The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW30): Watford 1-1 Leicester
Watford and Leicester are teams that are going for the win today, Leicester to retain their top four hopes, and Watford to get further away from the relegation zone. Leicester’s European hopes were increased by yesterdays draw between Spurs and Manchester United, whilst Watford sit one point above the relegation zone and need to have their home advantage to make a gap between themselves and the drop.
Both teams took the first fifteen minutes to figure out their place in the game, and Vardy had the first real shot but shot wide. Another fifteen gritty minutes the ball fell to Doucouré who blasted wide after a Masina cross. Less than a minute later Ndidi was robbed of the ball and Doucouré had the first effort on goal, a low shot that was saved by the legs of Kasper Schmeichel which.
The second half was a lot more interesting than the first half and was defined by two moments in the end of the match. Sarr went through on goal, only to be denied by Schmeichel with a trademark family save. Demarai Gray’s introduction to the match was the catalyst for much needed improvement from both sides. After ten minutes of being on the first Leicester chance fell to Albrighton, who was teed up by Gray, and the Englishman struck the crossbar. The rest of the second half was as gritty as the first, but there were two game defining moments in the dying moments. The first happened just before the 90th minute with a superb cross-field ball from Gray to Chilwell who expertly touched it down and hit the top-right corner of the goal to give Leicester the lead.
The drama wasn’t over as Craig Dawson of all people scored a last-minute equaliser with an overhead kick. The game then finished with the next kick of the ball and the points were shared between two clubs who cancelled each other out in the restart of the Premier League.
Man of the Match: Demarai Gray (LEI)
If Gray didn’t come on as a substitute this game would have most likely as it started, 0-0. Gray’s introduction injected much needed quality into the game today, and his first action was to have a curling shot on goal just go over the bar. The young Englishman also made the best two Leicester chances; Albrighton hitting the bar, and Chilwell’s thunderbolt goal.
Dawson would have been the MOTM but his shot was helped by Schmeichel bundling the save into the goal to make things level. Gray has now asked questions of Harvey Barnes who had a quiet game today, and like Pogba’s introduction against Spurs, Gray had a positive impact on his squads performance.
WAT 1-1 LEI - Insight and Analysis:
Watford are a lot better of a side than their results have shown and being a Liverpool supporter, I can attest to this personally. I am genuinely confused how Watford have been flirting with the relegation zone this season, they have a great attack and midfield, but their defence has been prone to falling asleep. Many of the Hornets players are highly coveted transfer prospects such as Doucouré, Sarr, and Pereyra. They are also very experienced, yet they have been naïve this year to the threat of other teams.
Both teams ended up cancelling each other out, most likely due to feeling their way back into this fixture. Like Spurs and Man United yesterday, the team’s ambitions ended up in a tightly contested game of football, which might be a regular feature in the first few gameweeks. Leicester I believe will retain their top four position in at the end, and Watford should stay up if they are able to stay competitive as they were in this fixture.
Venue: Vicarage Road
Manager: Nigel Pearson
GK: Ben Foster
DEF: Kiko Femenia (Mariappa 77')
DEF: Christian Kabasele
DEF: Craig Dawson
DEF: Adam Mesina (Holebas 88')
MID: Etienne Capoue (Chalobah 77')
MID: Will Hughes
MID: Roberto Pereyra (Welbeck 69')
MID: Abdoulaye Doucouré (Cleverley 77')
MID: Ismaïla Sarr
FOR: Troy Deeney
Gomes, Mariappa, Cleverley, Welbeck, Chalobah, Cathcart, Gray, Holebas, Pussetto
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
GK: Kasper Schmeichel
DEF: James Justin:
DEF: Caglar Soyuncu
DEF: Jonny Evans
DEF: Ben Chilwell
MID: Wilfred Ndidi
MID: Youri Tielemans (Choudhury 76')
MID: Marc Albrighton (Iheanacho 83')
MID: James Maddison
MID: Harvey Barnes (Gray 65')
FOR: Jamie Vardy
Ward, Morgan, Bennett, Fuchs, Mendy, Choudhury, Gray, Pérez, Iheanacho.
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