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Watford v Chelsea Live Commentary, 01/12/2021

1 - 2
E. Dennis (44)
M. Mount (30)
H. Ziyech (72)
Vicarage Road


That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed this game as much as we did. We'll see you for the next one!
This narrow victory keeps Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table, but they've still got Manchester City and Liverpool, who both won in their corresponding fixtures, breathing down their necks. Had a winner not come and Watford held on for a point, the Blues would've dropped to third. Watford could've climbed to 14th had they won, but the loss means that Claudio Ranieri's side are now 17th, one place above the drop zone with just a three-point cushion.
Both teams had quality individual performances across the pitch, but it's hard to argue with the impact that Hakim Ziyech had after coming on for Chelsea. his all-important winner was one of two shots, both on target, and the Morocco winger also helped out at the other end, making a crucial block to deny Kucka as Watford desperately searched for an equaliser!
Well, what a topsy-turvy game that turned out to be! The long break in the first half aside, that really was an end-to-end battle, with Watford putting up one hell of a fight and refusing to lie down as Chelsea's class eventually shone through! Substitute Ziyech's winner was, like the opener, a very well-worked goal, and Chelsea come away from this match with all three valuable points, that they really had to dig deep to secure, as Watford just kept coming at them!
90' + 7' BLOCKED!!! It's pinball in the Chelsea box as Watford throw everything, and everyone, forward. Femenia tries a volley from the edge of the box, and it's Rudiger again who deflects it out for a corner in what will surely be Watford's last chance!
90' + 5' Lukaku's chipped throughball for Havertz is cut out by Ngakia, who also teams up with Femenia to pressure Mount into running the ball into touch!
90' + 3' SAVED!!! Kucka stands over a free-kick from 30 yards out. He hits it straight as an arrow, and it's powerful too, forcing a high save from Mendy that he tips over the bar for another corner!
90' + 2' Ngakia and Dennis link up on the right, and the latter's cross is deflected behind by Alonso for another Watford corner!
90' We'll play an additional six minutes of added time at Vicarage Road.
88' King plays a one-two with Ngakia and has the ball in the box. He lays off Kucka who's curling shot is deflected wide off Ziyech!
87' Ngakia's first contribution is to slide into a 50-50 with Loftus-Cheek. The two collide and the Watford substitute concedes the free-kick, but he isn't carded.
J. Ngakia
T. Cleverley
85' Yellow-carded Cleverley is quickly withdrawn, and Jeremy Ngakia enters the fray.
D. Rose
Yellow Card
84' Ziyech is again the target of Watford, as this time it's Rose who brings him down and is given a yellow card in return.
T. Cleverley
Yellow Card
84' Cleverley hacks down Ziyech with a late challenge, and is booked by the referee.
82' CHANCE!!! Chelsea fly forward again, and it's Mount on the left who crosses for Ziyech again. He arrives later this time but still finds the target, forcing a low save from Bachmann who holds the shot!
82' Rose brilliantly brings down a Chelsea clearance to set up Pedro at the far post. He tries to round Mendy but can't, and is eventually crowded out as Chelsea clear their lines!
80' Rudiger skilfully beats two Watford pressers, and punts the ball upfield for Lukaku to latch onto. He does so and beats Troost-Ekong, but Femenia gets bakc to help out and regains possession for the home side.
78' Both sides are pinged for offside in quick succession. First, Silva's long ball forward catches Lukaku beyond the last defender, and then Cleverley strays offside as he looks to overlap Dennis in the other corner.
77' Ziyech arrives to help out Chelsea's defence from a Watford throw, but he's barrelled over by Kucka who concedes the free-kick.,
75' Lukaku is put through with a chance to shoot, and after beating Troost-Ekong and Femenia, does so from the edge of the box. He mis-cues his shot though, and barely connects, allowing the Watford defenders to re-take control of the situation and clear their lines.
J. Kucka
I. Louza
73' Louza comes off for Watford, as Claudio Ranieri introduces Juraj Kucka.
M. Mount
72' Mount's final ball was fantastic, but the awareness of Alonso to head that ball forward was just superb quick-thinking. He's played a big part in both of Chelsea's goals in this game.
H. Ziyech
72' GOOOOOALLLLL!!!! Chelsea are back in the lead!!! Rudiger's chip wide is headed on by Alonso to find Mount. He cuts the ball back from the byline and Ziyech arrives to stroke the ball home!!! 2-1, and can Chelsea hang on this time?
