There is one thing that is for sure, Jamie Vardy was never likely to miss the match against Newcastle. After shaking off the injury which ruled him out of England’s last two friendlies against Spain and France, Vardy resumed his quest to etch his name into Premier League folklore. After scoring in nine consecutive games, Vardy was one goal away from equaling former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of ten goals in successive matches. Van Nistelrooy set that record back in 2003 although his ten games were split over two seasons which has many debating whose ten was more impressive. As Vardy collected the ball against Newcastle, everyone watching knew that this was the moment and that there was only going to be one outcome. Remarkably that strike made it 13 goals in 13 games for Vardy this season which places him fifth in the running for Europe’s golden boot ahead of some of the world’s best strikers like Neymar, Muller, Suarez and Higuain. Vardy quite simply is on fire. But how did he equal this record? BOTN finds out.
Game 1 – Goal 1 vs Bournemouth
It all started in Bournemouth where Vardy notched his first goal. The plucky Premier League newcomers showed that they would be no push overs by surging into an early lead thanks to a spectacular over head kick by Callum Wilson. But Leicester’s experience paid off as the broke down Bournemouth time and time again before eventually winning a penalty with less than five minutes remaining. Up stepped Vardy to blast the penalty past Artur Boruc in the Bournemouth goal to tie the game.
Game 2 – Goal 2 vs Aston Villa
With Aston Villa leading the game by 2-1 and less than ten minutes left, Leicester searched frantically for an equalizer. The goal would eventually come thanks to some persistence from Nathan Dyer wide on the right. His run pulled several Villa players out of position which in turn opened space for Danny Drinkwater to ghost into the box. His across goal pass only needed a touch and it was Vardy who got it in with typical poachers finish to tie the game. With the momentum firmly back with Leicester and Villa shaken, Claudio Ranieri’s men went for the winner which came 1 minute from full time thanks to a goal from Dyer.
Game 3 – Goal 3 vs Stoke
For the third week in a row, Leicester found themselves behind only for Vardy to save the day. Trailing Stoke by 2-1, Vardy ran onto a flick on from Mahrez and was through on goal. Holding off the challenge of Eric Pieters, Vardy controlled the ball before slotting the ball under Jack Butland to once again tie the game. Stoke would hold on for a share of the points despite Leicester pushing for the winner late in the match.
Game 4 – Goals 4 & 5 vs Arsenal
Leicester’s luck finally ran out against an inform Arsenal in a pulsating game that saw Vardy score twice but end up on the losing side. It was Vardy who opened the scoring controlling a long angled pass from Drinkwater with his head before surging into the box unchallenged and firing past Cech from a tight angle. That goal would be the wake up call for Arsenal who stepped up a gear and drew level within a minute. Walcott’s goal opened the floodgates and saw Arsenal fly into a 4-1 lead before Vardy scored a late consolation goal. After Cech saved a shot from Kramaric at close range Ulloa picked up the ball and rolled it back to Vardy who simply curled the ball through a crowd of people and into the goal to make it 4-2. Arsenal would score once more late on sealing the win and all three points.
Game 5 – Goal 6 vs Norwich
When Seb Bassong fouled Vardy in the first half of Norwich’s clash with Leicester, there was only ever going to be one taker of the penalty. Jamie Vardy stepped up to rifle an unstoppable shot past John Ruddy to give the Foxes the lead. They would double that lead just before half time thanks to a well worked moved finished in the end by Jeffrey Schlupp. Norwich did pull one back in the second half but Leicester held on to win the game 2-1.
Game 6 – Goals 7 & 8 vs Southampton
A familiar story at Southampton with Leicester trailing by 2-0 at half time, up stepped Jamie Vardy once more to save the day. Once again, it was some clever play on the right flank by Nathan Dyer whose jinking run evaded the tackles of Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk before delivering a perfect cross for Vardy to head home at the front post. With the bit between their teeth, Leicester pressed for the equalizer and it was only ever going to be one man who would get it. Deep into injury time at the end of the game, Vardy ran on to a through pass from Mahrez to fire past Kelvin Davis to tie the match.
Game 7 – Goal 9 vs Crystal Palace
Against Palace, Leicester controlled the game well and bide their time before Vardy finally struck. The opportunity came thanks to a mistake at the back by Hangeland. His poor clearance fell to Mahrez who slipped the ball through to Vardy. With two defenders pressing and Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey rushing out, Vardy brilliantly kept his cool and lifted the ball over the diving goalkeeper before tapping the ball into an empty net. A sublime goal from a player in a rich vein of form.
Game 8 – Goal 10 vs West Bromich Albion
A visit to the Hawthorn’s is never easy and Leicester found this the case as they fell behind to a Rondon header thirty minutes into the game. But Leicester would rally with Mahrez and Vardy in particular menacing in the second half. After Mahrez struck twice to put Leicester ahead, it was up to Vardy to put the icing on the cake and once again he delivered. With thirteen minutes remaining, Vardy played a neat interchange with Drinkwater at the half way line before showing a clean pair of heels to the West Brom defence and slotting past Myhill to make it 3-1. West Brom would score a penalty through Rickie Lambert with six minutes remaining but once again Vardy’s goal was the decisive factor in sealing all three points for Ranieri’s men.
Game 9 – Goal 11 vs Watford
Against Watford, Leicester would take just over 50 minutes to find the breakthrough with Kante sneaking the ball under Gomes from just outside of the area. 13 minutes later, it was 2-0 with Vardy converting a penalty after being brutally fouled by Gomes in the box. How the Brazilian remained on the field is a mystery but it mattered little as Vardy thumped his penalty high into the roof of the net to stretch his side’s lead. Watford’s Troy Deeney would grab a consolation goal from the penalty spot ten minutes later but it would be Leicester’s day as they held on to secure another three points.
Game 10 – Goal 12 vs Newcastle
Despite picking up an injury during international duty, Vardy took his place in the starting line up against Newcastle firm in the knowledge that he could equal Van Nistelrooy’s record if he scored. It may have taken almost 45 minutes but the goal was coming against an extremely poor Newcastle side and it seemed fitting that Vardy would score it. Picking up the ball out wide on the left wing, Vardy played a neat interchange with Ulloa before racing into the box. With only Sissoko standing between him and the goal, Vardy brought the ball back inside before firing a low drive inside the near post past the helpless Rob Elliott. As Vardy celebrated his record equaling achievement, both sets of fans rose to their feet to applaud him. Leicester would go on to win the match 3-0 with Vardy substituted late on once again to a standing ovation. Next up for Vardy is Manchester United and the chance to break the record. Against one of the strongest defences in the league it wont be an easy task but if there is one man who can unlock the United backline you would bet that it would be Jamie Vardy.