Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary Goals: 1
Match Report: Watford 1-2 Chelsea
Cathcart: “We Pushed Them All The Way”
Gracia: “You Need To Take The Chances You Have”
Highlights: Watford 1-2 Chelsea
Affleck’s Angle: A Rare Gift
Gallery: Watford v Chelsea
Relive our coverage of Watford’s Boxing Day defeat to Chelsea
Eden Hazard scores twice as Watford lose to Chelsea
Javi Gracia reflects on Watford’s defeat to Chelsea
Images from Watford’s defeat against Chelsea at Vicarage Road
Watford vs Chelsea: Christian Kabasele posts injury update
Eden Hazard scored both goals for Chelsea as they beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road to move back into fourth place in the Premier League.
Watford will feel they had enough chances to get something from the match at Vicarage Road as they suffered their first loss in four Premier League matches.
Like Sarri, Watford manager Javi Gracia had named an unchanged team, but, having tried to carry on, Kabasele had to be replaced by Adrian Mariappa in the 16th minute.
It took until first-half stoppage time for the game to witness its first shot on target, whereupon two goals were scored in three minutes. First Étienne Capoue gave the ball away in midfield. Mateo Kovacic took control, played in Hazard and the Belgian rounded Foster before passing into the net. A minute later Watford might have equalised after Deeney’s header set up Abdoulaye Doucouré, who had already seen one effort blocked and another go high, for a shot this time saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga. From the corner José Holebas lifted the ball to the edge of the area and Roberto Pereyra rifled a volley into the corner of the net, the second time this season that a similar routine has led to a goal.
The visitors however always looked dangerous and shortly before the hour mark, Watford gifted the Chelsea the chance to take the lead. A ball over the top of the Watford defence found Hazard. Foster came out of his goal in an attempt to win ball, but instead clattered into Hazard and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Hazard took the spot kick and sent Foster the wrong way.
Yet again, we were ruing missing our chances as we could easily have won a point in that game. But, on the positive side, we were reflecting on a game in which we had matched one of the best teams in the country. Watford no longer look like plucky underdogs in these games, but are playing with a similar quality to these household names. There were regrets regarding the two penalties. Watford’s would have been given on another day. Chelsea’s was an unnecessary challenge by Foster but, given how well he has done for us this season, it is hard to criticise.