Jamie Vardy closes in on Premier League record as Leicester beat Watford
Jamie Vardy closed in on Ruud van Nistelrooy's Barclays Premier League scoring record with another goal in Leicester's 2-1 home victory against Watford.
Vardy netted for the ninth successive fixture to leave him just one game away from equalling the Dutchman's 10-match scoring streak set in 2003 while at Manchester United.
The 28-year-old, who was relatively quiet for much of the afternoon, struck his 12th goal of the season from the penalty spot and can move level with Van Nistelrooy after the international break when Leicester travel to Newcastle.
Should he score at St James' Park, Vardy can break the record against Van Nistelrooy's former club at the end of the month.
Vardy's effort on Saturday gave Leicester a two-goal lead, adding to Ngolo Kante's opener, but Troy Deeney got Watford back into the game from the penalty spot.
The Hornets could not rescue a point though and Claudio Ranieri's side moved level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of their game on Sunday at Aston Villa.
Much of the talk in the build up to the game focussed on Vardy's goal scoring exploits but Watford have their own in-form striker and Odion Ighalo made a nuisance of himself early on.
The Nigerian almost got the chance to add to his seven goals this season. Robert Huth and Christian Fuchs combined to snuff out the danger on the first occasion before a brilliantly-timed sliding tackle by Danny Drinkwater thwarted Ighalo.
Ighalo was involved again in the 10th minute when a good Watford move resulted in Ikechi Anya pulling the ball back for Etienne Capoue but Kasper Schmeichel got down well to save his effort.
Vardy threatened for the first time when he set up Marc Albrighton, whose half-volley was gobbled up by Heurelho Gomes.
Ighalo was still a danger and midway through the first half he saw a shot strike a post with Schmeichel reacting well to tip over Abdi's first-time shot on the follow up.
A tidy one-two between Troy Deeney and Ighalo almost put the latter clean through on goal but this time Huth made the interception.
Leicester led early in the second half when a speculative looking toe poke from Kante slipped through Gomes' grasp and over the line.
The King Power Stadium held its breath shortly afterwards in the 56th minute when Vardy went down injured. The relief was palpable when he eventually regained his feet.
Vardy was soon on the deck again though, after being brought down by Gomes. Riyad Mahrez, Leicester's usual penalty taker, was going to take the spot-kick but the little Algerian handed the ball to Vardy and he blasted his shot straight down the middle of the net.
It was a nice gesture from Mahrez with the record in the sights of Vardy.
What looked like being a routine win for Leicester got more uncomfortable when Kante tripped Juan Carlos Paredes and Deeney halved the deficit.
Watford never really looked like equalising though and Gomes had to tip a Mahrez curler round the post as the hosts threatened a third goal late on.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
Vardy scores for the 9th consecutive @premierleague game. Woohoo! - (@GaryLineker) Leicester fan Gary Lineker is happy for England striker Jamie Vardy.
Kasper Schmeichel: 7
Danny Simpson: 7
Robert Huth: 7
Wes Morgan: 6
Christian Fuchs 7
Marc Albrighton: 7
N'Golo Kante: 6
Danny Drinkwater: 7
Jeff Schlupp 6
Riyad Mahrez: 6
Jamie Vardy: 7
Shinji Okazaki 6
Nathan Dyer 5
Andy King 4
Heurelho Gomes 6
Allan Nyom 6
Craig Cathcart 6
Miguel Britos 6
Nathan Ake 6
Ikechi Anya 7
Etienne Capoue 6
Ben Watson 6
Almen Abdi 7
Troy Deeney 7
Odion Ighalo 6
Juan Carlos Paredes 7
Alessandro Diamanti 5
Jamie Vardy will grab the headlines but Riyad Mahrez made it possible. The little Algerian had a quiet first half but after the break he was his usual self, causing untold problems for the Watford defence. He is Leicester's usual penalty taker and it was a nice touch to let Vardy take the spot-kick as his team-mate closes in a piece of Premier League history.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH:
The Leicester fans chanted ''England's number nine'' as Mahrez put the ball on the penalty spot. By popular demand, he offered Vardy the chance to continue his terrific goal scoring run and the 28-year-old did not disappoint as he got his name on the score sheet for the ninth game in a row, putting him within touching distance of Ruud van Nistelrooy's 10-game record. A great display of team spirit by Mahrez.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Leicester were frustrated in the first half and Claudio Ranieri changed it at half-time, bringing off Jeff Schlupp for Shinji Okazaki. Straight away the game became more open and the Foxes looked like the attacking force we have come to know. Watford will have been encouraged by the way they started, with Odion Ighalo looking dangerous. But that was as good as it got really for them until Troy Deeney's penalty. The Hornets have yet to win successive top-flight away matches since 1987.
MOAN OF THE MATCH:
Heurelho Gomes' handling error will probably leave Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores rather angry. The game was delicately-poised at the time, even though Leicester were on top at the beginning of the second half, and handing - literally - the home team the advantage made it a uphill struggle.
WHO'S UP NEXT?
Newcastle v Leicester, November 21 (Premier League)
Watford v Manchester United, November 21 (Premier League)