Chelsea leave it late to defeat Watford

Struggling Premier League Champions Chelsea came from behind to claim a dramatic 4-2 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

– Pedro opens the scoring on 12′
– Doucoure levels on 45+2′
– Pereyra puts Watford ahead on 49′
– Batshuayi levels on 71′
– Azpilicueta puts Chelsea ahead on 87′
– Batshuayi adds a fourth in the 90 5′

Match summary

Pedro opened the scoring in sensational style early on before the champions were stunned by Abdoulaye Doucoure on the stroke of half-time.

Roberto Pereyra put the Hornets ahead on 49 minutes, but substitute Michy Batshuayi pulled Chelsea level.

Cesar Azpilicueta then popped up with what appeared to be the winner three minutes from time – ahead of a final nail in the coffin for Watford, who could have won the tie, as Batshuayi netted his second of the day.

Full report

Azpilicueta whipped in a great early cross for Alvaro Morata from the right-hand side although he was flagged offside as Christian Kabasele made a great sliding tackle.

Azpilicueta provided a number of good deliveries before Heurelho Gomes did well to claim a Morata touch after he had connected to a Pedro ball into the box from a short corner.

And it was Pedro who gave Chelsea the lead, on 12 minutes, with a super curling ball from the right-hand side of the box, off the left upright and into the net.

The goal came from a corner that should not have been awarded as Eden Hazard got the final touch.

Gomes then denied Cesc Fabregas with a fingertip save before seeing s 25 yard strike from Pedro fly past his goal on 24 minutes, while David Luiz was off target on the half hour mark as Thibaut Courtois kept out a Tom Cleverley free-kick a minute later.

Gomes was excellent as he denied Fabregas as the half wore on ahesd of an interesting twist as Doucoure levelled two minutes into stoppage time with a super strike with the outside of the his boot in at the near post, from the right hand side.

A Jose Holebas long throw was half headed away by Luiz with Doucoure quickest to pounce before reeling away in celebration.

A stunned Chelsea emerged for the second half, where Azpilicueta saw a 47th minute cross land on the roof of Watford’s net before Richarlison missed an open goal as he sidefooted past the left-hand upright after connecting to a Kiko Femeina cross from the right.

Pereyra though made no mistake on 49 minutes as he picked up a pass from Richarlison from the left of the box and fired over the flailing Courtois to set up an enthralling second half.

Richarlison was then guilty of wasting another great opportunity to score as he glanced his heder wide, from a Miguel Britos cross.

Sensing his side were in need of a fresh approach, Blues boss Antonio Conte introduced Batshuayi for Morata just after the hour mark as he look to get back into this game.

Richarlison was meanwhile, having an afternoon to forget as he again missed, this time on 67 minutes as he fired wide from an Andre Carillo delivery.

But Conte’s change was soon to reap rewards as Batshuayi rose well to head home a Pedro cross, with 71 minutes on the clock.

Batshuayi could have had another but had more time to pick his spot when picking up a through ball from Fabregas, as he saw his shot fly past a post.

The match was evenly poised with 10 minutes to play, with Chelsea desperate for all three points, and Batshuayi again missed a good chancw before Richarlison again came close, with a header that grazed his head.

Davide Zappacosta, on for Pedro, so nearly set up Batshuayi with his first touch, but his delivery was just inches ahead of his teammate.

But Chelsea finally found the goal they were looking for, through Azpilicueta, who headed home at the back post, on 87 minutes, as the ball fell to him from a Willian delivery from the right.

Batshuayi then had the final say as he made a final chance count when he lobbed in from close range under pressure from Kabasele after Britos’ attempted chipped clearance was intercepted by Bakayoko.