Watford 1-1 Leicester: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Late Chilwell & Dawson Strikes See Points Sha

A last gasp acrobatic goal from Craig Dawson minutes after Ben Chilwell's stunning strike earned Watford a 1-1 draw against Leicester on Saturday afternoon.

After a cagey start, the visitors squandered the first real chance of the game when Vardy struck a shot wide from just outside the box.

Just after the half hour mark, a clumsy first touch from Wilfred Ndidi afforded Abdoulaye Doucoure a sight of goal but the Frenchman could only fire straight at Kasper Schmeichel. The Hornets then gained control of the game and only some defensive heroics from James Justin prevented them taking the lead seconds before half time.

Troy Deeney challenges for the ball with Wilfred Ndidi and Jonny Evans

Watford's dominance continued after the break and Schmeichel was forced into a fantastic save to deny Ismaila Sarr one-on-one, while Troy Deeney also headed narrowly wide within five minutes of the restart.

Leicester improved with the introduction of Demarai Gray on the hour mark with Marc Albrighton and James Maddison both going close to opening the scoring. The Foxes eventually found a breakthrough in the dying minutes when Chilwell thumped an unstoppable drive past Ben Foster.

Minutes later there was even more drama with Dawson of all people scoring an acrobatic goal to earn the Hornets a point.

Ben Chilwell celebrates his fine goal with James Maddison


Key Talking Point

Watford FC v Leicester City - Premier League

Since taking over at Vicarage Road, Nigel Pearson has performed miracles tightening up Watford's leaky defence.

The team that shipped eight goals against Manchester City back in September is now a distant memory and it was similarly solid display against the Foxes.

However, it's hard to shake the feeling that this was two points dropped for the home side, particularly when considering the difficult run-in that awaits them. Intimidating meetings with Burnley, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all to come, so Pearson will be frustrated that his side couldn't make their period of dominance at the beginning of the second half count.

Still, what a goal from Dawson, eh?

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Foster (7); Kiko (7), Kabasele (7), Dawson (8), Masina (7); Capoue (6), Hughes (6); Sarr (8), Doucoure (6), Pereyra (6); Deeney (7).

Substitutions: Chalobah (6), Cleverley (6), Holebas (6), Mariappa (6), Welbeck (6).

STAR PLAYER - Ismaila Sarr

Ismaila Sarr caused Ben Chilwell all manner of problems at Vicarage Road

Chilwell's price tag must have decreased significantly on Saturday afternoon, such was the nightmare that he experienced against Sarr.

The 22-year-old breezed past the England international with ease time after time and just needs to improve his decision making to be considered a truly top class Premier League winger.


Key Talking Point

One story that got lost amid the flurry of coronavirus related news in March was Ricardo Pereira being ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Saturday marked just the second game the Portugal international has missed all season and the Foxes very much felt his absence.

His replacement, James Justin, was fantastic defensively but provided little going forward. Justin's attacking repertoire is extensive and in the future he is likely to relax into the role, but against Watford his nervousness prevented him from bombing past his opposite number as Pereira does so frequently.

James Justin replaced Ricardo Pereira in the Leicester starting lineup

The situation was not helped by Albrighton, another player who has barely featured this season, being selected in front of him. The pair failed to gel and Leicester's right hand side - which has been feared all year - was blunted significantly as a result.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Schmeichel (7); Justin (7), Soyuncu (6), Evans (8), Chilwell (7); Ndidi (6); Albrighton (5), Tielemans (5), Maddison (6), Barnes (5), Vardy (6).

Substitutions: Gray (6), Choudhury (6), Iheanacho (6).

STAR PLAYER - Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans has been a consistent performer for Leicester this season

Caglar Soyuncu may have attracted more column inches but there's no denying who's been Leicester's best centre back this season.

Evans put in another flawless performances this afternoon, mopping up for his sloppy teammates' errors constantly and adding a level of composure to an often frenetic defensive unit.

Looking Ahead

Watford's fight against relegation resumes on Thursday when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Sean Dyche's Burnley.

Nigel Pearson may also need Leicester to do the Hornets a favour by beating relegation threatened Brighton two days earlier.

Source : 90min