Craig Dawson’s last-gasp acrobatic goal minutes after Ben Chilwell’s superb strike earned Watford a 1-1 draw against Leicester on Saturday afternoon.
After a cagey start, the visitors squandered their first real chance of the game when Vardy fired a shot from just outside the box.
After the half-hour mark, a clumsy first touch from Wilfried Ndidi found Abdoulaye Doucourt on target but the Frenchman could only fire straight at Kasper Schmeichel. The Hornets then took control of the game and only some defensive heroics from James Justin prevented them from taking the lead before half-time.
Troy Deeney challenges for the ball with Wilfred Ndidi and Jonny Evans / Pool/Getty Images
Watford continued to dominate after the break and Shamail was forced into a superb save to deny Ismaila Sarr one-on-one, while Troy Deeney also narrowly widened within five minutes of the restart. of
Leicester improved with the introduction of Demrai Gray on the hour mark, along with Mark Albrighton and James Maddison. The Foxes finally got a breakthrough in the dying minutes when Chilwell put away an unstoppable drive past Ben Foster.
Minutes later there was more drama with Dawson all but scoring an acrobatic goal to earn the Hornets a point.
Ben Chilwell celebrates his great goal with James Maddison/Pool/Getty Images.
Key talking point
Watford FC v Leicester City – Premier League/Pool/Getty Images
Since taking over at Vicarage Road, Nigel Pearson has worked wonders strengthening Watford’s tight-knit defence.
The eight-goal side against Manchester City in September is now a distant memory and it was a similarly solid display against the Foxes.
However, it’s hard to shake the feeling that it was two points dropped for the home side, especially when considering the difficult run-in that awaits them. With threatening meetings with Burnley, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal looming, Pearson will be disappointed his side were unable to make their period of dominance early in the second half count.
Still, what is Dawson’s point?
Starting XI: Foster (7); Kiko (7), Kibasle (7), Dawson (8), Masina (7); Capo (6), Hughes (6); Saar (8), Ducour (6), Pereira (6); Danny (7).
Alternatives: Chalobah (6), Cleverley (6), Holbas (6), Maripa (6), Welbeck (6).
Ismaila Sir causes Ben Chilwell all sorts of problems at Vicarage Road / Michael Regan / Getty Images
Chilwell’s value would have fallen significantly on Saturday afternoon, such was the nightmare he experienced against Sar..
The 22-year-old has transitioned into England internationals with ease time after time and needs to improve his decision-making to be truly considered a top-class Premier League winger.
What Ismaila Sir Sees When He Takes On Ben Chilwell!! pic.twitter.com/Ssu1QDpLbZ
– Midway Hefner!! (@mduie_) June 20, 2020
Saar vs Chilwell pic.twitter.com/dgKLahuAsL
— Josh (@ftbljosh) June 20, 2020 Key talking point
One story that got lost amid the flurry of coronavirus news in March was Ricardo Pereira being ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.
Saturday was only the second game the Portugal international hadn’t missed all season and his absence was sorely missed by the Foxes.
His replacement, James Justin, was fantastic defensively but provided little forward support. Justin’s attacking repertoire is vast and he is likely to rest in that role in the future, but his nervousness against Watford prevented him from bombarding his opposite number as Pereira often does.
James Justin replaces Ricardo Pereira in Leicester starting line-up/Pool/Getty Images
The situation didn’t help Albrighton, another player who has barely featured this season, was selected ahead of him. The pair failed to gel and Lester’s right-hand side – which has been a concern all year – was noticeably broken as a result.
James Justin’s first half vs. Watford by the numbers:
100% of tackles won.
84% pass accuracy
67% aerial wins.
6 ball recoveries (max)
neat and clean ??? pic.twitter.com/7U1TMXoovs
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 20, 2020 Player Ratings
Starting XI: Schmeichel (7); Justin (7), Suwonko (6), Evans (8), Chilwell (7); Ndidi (6); Albrighton (5), Tillmans (5), Maddison (6), Barnes (5), Vardy (6).
Alternatives: Gray (6), Chowdhury (6), Ihancho (6).
Jonny Evans has been a consistent performer for Leicester this season / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
Caglar Soyuncu may have attracted more column inches but there’s no denying who has been Leicester’s best center back this season.
Evans Another flawless performance this afternoon, consistently picking up mistakes from his sloppy teammates and adding a level of composure to an often frantic defensive unit.
The player I haven’t seen play as bad for as long as I can remember: Jonny Evans.
One of the most underrated players in the league. #WATLEI
— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) June 20, 2020
Battle of the underrated centre-backs.
Jonny Evans vs. Craig Dawson.
— Will Dubey (@DubeyWill) June 20, 2020
Watford’s fight against relegation resumes on Thursday when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
Nigel Pearson threatened Brighton two days ago that Leicester might need to do the Hornets a favor by beating relegation.