Watford 0 Leicester 1 player ratings: Riyad Mahrez's superb strike sets him apart during vital Foxes win

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The Independent Football

Leicester extended their lead at the top of the table to five points thanks to an excellent defensive display which helped them earn a 0-1 win over Watford at Vicarage road.

Following the 2-2 draw in the north London derby earlier in the day, Leicester knew they had a great opportunity and started the game with a real intent, inside three minutes Jamie Vardy latched onto a long ball-up field and rounded an on-rushing Gomes only to see his shot cleared off the line.

After seeing off the early Leicester pressure unscathed, Watford began to create some chances of their own, Nathan Ake rising highest in the box to meet a Ben Watson free-kick only to see his header loop on to the cross-bar and behind, Watford dominated possession without creating many chances for the remainder of the half.

Watford began the second period pressing as they had been for much of the first, Mario Suarez forcing a smart stop from Schmeichel after a driving run out from the back.

For all Watford’s possession they had failed to create any real clear cut opportunities and on 56 minutes they were made to pay, Riyad Mahrez taking one touch to get the ball out of his feet on the corner of the Watford box before curling a sensational effort through a crowd of bodies to beat Gomes at his near post.

With the momentum on their side Leicester pushed for an immediate second, Drinkwater and Vardy linking up well to release the front man but Vardy’s shot was cleared away off the line by a lunging Ake.

There was a real scare for the foxes on 79 minutes when Mahrez appeared to pull up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, the winger was substituted shortly after and Leicester will be desperately hoping their best player won’t miss any games on their run in.

Other than an Ighalo header in the 81st minute which looped straight into the welcome arms of Kasper Schmeichel, Watford were unable to penetrate a rock solid Leicester defence and the league leaders held on for an excellent win.

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