Harvey Barnes had two goals and an assist as Leicester City recovered from an early blip to pound Watford 5-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.
Watford’s final home match of this run in the Premier League started well enough, as Joao Pedro put the Hornets in front, but quickly changed into another indictment on their defensive recruitment.
Jamie Vardy also scored twice and James Maddison had a goal and two assists as the Foxes pulled back into ninth place with 48 points. Leicester has two matches left on its docket and controls its own destiny in the hopes of finishing eighth.
Watford vs Leicester final score, stats
Watford 1, Leicester City 5
Scorers: Pedro (6′), Maddison (18′), Vardy (22′, 70′), Barnes (70′, 86′)
Shot attempts: Watford 13, Leicester City 13
Shots on goal: Watford 1, Leicester City 5
Possession: Watford 41, Leicester City 59
Three things we learned from Watford vs Leicester City
1. Uncongested Leicester finishing strong: It definitely helps that their opponents were Norwich and Watford, but Leicester’s 8-1 combined score line in the two matches since it was eliminated from European competition is not a surprise. Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Youri Tielemans are going to be very difficult to stop with fresh legs, and let’s not forget how big it is for Brendan Rodgers to have a healthy Wesley Fofana back in the fold.
2. Hornets fight to the finish: Watford actually won the expected goals fight 2.59-2.27 but Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward made four saves and Watford’s normally-steady Ben Foster struggled behind the Hornets backline (More on that below).
3. Watford’s recruitment failed them: As promising as Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis were in attack, the Hornets’ defensive unit was simply not suited for the Premier League level. Yes their conceded goals total is 10 goals under their actual conceded goals, but even 65 goals is a horrible challenge to overcome in the fight for safety.
Man of the Match: James Maddison — A playmaking masterclass with a goal, two assists, three key passes, and three fouls drawn.