Chelsea 4-2 Watford: Bullish Blues Battle Back to Clinch Crucial Win Over Hardy Hornets

Chelsea came from behind to beat Watford 4-2 in a pulsating Premier League match on Saturday afternoon.

Pedro gave the hosts the lead early in the first half in stunning style – curling home an emphatic 25-yard effort from the edge of the area. Watford then punished the hosts for failing to stamp their authority on the match, as Abdoulaye Doucouré thumped home from close range after a defensive mix-up cause by a long-throw.

Roberto Pereyra gave his side a shock lead early in the second half, converting from close-range as the Blues began to crumble in spectacular fashion. Michy Batshuayi levelled for the hosts midway through the second half with a well taken header, before César Azpilicueta headed home to give his side the lead. In stoppage time, Batshuayi sealed the win with his second goal of the afternoon.


Despite a bright opening from the visitors, it was Chelsea who had the best chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute. Cesc Fàbregas played a smart short corner to Pedro – whose looping cross saw Álvaro Morata unable to generate the necessary power to divert his touch past Watford stopper Heurelho Gomes, who made a solid save down low to his right.

In the 11th minute, Pedro gave Chelsea the lead with a superb long-range effort. The short corner routine came off with aplomb – as Eden Hazard laid the ball off to Pedro at the edge of the box, who unleashed a sensational bending shot which crashed off the post and flew spectacularly beyond the helpless Gomes.

The Blues were almost in again in the 15th minute, as Morata played an incisive ball to his Spanish teammate Fàbregas, who saw his cheeky chipped effort saved at close range by Gomes. Pedro then crashed a 30-yard effort towards the Watford goal in the 23rd minute, but his confident strike streaked comfortably past Gomes’ near-post.

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was then called into action, reacting well to keep out Tom Cleverley’s firmly struck free-kick in the 30th minute. Fàbregas then forced an acrobatic stop from Gomes in the 40th minute with a long-range effort.

The visitors began to pressure the Blues as the first-half drew to a close, and capitalised on a defensive mix-up caused by a José Holebas long-throw – Doucouré thumping home from close range to equalise in first-half stoppage time.

Chelsea started the second half with a clear intent to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, rampaging forward at every given opportunity. Pedro whistled an ambitious long-range drive wide of Gomes’ far-post in the 47th minute. Richarlison then unreliably missed an open goal from five yards out, somehow slicing wide in-front of the Blues’ gaping goal. 

Richarlison soon made amends for his miss, as he tore apart Chelsea’s defence to play a pinpoint pass to Pereyra, who was left unmarked to clip a sweetly struck shot over Courtois in the 50th minute. The hosts were rattled, with Watford running rampant in-front of the horrified home fans.

It was almost 3-1 in the 53rd minute, as Richarlison again missed a golden opportunity after seeing his close-range effort go agonisingly wide of Courtois’ far-post. The Blues defence was in tatters, with Watford running rings around the Premier League champions.

After an abject twenty minute period, the Blues scored a crucial equaliser. In the 70th minute, Pedro whipped a pinpoint cross into the penalty box, which substitute Batshuayi nodded into the far corner of the net with a clinical header. Moments later, Watford almost regained the lead, but Christian Kabasele failed to convert a free header to punish Conte’s side.

The tenacious Belgian came close to scoring his second goal the afternoon in the 79th minute, after bending a long shot wide of Gomes’ far-post in the 79th minute, with the Brazilian stopper well-beaten. Moments later, the striker was in again, and flashed a shot over the bar from close-range following a clever set-piece from the home side.

Azpilicueta then saved the day for Chelsea, scoring in the 87th minute of the match. Substitute Willian surged down the right wing, before whipping a delightful cross into the box, which was nodded home by Azpilicueta to the relief of the Chelsea fans. 

Batshuayi sealed the three points deep into stoppage time, taking Tiémoué Bakayoko’s pass in his stride before holding Miguel Britos off to slot home his second goal of the game. The Blues looked far from convincing in their win, but their resilience in sealing the three points was certainly impressive.


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