R. Lukaku
70' Chelsea captain Azpilicueta comes off, and he's replaced by a certain Romelu Lukaku!
68' SAVED!!! Havertz races forward with purpose and with all of his options blocked off, drives into and across the box. He eventually does shoot, from a tight angle on the left, and Bachmann is there to catch the shot and quash the danger.
67' Rose and Pedro link up well down the left before the latter feeds Louza. He has options, but chooses to try a curling effort from distance. It's as wayward as it is speculative, and flies high into the stands at Vicarage Road.
H. Ziyech
Yellow Card
65' Pedro cuts inside and drives through midfield for Watford. Ziyech follows him all the way, and his yellow-carded after bringing the Hornets winger down from behind.
63' It's been an industrious performance so far for Sissoko in Watford's midfield, who, as well as contributing an assist and a shot on target, has made two key passes, two clearances, and won the ball seven times, most crucially for the move that set the Hornets' equaliser in motion.
61' Watford have a great spell of attacking possession in the corner before the ball is eventually won back by Chelsea. Dennis doesn't give up though and wins it back again, but his throughball for Cleverley is too heavy and the chance dissipates.
H. Ziyech
T. Chalobah
59' Chalobah was also injured in the process of that break, but his injury is more severe than Mendy's and so he is replaced by Hakim Ziyech.
57' CHAOS!!! Watford break at lightning speed with Cleverley the furthest forward, but Mendy is out to meet him as he latches onto the ball and the two players collide! Rudiger deals with the loose ball, but had the Watford midfielder got there a fraction of a second earlier, we could've seen one of the craziest Premier League goals in recent memory!
56' Azpilicueta looks to feed Loftus-Cheek as Chelsea advance forward, but he's tangled up with Sissoko and is brought down by the Watford captain.
54' A Watford victory in this match would see Claudio Ranieri become the first ex-Chelsea manager to beat them with two different clubs in the competition, having already done so in December 2015 during Leicester City’s title winning campaign.
52' Loftus-Cheek puts Havertz through just wide of the goal, and, unable to beat Cathcart this time, the Germany forward lays the ball off to Azpilicueta, who's cross into the six-yard box is well caught by Bachmann!
50' Havertz rounds Cathcart like he's not eve there and looks for the late run of Mount. He cuts back towards him, but Troost-Ekong is there to win the ball and clear it upfield for the Hornets.
49' BLOCKED! The Blues fly forward on a break of their own and Havertz lays off Pulisic in the box. He takes too long to shoot though, and is crowded out, before teeing up Mount who has his shot blocked!
49' Watford come forward on the break, and King crosses into the box but no one is there to meet it but Rudiger, who clears for Chelsea.
47' That substitution looks to have forced a change-up in Chelsea's system, with Silva joining the back-three and Chalobah pushing forward into midfield.
46' And we're back underway for half number two!
Thiago Silva
46' The booked Saúl is withdrawn by Thomas Tuchel at half-time, and Thiago Silva comes on to replace him.
The teams are back out onto the pitch, and it's nearly time for the second half to start!
Mount's opener was his second threatening shot of the match - the first struck the upright - and in doing so, the England man became the first Chelsea player to score ten goals since Thomas Tuchel's reign at Chelsea began! As well as the goal, Mount also contributed two open play crosses, and won all of his battles in the air!
The first-half finally comes to an end. In what will surely be the longest-taking 45 minutes of football ever played, both sides proved worthy of their goals, and it was the home side Watford who amassed the greater number of chances, both before and after the medically-enforced interval! Mount's opener came as part of a well-worked Chelsea move, but Watford's equaliser came through the hard work of their captain Sissoko, and the skill and cheek of Dennis who finished the chance!
45' + 6' The issue is finally resolved and Mount gets to his feet, with Alonso standing over the free-kick.
W. Troost-Ekong
Yellow Card
45' + 4' Troost-Ekong slides in to deal with an Azpilicueta throughball and absolutely clatters Mount with the follow-through. Although he did win the ball, the recklessness of the challenge sees him pick up a yellow card.
45' + 4' SAVED!!!! It's Sissoko again, doing brilliantly to retain possession before feeding Dennis. He cuts inside and finds his captain on a continuing run into the box, but Sissoko can't connect with his shot properly and Mendy saves easily!! What a chance for Watford!
45' + 3' BLOCKED!!! The free-kick passes everyone by as it finds Rose waiting on the edge of the box. He shoots low into the crowd, and it's deflected and cleared by Chalobah!
