REPORT: Watford 1-1 Leicester City: Late drama earns Hornets valuable point

Survival-battling Watford earned a valuable point as they drew 1-1 with Champions League-chasing Leicester City.

A world-class strike from Ben Chilwell in injury time looked to be the winner for the visitors until a 94th minute bicycle-kick from the unlikely source of centre-back Craig Dawson brought the scores level.

With Watford’s home advantage all-but-extinguished by Project Restart’s behind-closed-doors policy, the visitors were far livelier in the opening exchanges.

Momentum was behind Leicester, who saw almost 70% of the ball in the first half. The Foxes failed to convert this into pressure on Ben Foster’s goal as they were unable to register a shot target in the opening 45 minutes.

Jamie Vardy enjoyed the pick of the chances as he jumped several wild challenges and burst clear of the defence, but his shot bent well wide of the mark as the 33-year-old sought his 100th Premier League goal.

The Hornets, without super Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu, looked to 22-year-old winger Ismaila Sarr to provide the threat. The Senegalese international utilised his blistering pace down the right flank and proved to be a thorn in Chilwell’s side as the Englishman could do nothing but watch Sarr create chance-after-chance for the relegation-fighters.

Watford very much clawed themselves back into proceedings in the second half. Striker Troy Deeney came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock early in the half as he steered a close-range header just wide.

It was not until around the 75th minute that the visitors fired their first shot on goal. Marc Albrighton rifled a sweet strike from the edge of the box which clattered the post, and midfielder James Maddison could not find the net with a subsequent effort as Foster parried the ball beyond the woodwork.

The introduction of Demarai Gray sparked life into Leicester as they continued to sap Watford of possession. His skilful footwork kept the opposition defence guessing and he opened up several chances for City, who were unable to turn the ball into the goal.

Leicester opened the scoring through left-back Ben Chilwell, who tried his luck with a tremendous strike from 25 yards, which rattled off the post and left Foster hapless in the centre of the Watford goal.

City thought they had won it, but, just three minutes later, 30-year-old defender Craig Dawson rose above a melee in Leicester’s penalty area and smashed home a sensational overhead-kick.

The equaliser afforded Watford a solitary point; one which pushes them away from the looming relegation zone and into 16th. Leicester continue their third-placed stint in no-man’s land, with a six point chasm both to Manchester City in front and Chelsea behind.

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