Watford salvaged a late point after it looked like late heartbreak against Leicester at an empty Vicarage Road stadium. Ben Chilwell looked to have won it for the Foxes with the 90 minutes coming to a close but Craig Dawson hit back with a fine bicycle kick finish to end the game 1-1. Here’s how I rated the Hornets individual displays.
Ben Foster – 7/10
A lot of possession from the visitors particularly in the first half but not a great deal of penetration until late on meant that Foster wasn’t called upon too often in this game. His main involvement came from a James Maddison strike in the second half which he superbly pushed past his post. He was helpless with Chilwell’s stunning goal and he cleaned up the rest of his duties comfortably.
Kiko Femenia – 6/10
A mixed performance from the Spaniard, perhaps performing in a way we are accustomed to by now. His link up play, particularly in the first half was very neat albeit sloppy in possession on a couple of occasions. He was caught out of position when Chilwell opened up the options on the overlap. His defensive intensity usually lacks aggression and that was highlighted when he allowed Demarai Gray a free shot from the angle as the game wore on. He was replaced by Mariappa as part of a triple substitution but a solid overall display from the full back.
Christian Kabasele – 4.5/10
The Belgium defender has been vocal of his concerns with the restart and he started terribly in this match, looking very uncomfortable on the ball and looking very uncertain when the ball entered his area of the pitch. He’ll have his centre back partner to thank for covering him on a couple of occasions. Despite this Vardy had limited chances and he grew somewhat as the game progressed, making a few comfortable interventions.
Craig Dawson – 10/10
I had big concerns with Dawson’s lack of pace against Vardy in this game. But my word did he respond emphatically. Prior to his stunning finish in stoppage time he didn’t put a foot wrong, starting off well by making an impressive challenge to deny Vardy from close range. He swept up effectively when Leicester looked to get in behind the defensive line and was assured all game. It was fitting that he would find the equaliser from a late corner where he improvised from a scramble in the box to fire home.
Adam Masina – 6/10
A solid but unspectacular performance. Masina has really grown as a player this season and he will want to build on this performance where he largely kept things simple. Albrighton had a relatively quiet game before he crashed a shot off the post where Masina was found wanting. He was dependable defensively but failed to add any value going forwards.
Etienne Capoue – 5.5/10
The anchor man was not quite up to speed this afternoon as he carelessly got caught in possession a few times. We are used to some dominant performances from Capoue and he left the commentators purring with a fine cross-field volley in the first half to set Watford free down the right. Defensively he helped break up play but Watford’s midfield wasn’t getting on top of things which is usually the Hornets strength and this was partly due to Capoue being slightly out position and failing to dictate proceedings.
Will Hughes – 9/10
One player who didn’t need any time to get into the thick of the action was the former Derby man. Hughes played with real bite, snapping into challenges consistently and taking the initiative by being the man looking to start the attacks from deep. He was the most influential player in the middle of the park, showing the most care with his passing and covered every blade of grass.
Abdoulaye Doucoure – 5.5/10
Doucoure is always regarded as a key player and he was key in this game because he had the chance of the first half which he fired too near to Schmeichel. He had previously squirmed a shot before this and has been guilty of showing poor technique and finishing all season. His passing was also quite loose throughout the match and while his energy is always on display it wasn’t a performance of real quality.
Roberto Pereyra – 5/10
There would have been question marks over the Argentine’s selection with his dedication to the cause a concern to say the least. His display did little to give encouragement that someone will fill the void left by Gerard Deulofeu. His lack of pace failed to got Watford up the pitch down the flanks and he contributed very little constructively. His one moment came in the second half where he cut inside his man and fired a threatening shot towards goal but to no avail. He did help out Masina pretty well defensively but Pearson really needs to find the solution in this position.
Ismaila Sarr – 7/10
A lot of the Hornets attacking hopes rest on the 22 year old winger and he was once again the biggest threat in the 90 minutes. It was a game where his end product was lacking, apart from one fine cross at the end of the first half his delivery into the box was largely hit and hope as he tried to find an area rather than a man although this was ineffective because of the lack of numbers in the penalty box. He raced clear in the second half and while his left foot shot was very smartly saved by Schmeichel he was unable to capitalise on a big chance for the hosts. It was clear he had the better of Chilwell, going past him with ease on a couple of occasions. It’s vital Sarr remains a threat as he was today.
Troy Deeney – 7/10
Watford’s number 9 gave a good account of himself as he linked play superbly at times, winning his aerial duels and bringing other players into the games. A huge frustration as ever with Deeney is his lack of predatory instinct as he was no use when way out of position when his side were in a decent crossing position. His closest goal threat unsurprisingly came when he found himself in a dangerous position as he headed just wide in what was a very respectable effort. His influence came to a halt as Leicester had more of the ball in the final stages of the game but Pearson will be hoping from more of the same from the skipper.
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