Marcos Alonso
Yellow Card
45' + 2' Dennis tries to cut inside Alonso and gets the better of him, before being shoved to the floor by the Spaniard, who is booked.
45' + 1' We're into fvie minutes of injury time, just to make this first half even longer!
I. Louza
Yellow Card
45' Louza backs into Alonso as he passes and concedes a free-kick in a perfect position for the Chelsea wing-back. He's booked for the incident too.
M. Sissoko
43' It was a fantastic run and finish from Dennis, but that goa started with Sissoko dispossessing Saul in midfield and sending Watford forward in numbers. A great challenge to set up an even better goal.
E. Dennis
43' GOOOOOALLLLL!!!!! WATFORD ARE LEVEL!!!! The Hornets buzz forward on the break, and have Chelsea's defenders outnumbered. Dennis sprints down the right with the ball, getting the better of Rudiger before passing a low shot into the net, straight past Mendy and into the corner! 1-1, and game on!!!
42' CLEARED! Azpilicueta feeds Mount down the right, and his cut-back into the six-yard box is fortunately cleared by Femenia with Havertz lurking in wait!
40' Both players are deemed well enough to continue, and plays resumes once more.
39' There's a nasty clash of heads between Troost-Ekong and Loftus-Cheek in midfield, and both are down receiving treatment. With Christensen having already spent time off the pitch for a concussion check in this game, both sides could be down to ten men for a short period when play resumes.
37' Sissoko is drifting all over the place, and on the left he tees up Rose to cross. It's deflected, and flies high into the side netting for a Watford corner.
35' SAVED!!! Cleverley's cross is flicked on by Pedro under pressure from Azpilicueta, and the ball falls to the unmarked Rose who fires a low shot towards goal! Mendy gets down to it and saves well, but again Watford nearly punish Chelsea for not dealing with the threat!
33' Watford’s run without a clean sheet is the longest of all current Premier League team, and stretches back 23 matches. They’ve let in 45 goals in that period, since beating Liverpool 3-0 in February 2020.
32' CHANCE!!! Chelsea break at speed through Pulisic and Havertz. They're outnumbered but running with intent, and Pulisic slips a delightful ball through for Havertz to fire in a quick-fire second past Bachmann! Unfortunately for Havertz, he's rightly flagged for offside having been a yard ahead of Troost-Ekong from the pass, and so the goal is chalked off!
31' Watford cme straight back at the league leaders as Sissoko finds Cleverley on the edge of the box. He goes down under the pressure of a Mount challenge, but there's nothing in it and play continues!
M. Mount
30' GOOOOOALLLLL!!!!! Chelsea lead!!!! Alonso, who started the move, races forward to meet Rudiger's ball forward. From the byline he finds Havertz, who tees up Mount at the back post to fire into the bottom corner and make it 1-0 to Chelsea!
K. Havertz
30' Havertz gets the assist, as he laid that on a plate for Mount to fire home the opener, but the work of Alonso in starting that move and continuing his run into the box to help finish it off, was just fantastic!
28' Dennis looks to skilfully beat Alonso down the right, but the Chelsea wing-back dispossesses him excellently to send them away on the counter-attack.
26' Chelsea are blown for offside twice in just a few seconds, with the first call going against Loftus-Cheek and the second flagging Havertz.
24' Chalobah's not had the easiest last few minutes. King ghosts past him to cross before Rudiger clears the threat, and he's then fouled in the corner by King, who avoids a booking!
22' Since a goalless draw in February 2016, there have been 33 goals scored in eight Premier League games between Watford (12 goals) and Chelsea (21), at an average of 4.1 per game. Hopefully the long interval in this first-half does;t cramp either team's style and the goals start flowing soon!
20' There's two rough challenges in quick succession near the halfway line. First, King is up-ended by a sliding Loftus-Cheek tackle which goes unpunished, before Alonso clatters into Cleverley and the referee finalyl blows up! No card for either challenge, and the away side look to have gotten away with one there!
19' POST!!! A speculative header forward from Pulisic catches the Watford defenders napping, and Mount races onto the ball before cracking a superb half-volley against the post! Saul's sliding follow-up is dealt with, and Watford race away on a break of their own!
17' Louza's free-kick strikes the wall, and his half-volleyed follow-up flashes wide of Mendy's left-hand post.
Yellow Card
15' Dennis brilliantly gets past Rudiger before being brought down by Saúl right on the edge of the Chelsea box. He's yellow-carded, and Watford have a free-kick in a very dangerous position.
