Diego Costa scored a brace for Chelsea either side of goals from Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo as the points were shared in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
- Chelsea 2 Watford 2
- Diego Costa bags a brace
- Deeney and Ighalo strike again
- Oscar misses a late penalty
Chelsea got off to a bright start in their first game under new boss Guus Hiddink, and took the lead through Diego Costa in the 32nd minute.
The Hornets restored parity 10 minutes later through a penalty after Nemanja Matic clumsily allowed the ball to hit his arm from a corner, with Troy Deeney getting the better of Thibaut Courtois from the spot.
Odion Ighalo continued his impressive scoring form after the break when his shot deflected in off a defender, before Costa latched onto Willian's superb through ball to level the scores again.
The Blues could have secured all three points in the 80th minute when Eden Hazard was brought down in the box, but Oscar could only blast his penalty over the crossbar
Chelsea enjoyed a positive start to the match, with Diego Costa getting a first sight of goal when he headed just over the bar from Pedro's cross, before subsequent pressure by the hosts saw the Watford penalty box peppered with shots and crosses, all of which were dealt with.
After Chelsea enjoyed a sustained period of possession for the opening 15 minutes, Watford began getting more into the game, and had a good chance to open the scoring in the 18th minute when the ball fell to Odion Ighalo. The in-form forward was onside and in space, but pulled his first-time shot wide.
The half-hour mark had just passed when Chelsea made the breakthrough from a Willian corner. The ball in was deep towards John Terry, who headed it goalward off the back of Gary Cahill before Diego Costa finished up with a close-range volley.
Branislav Ivanovic's post-Mourinho revival continued, and the Serbian right-back showed his offensive nous with a neat run forward in the 39th minute. A pass from Cesc Fabregas found him down the right flank and his cross found Oscar, but the Brazilian snatched his shot over the top.
Watford were then gifted a penalty five minutes from halftime with a silly handball from Nemanja Matic. A Ben Watson corner came in and the Serbian midfielder had his elbows raised, giving the ref no choice but to award the spot kick. Troy Deeney stepped up and sent Thibaut Courtois the wrong way as he slid the ball into an unguarded net.
Watford took the lead in the second half through Ighalo. The big Nigerian worked his way into the Chelsea box and had a shot on the turn from wide left. It deflected off the leg of Cahill on the way in, getting just enough loop on it to fool Courtois.
Diego Costa got his brace not long afterwards with the equaliser. The Spain international had Willian to thank for a superb ball along the ground from wide right, and Costa took one touch before turning and firing it in at the far post.
Chelsea had a great chance to win it 10 minutes from time when Eden Hazard, a second-half substitute for Pedro, weaved his way into the box and was brought down by Valon Behrami for a penalty, but Oscar sent his spot-kick over the bar.