Chelsea roar back to beat Watford in thriller at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea beat an excellent Watford side in what was a superb game at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea started slowly in the first half and they looked like they were in serious trouble as Watford dominated the early stages.
But it was the Blues who took the lead, a speculative foray forward leading to a corner which Fabregas and Hazard took short.
The Belgian wiggled round the side of the box and was able to cut the ball back to Pedro, who hit a gorgeous spinning shot from the edge of the box across Gomes’ goal to ping off the far post.
It was a great moment and from then Chelsea threatened more intensely, threatening several times on the break even as Watford pushed forward themselves.
It looked like home side would go in at half time with the lead, but with the last kick of the half Abdoulaye Doucoure somehow sneaked a loose ball in at Courtois’ near post after a Holebas long throw was knocked down to him.
There was optimism at Stamford Bridge that the Blues could turn things round at half time, but those hopes were immediately crushed in the second period. Watford carved through Chelsea once and Richarlison missed a sitter, and the team in red then did it again minutes later and this time Pereyra didn’t miss.
Antonio Conte knew that a loss wasn’t acceptable, so he threw on Michy Batshuayi and Willian and went for the win. He was rewarded before long when Willian spread the ball to the right and Pedro whipped in a ball which Batshuayi nodded in from the near post.
From there the game could have gone either way, but Chelsea took their chances, first a header from Cesar Azpilicueta after Willian whipped in a brilliant cross and the second a dink over the keeper from Batshuayi after the Watford defence crumbled in the final moments.