Tag: Chelsea

2nd November 2019- Premier League, Watford 1 Chelsea 2

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Match Report: Watford 1-2 Chelsea

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Goalkeeper Ben Foster was denied a stunning headed equaliser in stoppage time as Chelsea hung on for victory at Watford to move third in the Premier League.

A spirited goalkeeping performance from Ben Foster – who made no fewer than eight saves – prevented Chelsea from extinguishing Watford’s challenge, which was boosted 10 minutes from time when a controversial VAR-awarded penalty was converted by Gerard Deulofeu.

Given that it was little more than a duel between Ben Foster and Chelsea’s forwards at times, it would have been a strange twist if the goalkeeper had rescued a point for Watford with the game’s final act. They were into the sixth minute of added time when Foster, who had kept his side in it with countless saves, decided to charge forward after Mason Mount conceded a free-kick deep on the left, and it would have been an extraordinary ending if the 36-year-old’s downward header had crept beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Despite their spirited late comeback, Watford remain without a win in 11 league games – 15 going back to last season – and stay at the bottom of the table, so this should have been the ­perfect fixture to get Frank Lampard’s team back on track after their midweek home defeat by Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.

When we give away a stupid goal after five reasonably positive minutes, albeit a goal carved by a remarkable through ball you can feel the stadium deflate. “Well, that’s that then”, which it sort of was and sort of wasn’t. But what a half-witted way to concede, no wonder Ben Foster screamed with frustration. When you can’t score goals keeping it tight, particularly against an opponent like this one, one that revels in playing away from home, is everything.

We arrived in Vicarage Road to be greeted with a number of touts and one merchandise stand that had exclusively Chelsea scarves and tat, which irritated me immensely.

5th May 2019- Premier League, Chelsea 3 Watford 0

Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
40,650

Match Report: Chelsea 3-0 Watford

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FA Cup finalists Watford started brightly, going close through Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, but were left to rue their slow start to the second half that saw Chelsea quickly take the game away from them.

Watford created Maurizio Sarri’s side numerous problems, especially in a one-sided first-half, with Kepa Arrizabalaga making one of the saves of the season to deny Troy Deeney.

Even at a club where life is never simple these are strange times indeed. Chelsea have secured Champions League football, reached the League Cup final earlier this year and could secure passage to Baku and the Europa League final later this week, yet Sarri remains unloved. Perhaps the rather chaotic first-half showing here partly explained why, given their lack of pattern or focus as Watford, slicker and stronger, threatened to run riot.

Watford struck the frame of the goal twice and spurned a host of chances and given the opportunities they created and the positive way they played it is odd that they finish this season having lost their last 11 games against the ‘Big Six’.

To be fair, and as was reflected by a venerable Chelsea panel in the tube afterwards, we started the game as unlike a side preoccupied with the Cup Final as it’s possible to imagine.  We were lively, assertive and direct, pinning the home side back with some verve and energy.

We left plenty of time for our walk to Stamford Bridge and to negotiate our way past the multiple phalanxes of security guards.  There was a surprise in store as we were greeted by a voice announcing, “FA Cup Finalists to the left.”  I was still smiling when I heard another directing us on “The road to Wembley.”  A rather lovely and unexpected welcome which meant that my opinion of Chelsea went up massively.

26th December 2018- Premier League, Watford 1 Chelsea 2

Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
20,415

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1

Match Report: Watford 1-2 Chelsea

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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.

5th February 2018- Premier League, Watford 4 Chelsea 1

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:1  2  3  4

Watford Observer

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skyWatford piled the pressure on Antonio Conte as a late flurry of goals secured a thumping 4-1 win over 10-man Chelsea on Monday Night Football.

BBC SportThe Blues played an hour with 10 men after Tiemoue Bakayoko’s red card capped a dreadful individual 30-minute performance – in which he gifted Watford four chances.

guardianThereafter, profligacy rather spared the visitors until Hazard, whipping in a glorious equaliser that dipped under Orestis Karnezis’s outstretched left hand, made it level. Briefly, tantalisingly, Chelsea dared to consider inducing another late Watford implosion but it would be the champions who unravelled. Janmaat, Deulofeu and the substitute Pereyra would each glide into space to drive home their advantage while the majority inside the arena pinched themselves in the giddiness of victory. “It’s difficult to explain how I feel at this moment,” said Gracia. “We needed the three points badly but for motivation and to believe in our possibilities, in our work, today was very important.”

TelegraphWatford thoroughly deserved to win; a win that takes them six points clear of the relegation zone and halted the alarming run of results that led to the sacking of Marco Silva as head coach. This was Gracia’s first home game in charge and his January signing, fellow Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu, was outstanding in a rampant performance which Chelsea simply could not cope with.

BHappy imageThe route home was slightly easier; Dad dropped me at St Albans, I made the train waiting at the platform, grabbed the only cab on the rank at Bedford, home at not-quite-silly’o’clock.  And then lay in bed, staring upwards in the dark. For hours.  Completely wired.

The Hornets NestFollowing Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth during the week, I was prepared for the backlash in Javi Gracia’s first home game in charge of the ‘Orns.

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21st October 2017- Premier League, Chelsea 4 Watford 2

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clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary  Goals: 1   2

Watford Observer

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BBC Sport

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side showed they have the “attitude to fight” as they scored two late goals to come from behind and claim a dramatic victory against Watford at Stamford Bridge.

sky

Michy Batshuayi’s double capped a resilient Chelsea display as they fought back from 2-1 down to beat Watford 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

guardian

“That’s why we’re champions,” crowed the Matthew Harding Stand after César Azpilicueta had bundled Chelsea back from the precipice. Their meaning was clear enough: you do not win titles without the wherewithal to make light of a seemingly lost cause and the way that – invigorated by Antonio Conte’s substitutions – they punished Watford in the last 20 minutes brought to mind some of last season’s remorseless displays.

Telegraph

The memory of the great title defence meltdown of 2015-2016 is still fresh in the minds of all at Stamford Bridge and for that reason there may well have been distressing flashbacks among the support with 20 minutes left and a goal behind to opposition of a much lower status.

BHappy image

If there’s a way in which the Chelsea matchday experience resembles the Watford matchday experience it’s in the Fulham Road beforehand, a seething artery that channels the masses towards the stadium transforming it into something quite unrecognisable to those who see it on a “normal” day, in much the way as Vicarage Road always feels odd if you chance down it during the week.  Today the October spinning dial that promised sunshine and rain and wind and made preparation next to impossible settled on sunshine, fitting for a rare trip to the Bridge that didn’t  come with the knowledge that we were likely to get stuffed.

Fran

Toddy’s funeral took place on Wednesday.  It has to be said that his family and many friends gave him a magnificent send off and it was fitting that the wake was held in the Captain’s bar at Vicarage Road.  The help given to Toddy’s family by his friends at the club, especially Dave Messenger, has been outstanding and a testament to what he meant to the people there.

The Hornets Nest

So to Saturday and with Watford in red hot form and champions Chelsea having lost two on the bounce in the league, there was no better time to face them. Before the game I felt that if Watford were ever going to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1986, it was to be now.

Hornet effect

It was hard to watch these highlights, I really tried to skip past the bad bits but I had to include them. The result doesn’t tell the story of the game, at all. No matter how disappointing coming home empty-handed was there are plenty of positives to take.

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