Watford Trail To Leicester After First Leg
King Power Stadium
Thu 09th May - 7:45pm
Watford will go into the second leg of their play-off semi final at Vicarage Road on Sunday trailing Leicester City by a goal to nil after the Hornets lost at the King Power Stadium this evening.
Gianfranco Zola made three changes to the Watford side that lost to Leeds on Saturday with Manuel Almunia returning in goal and Alex Geijo and Matej Vydra starting up front in place of Fernando Forestieri and the suspended Troy Deeney. Jonathan Bond was fit enough for a place on the bench as was John Eustace for the first time since February.
Leicester started the game very brightly putting Watford under a lot of pressure. From an early corner Joel Ekstrand did well to block a shot from David Nugent when the striker found space in the box.
Nugent had another great chance midway through the first half when Jeffrey Schlupp and Lloyd Dyer combined well down the left and found Nugent in the box but the striker fired wide from a good position.
The Hornets were causing problems for Leicester too and missed a great chance to take the lead through Ikechi Anya. Schlupp miss kicked a ball on the halfway line and Anya raced clear but he was denied by Kasper Schmeichel as was Almen Abdi on the rebound.
Abdi also went close a few minutes later from a free kick on the corner angle of the box after Vydra had been felled by Wes Morgan. The free kick tacking a deflection off the end of the wall went just wide.
Watford, however, were looking shaky at the back and Leicester created another chance after poor play from Marco Cassetti. Cassetti failed to see a ball out of play and was robbed by Anthony Knockaert but he was denied at the near post by Manuel Almunia.
Half Time: 0-0
Watford started the second half very brightly and should have taken the lead on a couple of occasions. A ball played forward from the Watford midfield which nearly saw Geijo played in on goal found Vydra in lots of space but he miss kicked straight at Schmeichel.
Vydra nearly struck again when Geijo battled well for the ball in the box and crossed it back in but Vydra couldn't quiet connect with the ball. Geijo also missed a great chance when Anya found space on the right and his cross found Geijo at the back post but he headed over.
Leicester continued to look dangerous in periods with Matty James having an effort blocked by Ekstrand, and Schlupp shooting wide from a tight angle.
With just ten minutes to go Leicester City did take the lead. After Ekstrand had been adjudged to have fouled Harry Kane, David Nugent rose highest to head home Anthony Knockaert's free kick.
Leicester continued to press for the second and Watford had to be alert to stop Lloyd Dyer's low cross. Almunia too did well to deny Knockaert after the winger was played through inside the box.
However, Watford held firm and will go into Sunday's second leg at Vicarage Road needing to turn around a one goal deficit to progress to the final at Wembley at the end of May.
Full Time: 1-0
Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Keane, Schlupp, Knockaert (Drinkwater), James, King, Dyer, Nugent, Wood (Kane)
Subs Not Used: Logan (GK), Konchesky, Moore, Marshall, Vardy
Watford: Almunia, Doyley (Hall), Ekstrand, Cassetti, Anya, Pudil (Briggs), Hogg, Chalobah, Abdi, Vydra (Forestieri), Geijo
Subs Not Used: Bond (GK), Eustace, Yeates, Battocchio
Referee: Mr Neil Swarbrick