Player ratings as Foxes turn in five-star performance

Craig Vickers
Vardy celebrates infront of the Leicester fans
Vardy celebrates infront of the Leicester fans / Paul Harding/GettyImages
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Leicester made it back-to-back victories in their pursuit of a top-half finish in the Premier League with an emphatic 5-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets rocked the away side inside five minutes when Leicester's set-piece deficiencies reared their ugly head once again. An outswinging corner ricocheted off Youri Tielemans before falling invitingly for Joao Pedro. The Brazilian lashed a half-volley across goal where the unfortunate Timothy Castagne diverted the ball into his own net.

Adam Masina then struck the crossbar from another corner seconds later, before Pedro draw a fine diving stop from Danny Ward at his near post after a wicked low delivery from Jeremy Ngakia.

However, Brendan Rodgers' side levelled proceedings in the 17th minute after a mix-up at the back from Watford. Tielemans' forward run prompted a collision between Craig Cathcart and Masina and, when the ball fell back into the path of the Belgian, he rolled it across to James Maddison who slammd into an empty net.

The Hornets had barely any time to regain their composure as Leicester completed the turnaround five minutes later. Edo Kayembe's pass was intercepted by Maddison in the centre of the pitch, before the Englishman picked out Jamie Vardy with a floated pass. Ben Foster rushed off of his goalline, but he was in no man's land when Vardy dinked his header over the Hornets No.1 from the edge of the penalty area.

Leicester then added their third of the afternoon just seconds after the restart. Marc Albrighton - who replaced Nampalys Mendy at the interval - broke down the right before floating a cross towards Harvey Barnes at the far post, who lashed his left-footed volley beyond Foster.

Pedro nearly brought Watford to life just past the hour-mark when he tried to beat Ward from a tight angle, but the game was taken away from the Hornets in the 70th minute.

Barnes picked out Vardy making a run in-behind Cathcart who failed the clear the danger. The forward had only Foster to beat, flicking the ball past Foster and into the bottom right corner to cap off a prolific week for the former England international.

There was still time for the Foxes to add a fifth to compound Watford's misery before the end. Maddison picked up the ball after a Hornets turnover before feeding Barnes. The winger kept his cool to slot his finish into the bottom corner.

Here's how both teams rated.


Watford vs Leicester player ratings

1. Watford (4-3-3)

Joao Pedro
Joao Pedro celebrates the opener / Luke Walker/GettyImages

GK: Ben Foster - 1/10 - Caught in no man's land for Vardy's header in the first half and generally looked hesitant in claiming crosses.

RB: Jeremy Ngakia - 6/10 -
Delivered a delicious cross which the Hornets ought to have doubled their lead from early in the game. Had consistent quality going forward.

CB: Christian Kabasele - 4/10 -
Struggled to deal with Vardy's movement off the shoulder of the defence.

CB: Craig Cathcart - 2/10 -
Constantly looked vulnerable to passes over the top as evidenced in Leicester's fourth goal.

LB: Adam Masina - 3/10 -
Bizarrely clattered into Craig Cathcart to gift Leicester their immediate equaliser. Struggled to cope with the rotations of the Foxes on the flanks.

CM: Moussa Sissoko - 5/10 -
Didn't look his usual self in midfield, lacking the burst of acceleration which makes him such a driving force with the ball.

CM: Edo Kayembe - 4/10 -
Showed some nice touches, but his baffling decision making in the build-up to Leicester's second goal proved fatal.

CM: Dan Gosling - 4/10 -
Constantly bypassed in defensive transition before he was hooked at half-time as Roy Hodgson changed system.

RW: Samuel Kulu - 7/10 -
Hugely impressive on the right hand side, causing Justin problems with his ability to manipulate the ball in tight spaces.

ST: Joao Pedro - 7/10 -
Reacted first after the ball bounced around from the corner to lash Watford ahead. Should have doubled his side's lead from Ngakia's cross minutes later.

LW: Ken Sema - 4/10 -
Drifted in off the left hand side a lot to combine with his teammates. Caused some problems, but couldn't deliver the killer final pass for the Hornets.

SUB: Hassane Kamara (46' for Gosling) - 5/10 - His introduction signalled a change of shape from Hodgson, but the Hornets failed to improve in the second period.

SUB: Peter Etebo (81' for Sema) - N/A


2. Leicester (4-2-3-1)

Jamie Vardy
Vardy celebrates / Luke Walker/GettyImages

GK: Danny Ward - 7/10 - Drafted into the side in place of Kasper Schmeichel and performed impressively. Commanded his penalty area from crosses.

RB: Timothy Castagne - 7/10 -
Showed great endeavour to get forward to fill the space when Maddison moved inside. Strong display.

CB: Wesley Fofana - 7/10 -
Made a couple of vital interceptions when Watford fizzed the ball across the face of the penalty box. Really aggressive in his determinaiton to defend.

CB: Jonny Evans - 5/10 -
Marshalled the Foxes' backline impressively. Withdrawn before the hour-mark as a precaution.

LB: James Justin - 5/10 -
Didn't offer the same quality in attack as Castagne on the opposite flank, but he helped stifle the dangerous Kulu on the wing.

CM: Nampalys Mendy - 4/10 -
Looked a yard off the pace in midfield for the Foxes before he was withdrawn at the interval.

CM: Youri Tielemans - 7/10 -
His intelligent run from midfield was crucial in the lead up to Maddison's leveller, which underlined the selfless nature of his display.

AM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 6/10 -
A constant menace for Watford drifting out to the left to support Barnes. Lacked his usual quality on the ball, but still showed some effective touches.

RW: James Maddison - 9/10 -
Looked capable of creating something for Leicester everytime he poured forward, taking his goal with aplomb before supplying Vardy and Barnes. Diligent defensively, too.

ST: Jamie Vardy - 9/10 -
Netted his second brace inside seven days, underlining his importance as the figurehead in this Leicester side. A constant menace running in behind.

LW: Harvey Barnes - 9/10 -
Didn't get much change out of Jeremy Ngakia in one-on-one duels in the first half, but took his goals with impressive composure. Lashing beyond Foster on the first-time volley with his weak foot for his first of the game.

SUB: Marc Albrighton (46' for Mendy) - 6/10 - Only took him 23 seconds after his introduction to make an impact, picking out Barnes at the far post with a delightful cross.

SUB: Daniel Amartey (55' for Evans) - 5/10 - Replaced Evans in the backline and had very little to contend with.

SUB: Patson Daka (81' for Vardy) - N/A

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