Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 July 2018

Watford end barren run as Marco Silva's Hornets fend off Foxes

Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure celebrates his team's winning goal
Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure celebrates his team's winning goal

Watford came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1 and seal a first Premier League victory in seven games.

A tap-in from Molla Wague and an own goal from Kasper Schmeichel cancelled out Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez's opener.

The victory was a first for Marco Silva's side since a 3-0 success at Newcastle on November 25.

The game got off to a spiky start with a flurry of early bookings dished out by referee Chris Kavanagh.

Leicester's Harry Maguire was first to go into the book, with the home side's Christian Kabasele and Ben Watson soon following him.

Leicester fashioned the game's first real chance when Shinji Okazaki's header brought a fine save from Heurelho Gomes in the home goal.

The visitors then missed a golden chance to open the scoring when top scorer Jamie Vardy inexplicably put a shot just past the post after sending Gomes the wrong way.

But it did not take long for the Foxes to make amends for that error.

Marc Albrighton's cross into the box was met by Mahrez and he headed beyond Gomes for his sixth league goal of the campaign.

Watford, who had struggled until that point to make any impression going forward, almost drew level immediately.

Richarlison was put through by Andre Carrillo but failed to find the target with Schmeichel beaten.

Yet moments later the hosts were level through Wague who tapped home from a corner.

Former Foxes loanee Wague, who played just once for Leicester in an FA Cup defeat at Millwall last season, prodded home after the visitors failed to clear their lines as Watford equalised with their first shot on target.

And it almost got better for the Hornets in the final action before the break, but Richarlison cracked a shot against the post.

Watford started the second half much brighter and Abdoulaye Doucoure drilled an effort over the bar from 25 yards as the hosts signalled their intent just before the hour mark.

Substitute Stefano Okaka then saw a speculative overhead kick sail wide of goal before the hosts completed the turnaround to go 2-1 up.

Doucoure squeezed the ball past Schmeichel from the tightest of angles and although there was a question of whether the ball crossed the line, replays confirmed it did. The goalkeeper's decisive touch on the ball saw it officially credited as an own goal.

Tom Cleverley whistled a shot just wide soon after, before Gomes made sure of the victory with two vital saves.

First, he kept out Wes Morgan's shot before diving to deny Leonardo Ulloa's goal-bound header.

Press Association

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