Roberto Pereyra strike sees Watford beat Leicester in Premier League
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 20/11/16 10:46pm
Roberto Pereyra's classy strike gave Watford a third win in five games as they beat stumbling champions Leicester 2-1.
All the goals came in the first quarter of an hour at Vicarage Road, with Etienne Capoue scoring the opener after just 32 seconds.
Pereyra curled in the home side's second with 12 minutes on the clock and although the visitors replied quickly through Riyad Mahrez's penalty, they could not get back on level terms.
The result sees Watford keep up their promising start to their Premier League campaign under Walter Mazzarri but Leicester continue to hover just above the relegation zone.
All the key moments in this fixture came in a frantic opening sequence, with Pereyra the architect of the goal which put Watford ahead.
His persistence down the left when he seemed to be going down a blind alley but he managed to wriggle away from two men and cut inside before crossing into the box.
His deliverywas flicked on by Troy Deeney and the ball fell to Capoue who volleyed into the net for his fifth strike of the season.
Leicester's response was meek at first and Watford took advantage of that to double their advantage.
Pereyra again picked the ball up on the left but this time stepped in to give himself a better angle and curled a lovely effort beyond Ron-Robert Zieler from just inside the area.
Leicester made a game of it, however, and within three minutes they had a chance to get back into the game as a penalty was awarded following Miguel Britos' clumsy trip on Jamie Vardy.
Riyad Mahrez took the kick and sent it right down the middle into the net, suddenly making what had been a commanding Watford lead look like a vulnerable one.
Indeed, Younes Kaboul had to look sprightly to intercept a lovely teasing cross from Danny Drinkwater and Robert Huth should have done better than head over the bar.
In response, Nordin Amrabat was a useful outlet for the hosts and his pace and direct approach restricted any kind of progress Leicester looked like making.
Watford should have been 3-1 up before the break when Deeney, chasing his 100th goal for the club, was released down the right channel.
Once again, he was unselfish as he picked out the better-placed Amrabat - only for the Dutchman to totally miscue when he had clear sight of goal with only Zieler to beat.
By comparison, the second period was a poor follow up to the first and the game became increasingly scrappy as Leicester became more desperate for a leveller.
That said, Watford could again have netted a third but wasted a good chance when Zieler got across to Pereyra.
At first it looked to be an outstanding save after Daryl Janmaat's hanging cross but in reality Pereyra should have finished comfortably and headed straight to where the keeper was heading instead.
In the closing stages, Leicester had plenty of possession and hemmed Watford back but still found it hard to make clear openings.
Huth was blocked superbly by Britos while Wes Morgan and Ahmed Musa were also kept out by stern defending.
Claudio Ranieri threw on Jeff Schlupp for the closing moments and his pace made an impact as he burst past two men and found fellow substitute Musa.
Once more, however, Britos was well placed to deny him and when Vardy curled horribly wide in stoppage time, it was clear it would not be Leicester's day.
Watford: Gomes (6), Kaboul (7), Prödl (5), Britos (6), Janmaat (6), Pereyra (7), Behrami (6), Capoue (6), Zuniga (6), Amrabat (8); Deeney (7)
Subs: Guedioura (1), Okaka (1)
Leicester: Zieler (6), Simpson (5), Huth (6), Morgan (6), Fuchs (5), Mahrez (6), Drinkwater (7), Amartey (5), Albrighton (6), Okazaki (5), Vardy (5)
Subs: Schlupp (5), Gray (3), Musa (3)
Man of the match: Nordin Amrabat