Oscar’s missed penalty, 10 minutes from full time, stopped Guss Hiddink to get a winning start in his second stint as the Chelsea boss. But a brace from Diego Costa ensured a point for the new manager.
Hiddink should be happy with the performance of his players. They took the lead through Costa. Then they went down thanks to the lethal strike pair of Watford, Deeney and Ighalo. Chelsea equalized as Costa was again on the scoresheet.
Chelsea started very brightly under new boss. In the 4th minute, Pedro’s neat cross had found Costa who headed the ball just over. Then the visitors got a good chance to take the lead. Ighalo found himself in a good position inside the box but his effort went well wide. After some early exchange, Costa broke the deadlock for the home side in 32nd minute. Willian, Chelsea’s most dangerous player this season, sent a corner and after some rebound it fell well for Costa and he fired it home.
Seven minutes later, Chelsea could double their advantage. Ivanovic found Oscar in a good position who missed the opportunity. They were paid for that as Watford earned a penalty three minutes later. Matic misjudged the looping cross of Watson and handled it to give the visitors a chance to level the match before half time. Troy Deeney exactly did that. The first half ended in a goal each.
In second half, it went worse for the home side. Ighalo’s deflected effort beat Courtois and Watford took a lead in 56th minute. Chelsea, though, equalized only nine minutes later. Willian was again the provider. His brilliant vision and execution found Costa on the box and he finished coolly.
Chelsea was then desperate for a winner. Eden Hazard was fit and was sent in 75th minute to transform a point into three. But when they got the chance, they squandered. Chelsea was awarded a penalty in 80th minute. But Oscar ballooned the spot-kick away to the stands. Ighalo also had a chance to nick a win but his shot was blocked and the game finished two apiece.
It was an entertaining match for the neutrals. Both teams had their moments to cherish. And there were plenty positive for Hiddink going into the last match of this calendar year against Manchester United. Watford holds 7th position in the table, eight place above Chelsea. The Hornets will play Spurs next and Chelsea will go to Old Trafford.
Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas (Mikel 45′), Matic, Willian, Oscar, Pedro (Hazard 74′), Costa
Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas, Abdi (69′), Capoue, Watson, Jurado (73′), Ighalo, Deeney (Guedioura 93′)
Goals: Costa (32′ , 65′), Deeney(42′), Ighalo(56′)
Chelsea vs Watford Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||17(2)||12(3)|
|Fouls conceded (Bookings)||7(1)||15(4)|