14' Louza dinks a clever chip over the Chelsea defence for the advancing Sissoko to run onto, but after linking up with Dennis, his eventual cross is poor and easily intercepted by Alonso.
D. Rose
A. Masina
13' The Masina-Rose sub is finally confirmed, and play re-starts.
13' The players are back out on the pitch after the medical emergency in the crowd. Danny Rose was warming up for some time during that lengthy interval, and now the rest of the players from both sides are undertaking a short warm-up before play resumes. The fan in the crowd had suffered a cardiac arrest, but he's been taken to hospital and so the game will re-start in a few short minutes.
13' In the process of that substitution taking place, the match has been suspended for the time being, due to a reported medical incident in the crowd at Vicarage Road.
13' That Masina injury looks too serious for him to continue, and Danny Rose is warming up for Watford.
12' Watford have lost seven of their last eight Premier League meetings with Chelsea, winning the other 4-1 in February 2018. The Hornets have conceded 21 goals in these eight games, at an average of 2.6 each time.
10' Masina overstretches himself attempting to keep the ball in play and limps back to the pitch, before going down as he too requires treatment. A stop-start beginning to the game to say the least!
8' Mendy rises to claim a Cleverley cross and does so, but collides with both Azpilicueta and King on his way down. He requires treatment, and the game's frantic start slows down a tad.
6' SAVE!!!! Femenia crosses into the box from deep, and it looks to be a fruitless effort, before Pedro ghosts in at the far post looking to connect! It actually comes off Azpilicueta last, but Mendy still has to get down low to his right and tip the shot away! It's been a bright start by the home side!
5' King and Christensen both go up for an attacking header and it's the Chelsea defender who comes off worse. It's a head knock of some force, so he's being checked for concussion on the sideline.
3' CHANCE!!! It's an early chance for Watford! Cleverley picks Alonso's pocket and crosses into the box. Pedro arrives at the front post and shoots for the opposite corner, before Chalobah blocks the shot sending it over and out for a corner! It's a good job he intervened, as Mendy would've seen that shot very, very late indeed!
3' Chelsea have won their last two away league games against Watford, but have never won three in a row at Vicarage Road before. Could tonight be the night that Thomas Tuchel's side break that record?
1' Mount kicks off for Chelsea, and this game is underway!
1' GOOOOOALLLLL!!!!! WATFORD ARE LEVEL!!!! The Hornets buzz forward on the break, and have Chelsea's defneders outnumbered. Dennis sprints down the right with the ball, getting the better of Rudiger before passing a low shot into the net, straight past Mendy and into the corner! 1-1, and game on!!!
The teams are entering the pitch at a packed Vicarage Road, and it’s nearly time for kick-off!
A raft of changes for Chelsea, who make six changes following their 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Record-signing Romelu Lukaku continues his comeback from an ankle injury with another appearance on the bench, alongside recently-awarded Ballon D’Or top three midfielder Jorginho.
Injured top-scorer Ismaila Sarr is once again missing for the Hornets, and Brazilian youngster Joao Pedro comes in on the right wing for just his second start of the season.
CHELSEA SUBS: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jorginho, Thiago Silva, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Malang Sarr.
CHELSEA (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, Marcos Alonso; Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount; Kai Havertz.
WATFORD SUBS: Robert Elliot, Jeremy Ngakia, Danny Rose, Dan Gosling, Ashley Fletcher, Ozan Tufan, Christian Kabasele, Juan Cucho Hernandez, Juraj Kucka.
WATFORD (4-1-4-1): Daniel Bachmann; Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, William Troost-Ekong, Adam Masina; Imran Louza; Joao Pedro, Tom Cleverley, Moussa Sissoko, Joshua King; Emmanuel Dennis.
It’s doubtful that league leaders Chelsea will be in a sentimental mood though, and they’ll be looking to make Watford the tenth side they’ve beaten in the Premier League so far this season. Only a win will see Chelsea ensure they stay at the top of the pile, as second-placed Manchester City could overtake them with a better result in their corresponding fixture against Aston Villa.
After a resounding 4-1 victory over Manchester United which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lose his job, Watford again come up against one of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ in leaders Chelsea. Manager Claudio Ranieri will be hopeful his side can match his former employers in this game, particularly after losing 4-2 to another of Ranieri’s former clubs, Leicester, in their last match.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this fixture in the Premier League, between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road.