What a brilliant recovery from Chelsea! Watford unfortunately have thrown that one away. They had chances to win but they missed them and retreated way too early in the game – Antonio Conte’s side has a strong determination and, apparently, an appetite for six goal thrillers.
For a long period of the second half it looked like Chelsea were heading for their third defeat in a row in the Premier League. However, Michy Batshuayi’s arrival from the bench turned the fortunes of the Blues as he scored the equaliser before Cesar Azpilcueta put the Blues ahead with a close-range header. Batshuayi killed off the game with a strike in late stages of the encounter, atoining for his disappointing performance last time out against Crystal Palace. Watford lived up to their reputation and had Antonio Conte’s men reeling in the second half after responding to Pedro’s opener. Abdoulaye Doucoure equalised just before the break, while after a shocking miss from Richarlison, Roberto Pereyra put them ahead. The Hornets got several chances to extend their lead, but could not take them, leaving them exposed to the Blues’ late comeback.
It was thrilling match, with Watford excellent for long spells although ultimately left to regret the chances they did not take. That rare new Brazilian talent Richarlison claimed one assist but was guilty of two big misses in a period when it felt like Chelsea were vulnerable to every attack launched at them.
This will definitely go down as one of the harshest defeats of the season. This was no backs-to-the-wall display point at the home of the champions, Chelsea, but one that deserved so much more as they went toe-to-toe with Chelsea.
This defeat will certainly be a hard pill to swallow for Marco Silva and his men, especially as Richarlison missed two sitters that would have put the game to bed.
Despite the defeat, Silva has tremendously worked wonders to turn last season’s Watford into the one we are seeing this year.
Some of their football was breathtaking, they played with no fear, greater composure than Chelsea and counter-attacked with pace and with numbers. At times it looked they had more players than Chelsea as they were first to numerous 50 50s.
Chelsea XI: Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard.
Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi
Watford XI: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison.