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Full-time: Watford 4-1 Chelsea

  • Pressure mounts further on Antonio Conte after 10-man Chelsea endure an embarrassing late collapse at Vicarage Road
  • A wretched opening half hour for Tiemoue Bakayoko is compounded as he is sent off for two bookable offences
  • Troy Deeney then smashes home a penalty after Thibaut Courtois brings down Gerard Deulofeu
  • A stunning strike from Eden Hazard levels the score with eight minutes remaining
  • Daryl Janmaat plays a lovely one-two with substitute Roberto Pereyra before quickly restoring Watford's lead
  • Deulofeu's low effort deflects in off Gary Cahill before Pereyra completes the rout in stoppage time
  • Olivier Giroud comes on to make his debut for the visitors after Pedro is taken off injured
  • Mid-table Watford, who had won just one of their last 12 games, collect a first victory under new manager Javi Gracia and move six points clear of the relegation zone
  • Chelsea remain fourth, just one point ahead of Tottenham

What a way for Javi Gracia to seal his first win in charge of Watford, who move six points clear of the bottom three.

Chelsea remain fourth, but just one solitary point ahead of Tottenham. Will Conte even still be in charge by the time they host bottom club West Brom next Monday night?

Antonio Conte
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images


Watford 4-1 Chelsea

Giroud comes close to netting his first goal in Chelsea colours after a sweeping long ball from Fabregas is headed into his path by Hazard.

His shot trickles wide.

Andre Gray replaces Deeney as Gracia makes his final change.

An incredible late surge from Watford at Vicarage Road.

Pereyra receives the ball from Doucoure and takes on Azpilicueta before rifling an excellent shot into the far corner.

A stunning collapse from Chelsea after they had restored parity. Is this the end for Conte?

Roberto Pereyra
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Goal: Watford 4-1 Chelsea (Roberto Pereyra)

SIX minutes of added time to be played at the end of this second half.

Adrian Mariappa dispossesses Hazard with a strong challenge at one end before Watford pour forward in search of a crucial third goal.

An intelligent run from Deeney distracts Luiz and opens up space for Deulofeu, whose shot deflects in off Cahill.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Goal: Watford 3-1 Chelsea (Gerard Deulofeu)

Chelsea were back on level terms for just two minutes.

Janmaat cuts in from the right and plays a smart one-two with substitute Pereyra before coolly slotting past Courtois.

Conte has a face like thunder.

Daryl Janmaat
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Goal: Watford 2-1 Chelsea (Daryl Janmaat)

Almost an instant response from Watford as Deulofeu prods narrowly wide after being played in by Capoue.

He's been quiet for the most part tonight, but Hazard makes his presence felt eight minutes from time with an exquisite long-range strike that beats Karnezis all ends up.

One apiece. What a goal.

Eden Hazard
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Goal: Watford 1-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard)

Fabregas exchanges passes with Hazard before seeing a low shot gathered by Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.

Fabregas makes a pivotal interception to stop Doucoure from letting fly following a purposeful run and cutback from Deulofeu.

Pereyra's low strike is smothered by Courtois.

A left-footed strike from Holebas is easily held by Courtois. Chelsea struggling to get good service to Giroud just at the moment.

13 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

Giroud in action for his new club...

Olivier Giroud
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Capoue unsurprisingly misses the target with an ambitious strike from miles out.

The camera pans to the Watford bench, where Richarlison looks distraught to have been taken off.

Doucoure seizes on a Deeney knockdown and speeds forward before drawing a strong save from Courtois.

Chelsea counter and Prodl does well to contain Giroud, who catches the Austrian with his arm while jumping at a corner.

Pedro has picked up a nasty looking injury here and has to be helped off the pitch and down the tunnel. With 64 minutes on the clock, Giroud comes on for his Chelsea debut.

Watford also withdraw Richarlison in favour of Roberto Pereyra.

Cahill stops a one-two between Capoue and Deeney. However, Luiz loses the ball once again and Janmaat drags a shot well wide.

Dean then returns to book Fabregas for a poor sliding challenge on Deulofeu.

Luiz loses out to Zeegelaar and is deservedly booked for frustratedly kicking out at the Dutchman.

Deulofeu bends a shot just wide before Richarlison does likewise after Luiz is dispossessed by the determined Deeney.

Terrific work from Watford.

Moses fails to pick out any teammates with a disappointing cross from the right.

