Chelsea 4 – 2 Watford – Michy Batshuayi completes miraculous Blues comeback with brace from bench while right-sided defender Azpilicueta found himself in the left side of the opposition penalty box to head his side ahead.
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.
Cesar Azpilicueta headed the Blues 3-2 in front in the 87th minute before Michy Batshuayi sealed the victory in stoppage time, ending a three-game winless run despite an unconvincing performance from the champions.
It was Batshuayi’s second of the game after he had headed an equaliser midway through the second half, his side having fallen behind to Watford goals either side of half-time to hint at a third consecutive Premier League defeat for the Blues.
Pedro put the home side ahead in the 12th minute with a sensational 25-yard strike that curled away from Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and in off the right-hand post.
But the Blues were shaky defensively throughout and Marco Silva’s Hornets scored twice through Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra to put them on course for a famous victory.
It could have been even worse for Antonio Conte’s side as Brazilian Richarlison missed two glorious chances for Watford – one from six yards out, the other a close-range header – either side of Pereyra’s goal.
But Batshuayi’s equaliser and the third for Azpilicueta saw Conte throw himself into the home crowd as his side completed a turnaround that the Belgium striker then capped deep into injury time.
Chelsea have not lost three consecutive games since 2015 under Jose Mourinho, a month before he was sacked.
Asked how he felt when his side were 2-1 behind, Conte said: “I feel a lot of pressure but not this pressure if the club decide to sack me. I will never be worried [about getting the sack], never. I don’t worry about this pressure because this is the job.”
The match victory takes Chelsea above Watford into fourth in the table.
12′ 1 – 0 Pedro scores from a wonder strike by Pedro! The ball is on the right side, passed into Pedro and he gets his foot around it, curling a shot away from goal that pings off the post and lands in the back of the net. Stunning.
45+2′ 1 – 1 Abdoulaye Doucouré scores right on half time, Watford are level – Abdoulaye Doucouré has made it 1-1 and it’s an absolutely incredible finish. Holebas throws the Hail Mary into the mix, Luiz heads clumsily away, Doucoure absolutely launches a controlled, spinning shot off the outside of his right boot and it squeezes between players, Courtois and the post to smash the back of the net. Watford level at exactly the right time!
49′ 1 – 2 Roberto Pereyra scores but what has happened to Chelsea’s defence?! Azpilicueta and Alonso are nowhere to be seen as Watford counter high up the pitch and force the opening! Pereyra makes no mistake – it’s a great finish!
71′ 2 – 2 Michy Batshuayi scores and Batshuayi’s third touch probably is to head the ball beautifully at goal from Pedro’s cross. Superb.
87′ 3 – 2 Cesar Azpilicueta scores and they’ve done it! Willian jinks past his man, whips a cross in and it’s headed on by a defender to the back post. Azpilicueta reads the little change in height of the ball and heads in. What a comeback!
90+5′ 4 – 2 Michy Batshuayi completes his brace and that’s that! A dreadful error by Britos, who tries to scoop the ball over Bakayoko, doesn’t make it, and then watches the ball drop to Batshuayi’s feet. He holds off the challenge and jabs a shot past Gomes to seal the win.