Chelsea 4-2 Watford. By Amar Azam at Stamford Bridge
AMID disappointing performances from his Chelsea side, it appears that if Antonio Conte’s title-holders want to retain their crown, they will have to do it the hard way.
Against a Watford side that showed craft and ingenuity, the Blues needed to come from behind to beat resilient opponents. For Conte, it was welcome relief as his side registered their first win in four matches.
For now, Chelsea remain within touching distance of those at the top of the Premier League. Conte, meanwhile, was upbeat even if there are suggestions that his job could be on the line months after leading the club to the title.
“I feel a lot of pressure but not this type of pressure,” said the Italian, who replaced Jose Mourinho in 2016 after a poor start to the season. “If the club decides to sack me, honestly, I don’t feel this pressure. I trust in my work, I try to give everything for the club; I did this last season, I’m doing it this season and I will never be worried about this — never.”
This was a hugely entertaining contest, and much credit must go to the attitude from Marco Silva’s Watford. They were in this match for large sections, but when the chances came his players were not decisive enough.
The Hornets boss said: “It is a really unfair result. It didn’t reflect what happened in the match, like our team played and how we came here and controlled for most of the game.”
Spanish winger Pedro put Chelsea ahead before midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure equalised for the visitors at the stroke of half-time. Watford then took the lead shortly after the interval through Roberto Pereyra.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi, on for record signing Alvaro Morata, pulled Chelsea level on 71 minutes before Cesar Azpilicueta put his side into the lead on 87 minutes to break Watford hearts. Batshuayi added a fourth late on.
Chelsea came into this match on the back of two Premier League defeats, including last time around at Stamford Bridge, when table-topping Manchester City came to take the victory.
Chelsea face Everton in the League Cup this week before travelling to Bournemouth this weekend as they look to build upon this victory.
Watford entertain Stoke in their league encounter this week.