At the other end, Deulofeu strides forward with purpose and Deeney is just unable to keep Richarlison's knockdown from a Janmaat delivery in play.

Moses gets back on his feet but Zeegelaar is very slow to rise as the stretcher is brought out.

Thankfully he won't need it.

Prodl clips the back of Hazard's heels and receives a caution for his troubles.

N'Golo Kante and Fabregas then combine to release Zappacosta, who takes a great first touch before delivering a fine cross to the back post.

Zeegelaar makes a crucial header before colliding painfully with Moses. Both players are down and will require treatment.

Azpilicueta makes an excellent intervention to halt another dangerous Watford attack.

Giroud warming up already for Chelsea. Is his introduction imminent?

The second half is off and running. Chelsea yet to register a shot on target...


A fully deserved half-time lead for Watford, who have been much the brighter and more impressive attacking team. Their pressing work has been particularly effective.

Chelsea, meanwhile, look well below par again and are playing with 10 men following the dismissal of the hopeless Bakayoko. Massive improvement needed.


Watford 1-0 Chelsea

Richarlison has his name taken for a foul on Pedro before Capoue's shot is diverted behind by Azpilicueta.

Deulofeu's corner hits the side netting with Deeney lurking at the front post.

Two minutes of stoppage time signalled at the end of this first half. Pedro skies an effort well over.

Deeney smashes home the penalty with Courtois wrongly anticipating an effort straight down the middle. Watford have a deserved one-goal lead to add to their numerical advantage.

Troy Deeney
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Goal: Watford 1-0 Chelsea (Troy Deeney)

Janmaat, with Cahill caught ball watching, plays a nicely-weighted pass into the right channel for Deulofeu, who takes a touch before falling over the challenge of Courtois. Not sure how much contact there was there.

Watford captain Deeney pulls rank on Richarlison and puts the ball on the spot...

Gerard Deulofeu
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Penalty to Watford

Zeegelaar beats Moses in a footrace before Luiz makes an important block.


Richarlison plays a neat one-two with the excellent Doucoure before shooting straight at Courtois.

Dean incurs the wrath of Conte after failing to book Janmaat for a cynical block on Pedro, who was attempting to lead a Chelsea counter.

The referee heads to the touchline to have a word with the irate Italian.

It looked initially like Moses would be the man to make way for Cesc Fabregas after that dismissal, but Conte changes his mind and takes off Willian instead.

Chelsea fans not happy with that decision.

A truly miserable opening half an hour for Bakayoko ends with a second yellow card after he takes a strong touch before stepping on the foot of Richarlison.

That looked very harsh, it must be said. Chelsea will play an hour with 10 men.

Tiemoue Bakayoko
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Red card: Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea)

Pedro strikes the woodwork after a clear handball from Moses inside the Watford box.

Better work from Bakayoko as he concedes a couple of corners in quick succession. The second is punched away authoritatively by Courtois, who then claims a left-wing cross from Holebas.

Bakayoko is certainly experiencing a difficult opening 25 minutes at Vicarage Road.

He is once again caught in possession by Etienne Capoue before bringing down the former Tottenham midfielder and earning the first yellow card of the match.

Deeney clutches his lower back after a challenge from Cahill, but is fine to continue.

Cahill produces a heroic block to thwart the impressive Richarlison after another error from Bakayoko.

Chelsea try to launch a counter-attack and Deulofeu takes the ball flush in the face from Zappacosta. Ouch.

Richarlison collects a flick-on from Deeney and gallops off down the Watford left, eventually earning a corner as his shot is deflected by Azpilicueta.

A short corner from Deulofeu to Holebas comes to nothing after the latter fouls Davide Zappacosta.

At the other end, Moses takes on Zeegelaar and sees a cross deflected into the path of Willian by Jose Holebas. The Brazilian's subsequent effort sails high into the stands.

Another promising Watford move is halted by an offside flag against Deulofeu.

Plenty of early Watford pressure as Luiz deflects another Richarlison delivery behind for a corner.

Deeney goes from front to back post and - with the help of Sebastian Prodl - loses marker Azpilicueta before skewing Deulofeu's corner wide in hopeless fashion.

That was a real chance.

Abdoulaye Doucoure hammers a shot wide after Richarlison's cross towards Deeney is headed away by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Bakayoko is caught in possession and Doucoure releases Deulofeu, who thrashes a shot into the side netting with Richarlison and Deeney both waiting in the middle.

