Watford piled more misery on Antonio Conte and Chelsea as they picked up a well deserved 4-1 win at Vicarage Road. The Blues came into the game on the back of a 3-0 loss to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, and they did not do themselves any favours after Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off for two yellow cards at the half-hour mark.
Troy Deeney opened the scoring for the Hornets before the break following a penalty earned from Gerard Deulofeu, but the Blues managed to pull things level after a wonderful curler from Eden Hazard in the 82nd minute. Rather than shutting up shop, the visitors went for the winning goal, and this came on to haunt them with Daryl Janmaat, Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra completing a 4-1 rout for Watford over their close neighbours.
Three Things We Learned:
Chelsea’s dependence on Hazard: The Blues have lied heavily on Eden Hazard to provide the breakthrough in the Premier League, and it was a similar case tonight as his teammates struggled to hit the target. The Belgium international struggled to find a way through a well-lined Watford backline, but he popped up once more on the scoresheet with a brilliant curler from outside the box.
Antonio Conte close to a sack: Conte has remained reluctant to admit that his managerial position is under threat, but judging by Roman Abramovich’s record of dismissing coaches, the Italian faces a tough couple of days, potentially hours in the office. Chelsea have a key Champions League tie versus Barcelona in two weeks’ time, and the club may opt for a quick change to enhance their chances of putting in a commendable performance versus the La Liga leaders.
Watford end winless run: The Hornets have often dominated matches in their home turf only to give up their advantage in the dying stages of games. The club once more appeared to have succumbed to their habit, but they showed the attitude and determination to end a 13-match winless run against Chelsea. The victory was also Javier Gracia’s first at the helm at Watford, and this clinched their first league triumph since Boxing Day.
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