December 26, 2017 / 5:13 PM / a year ago

Watford win as Schmeichel own goal sinks Leicester

Watford snapped their four-game losing streak and celebrated their first Premier League win in seven matches after an own goal by keeper Kasper Schmeichel gave them a 2-1 home win over Leicester City on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Watford vs Leicester City - Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain - December 26, 2017 Watford's Molla Wague celebrates Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Schmeichel made a simple mistake at the far post in the 65th minute as an Abdoulaye Doucoure cut-back from a tight angle came off his chest and trickled under him over the line, allowing the home side to complete their comeback after falling behind.

The result also ended Leicester’s seven-game unbeaten away run in the league and left their manager Claude Puel ruing lack of concentration at defending set pieces.

“It’s a story about free-kicks,” the Frenchman told the BBC. “Our first half was not bad with some quality and chances.

“In the second half it was more difficult. This result is a little harsh. It was not a bad game for us.”

Puel also refused to blame Schmeichel for Watford’s winning goal and criticised his players for ball-watching.

“All the team are responsible. It was difficult to defend against this team playing long balls and second balls.”

Leicester dominated the opening half as Shinji Okazaki came close with a header and Jamie Vardy missed a sitter before Riyad Mahrez fired the visitors ahead with a firm 37th-minute header from Marc Albrighton’s inch-perfect cross.

Watford looked rattled but levelled against the run of play on the stroke of halftime as Mali defender Molla Wague scored in his first Premier League start as he bundled the ball in from close range after a goal-mouth scramble.

Galvanised by the equaliser, Watford nearly took the lead in added time before the break as Richarlison hit the post with a fierce shot.

Watford gained the upper hand in the second half and snatched the winner as Tom Cleverley swung in an inviting free kick and Doucoure’s touch caught Schmeichel off guard.

The home team’s keeper Heurelho Gomes produced two fine saves in the closing stages as Leicester pressed for an equaliser, delighting the home team’s manager Marco Silva.

“We didn’t lose our focus when we weren’t winning,” he said.

“It was a balanced and tough game.

“You can have some fantastic results in a row but the season is just too long. I know what can happen if you have players suspended or injured.”

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic,; Editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar

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