A loose ball from Tiemoue Bakayoko towards Cahill almost opens the door for Deulofeu once again, but a heavy touch from the Spaniard sees the ball run through for Courtois.

Thibaut Courtois comes under serious pressure from Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu as Watford go in search of an early goal.

Richarlison is unable to make contact with a header and Zeegelaar's follow-up cross is glanced onto the hand of Gary Cahill by Troy Deeney.

Hopeful penalty appeals from the home crowd fall on deaf ears.

Immediate chants of "Antonio" from the away end as referee Mike Dean gets proceedings underway.

Both teams are decked out in their respective home strips, with Chelsea kicking from left to right in this first half as we look at it.

Less than 10 minutes remaining until kick-off...

Addressing claims that his position is under threat during Friday's pre-match press conference, Conte, who is under contact for another 18 months, challenged the Chelsea board to back him publicly...

I must be honest, there were these type of rumours and speculation [that he might be sacked] even after the first game of the season when we lost against Burnley. Maybe I'd like the club to prepare a statement for me, no? To say they trust me in my work and my job.

But, at the same time, I know this never happened in the past, so why should I hope for something different? But, for sure, I'd like to have a statement of support against this speculation. The challenge is that, in the past, this never happened. So it's a big challenge [for the board] to change the approach now. But, for sure, I'd be glad.

[via the Guardian]


As expected, there is no Barkley in tonight's Chelsea squad and it will be interesting to hear what Conte has to say about his latest setback.

Ross Barkley
Getty Images

Chelsea TV say the Spaniard, who has yet to miss a Premier League game so far this season, is nursing a minor muscle injury...


No Marcos Alonso for Chelsea, who hand a recall to Victor Moses. Christensen and Barkley are replaced by Luiz and Willian as Conte continues to deploy a false nine.

Giroud and Emerson are both included as substitutes. Callum Hudson-Odoi keeps his spot on the bench, but Ethan Ampadu misses out.

Two changes from Watford, who switch to a back three, with Dutch duo Daryl Janmaat and Marvin Zeegelaar replacing the injured Christian Kabasele and Cleverley.

It appears that Ndong actually has completed his suspension as he joins fellow new signing Dodi Lukebakio and 18-year-old defender Joy Mukena on the bench.

Another youngster, midfielder Carl Stewart, drops out of the matchday squad.


Official lineups on the way shortly. Stand by...


New arrivals Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri could both feature in Chelsea's squad tonight, while Brazilians David Luiz and Willian have returned to training after injury.

Andreas Christensen and Alvaro Morata remain sidelined and it was reported over the weekend that Ross Barkley had suffered another hamstring problem at Cobham, the severity of which is currently unknown.

Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieri
Getty Images

Watford have been plagued by injuries throughout this rotten spell and are still without Heurelho Gomes, Nathaniel Chalobah, Younes Kaboul, Miguel Britos, Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, Molla Wague and Will Hughes.

Tom Cleverley is questionable after he limped off on his return from a hamstring problem at Stoke, while new signing Didier Ndong - who arrived on loan from Sunderland on deadline day - remains suspended.

Tom Cleverley

After all the drama and chaos that was the final 15 minutes of yesterday's pulsating 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, Premier League attention turns to Hertfordshire this evening as Watford and Chelsea do battle in front of the television cameras.

The visitors go into the latest installment of Monday Night Football looking to atone for a dreadful home defeat by Bournemouth last week that saw the pressure ramp up further on increasingly embattled manager Antonio Conte.

Following that aforementioned tie on Merseyside, defending champions Chelsea, who have won only two of their nine matches to date in 2018, slipped to fourth and will remain just one point ahead of fifth-place Spurs if they lose again here.

Vicarage Road
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Watford, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win under new boss Javi Gracia, who has lost an FA Cup fourth-round meeting with Southampton and masterminded a goalless draw at Stoke in his two matches in charge since being quickly installed as the successor to Marco Silva last month.

Although still 11th, the Hornets are just three points above the relegation zone in a tightly-bunched bottom half after a dismal run of form that has seen them collect just six points from 12 matches since November.

They also possess the worst home record in the division and are winless against tonight's opponents in 13 games across all competitions since September 1999, when Allan Smart netted the only goal in a 1-0 victory.

Stay tuned for all the latest team news, confirmed lineups and live updates after kick-off at 20.00 GMT.