Chelsea fought their way from being a goal down to claiming their first win since September, with goals coming from Pedro, Michy Batshuayi and Cesar Azpilicueta.
The Blues were a bit lucky with their first goal and they had the linesman to thank for that, who gave them a corner when it was supposed to be a goal kick. Chelsea took it quickly and Eden Hazard found Pedro on the edge of the box, who subsequently curled it into the top left corner from around 30 yards out.
The game ebbed and flowed during the first 45 minutes, but Watford, by no means, looked to be the weaker side. The Hornets got their equaliser with one of the last kicks of the first half, after they capitalised on Chelsea’s failure to clear the ball properly.
Abdoulaye Doucoure was the most alert and smashed it past Courtois from close range. The visitors took their momentum into the second half as Roberto Pereyra doubled his side’s lead with an easy finish in the 49th minute, thanks to some calamitous Chelsea defending.
Richarlison had two major chances to finish off Chelsea, both misses which eventually came back to haunt him. Batshuayi came on and headed in Chelsea’s equaliser in the 72nd minute before Cesar Azpilicueta scored what was essentially the winner on the night, with a little help from Christian Kabasele.
The champions weren’t quite done though, deep into the sixth minute of stoppage time, Miguel Britos’ tame clearance was met by Bakayoko, who headed it onto Batshuayi’s path. The Belgian held off Kabasele’s challenge and tapped in Chelsea’s fourth of the afternoon. We now run the rule over Conte’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
Made some routine saves in the first half, but could do nothing for Doucoure’s smashing equalizer, given the spin and sheer power of the shot. Let down by his defenders for the second, but besides those two goals, the Belgian had a decent game.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
Given a hard time by Richarlison in the first half and struggled with Cesar Azpilicueta to tame the young Brazilian. However, he was great in the air and was the third most prolific passes in the game. Not without his faults, still looks like he is getting used to the English top flight.
David Luiz: 6
Had a good first half and managed to keep Troy Deeney very quiet in the first 45 minutes. Got in a number of important interceptions and blocks. Could’ve maybe done better to clear the ball which eventually led to Watford’s equalizer as he failed to see Pereyra’ run for their second.
Gary Cahill: 7
It was a decent performance from the Chelsea captain. He wasn’t too occupied on the left side of defence. However, he was good in the air and cut a strong figure in defence as he put in a calm and composed performance. Was amongst the many at fault for Pereyra’s goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
The Spaniard was given a torrid time by Richarlison down his flank but did well to contain him for the most part. Got much easier after the Brazilian shifted to a central role later in the game. Moved to left back later in the game as part of a formation change.
Chelsea’s beloved vice-captain didn’t put his best performances at right wing-back, but he certainly turned up when his team needed him the most. Scored his first Premier League goal of the season to send Stamford Bridge into raptures.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Missed a glorious chance in the first half as he tried to chip it over Heurelho Gomes rather than smash it into the back of the net. Got some great passes in from deep and had a stinging effort from distance parried off by Gomes later in the game. Good game from the Spaniard.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 7
Had a decent first half, though it did look like he missed N’Golo Kante alongside him and not for the first time this season. Did well in his midfield battles and even set up Batshuayi’s second with a header. However, he could be held accountable for not tracking Pereyra’s run for Watford’s second.
Recovered the ball a number of times for his side and made more succesful tackles than anyone else on the pitch. However, all the defensive work is clearly taking a toll on the Frenchman. He needs a break, and looks severely fatigued after a continuous run of games.
Marcos Alonso: 6
The Spaniard had a much easier afternoon than Azpilicueta. Alonso dealt with Pereyra as best he could, but his lack of pace is extremely evident. Looked fatigued and was taken off for Willian in the 68th minute.
Opened his side’s account with a stunning goal. Cut a confident, industrious figure down the right flank and kept having a go at Gomes’s goal. Set up Batshuayi with a fine cross and was arguably their best player of the afternoon. Subbed off to a standing ovation in the 86th minute.
Alvaro Morata: 5
Had one decent chance in the first half, but couldn’t make anything of it. Needlessly booked early in the second half. Looked isolated and frustrated upfront and his hold-up play wasn’t at its usual best. Subbed off in the 60th minute for Michy Batshuayi.
Eden Hazard: 7
The Belgian wasn’t quite able to have the kind of influence as he would’ve liked. He won a number of fouls and was a constant thorn in the heart of the Watford defence. Completed an astounding eight take-ons throughout the game and helped set up Pedro’s first goal.
Michy Batshuayi: 8
The Belgian seems to love scoring against Watford. Batshuayi came on on the hour mark and wasn’t too involved and scored a beautiful header 12 minutes later to bring his side back into the game. Almost had a third in the 81st minute, but shot it over the crossbar from 6 yards out.
Did make some errors as the game went by, but was on hand to score Chelsea’s fourth late in the game. The 24-year-old now has 7 goals in 10 appearances across all competitions for the Blues and these goals will undoubtedly do wonders for his confidence.
Helped set up Azpilicueta’s winner with a good ball from the right flank and also played a role in Batshuayi’s equalizer. Caused problems with his running and it was a positive display from the Brazilian.
Davide Zappacosta: N/A