Blues vanquish the Golden Boys
Written By: Robert Halter
Winless Watford were rooted to the foot of the table as they faced the uphill task against fourth placed Chelsea in an early evening kick off at Vicarage Road, at the beginning of November. In the fifth minute, the Blues struck first when from Mason Mount’s pass, an over the top delivery by Jorginho was left for Tammy Abraham to produce a delicate chip over Hornets keeper, Ben Foster, from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Three minutes later a rash challenge was made by Nathaniel Chalobah on Mount, who drove the free kick over the upright. There was a delay in play as Watford club captain, Craig Cathcart required treatment. On the quarter of the hour mark through Chalobah’s square pass, it was met with a snap shot from Roberto Pereyra, into the clutches of Chelsea keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga. But the Blues kept up the threat as Mount’s pass deflected off Craig Dawson into the path of Abraham and it took an instinctive save by Foster, before the ball went behind off Adam Masina. Then through a Willian corner, Foster produced a sublime reaction save to turn over a header by Christian Pulisic. Due to the earlier injury, Cathcart was replaced with Adrian Mariappa. On the half hour mark, from Mount’s assist, the ball was rolled tamely by Willian into the path of Foster. In the thirty ninth minute, as Chalobah spread the ball out to the right, Gerard Deulofeu cut inside before hitting a low strike fractions past the far left post. But it was the Hornets thanking their lucky stars in the forty third minute, as after collecting the ball from Emerson Palmieri, on his right foot, Mount had his shot pushed by Foster onto the inside of the crossbar. At the start of the second half, Christian Kabasele was booked for an infringement on Emerson. In the forty seventh minute through Deulofeu’s incisive move, an important block was made by Kurt Zouma, to keep out a shot from Andre Gray. But two minutes later, Willian opened up space for Mount, whose rising strike was put out of play by Foster’s reflexes. However in the fifty fifth minute, Chelsea added to their tally as Mateo Kovacic found Willian, whose clipped delivery took a deflection off Masina, before Abraham sent over a low cross on the right, and the ball was struck by Pulisic at very close range into the middle of the target. Within three minutes, the outstretched foot of Foster averted a strike by Pulisic, after he had been played through by Kovacic. In the sixty second minute, from Willian’s cross and a poor header out by Kabasele, the ball was struck by Kovacic into the clutches of Foster. In the next couple of minutes, as Willian found Kovacic, his ball into the box went past an outstretched Abraham. Watford soon took off Chalobah for Will Hughes. The next booking went to Daryl Janmaat for dragging down Pulisic. In the seventy third minute Jorginho set up Mount, whose strike was comfortably stopped by Foster. The Hornets made a final change of Kiki Femenia for Janmaat. In the seventy seventh minute, after Jorginho clipped Deulofeu in the area, referee Anthony Taylor had his decision over turned by VAR assistant Mike Dean, and Watford were awarded a penalty as Deulofeu drilled his spot kick into the bottom left corner. Dawson soon got a yellow card for charging down Emerson, before the Blues took off Pulisic for Callum Hudson-Odoi and then later Abraham made way for Michy Batshuayi, who was immediately fouled by Mariappa, who was then booked. Near the end of stoppage time, Willian could not continue and Reece James took over. The Golden Boys pressed late when from Femenia’s cross, a header by Masina, went out wide of the target. Then in the final piece of action, Mount was cautioned for bringing down Abdoulaye Doucoure, and from a free kick by Deulofeu, and headed pass by Doucoure, as Foster went up field into the box, his header was acrobatically stopped by Arrizabalaga to rescue three points for the Blues to secure a 2-1 win over Watford.