Watford 1-2 Chelsea: Hakim Ziyech’s second-half strike keeps Chelsea top in Premier League table
Hakim Ziyech’s goal 18 minutes to go secured Chelsea a victory at Watford, which keeps them top of the Premier League.
It was far from a routine night for the Blues who took the lead thanks to a cool finish from Mason Mount after Alonso pulled the ball out for Havertz, who framed the ball for the England international to come in. at home.
Two minutes before halftime the game was tied when Moussa Sissoko faced Emmanuel Dennis on goal and he waited coldly for Antonio Rudiger to challenge him before passing the ball between his legs and into the net.
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After a few moments of nervousness at both ends, second-half substitute Ziyech sealed the game with a rocket in the roof of the net after a nice withdrawal from Mount.
Watford intended not to let Chelsea relax on the first whistle and Mendy had to make a fantastic save on Azpilicueta’s untimely shot at Kiko’s cross.
The match was delayed for almost half an hour while waiting for a supporter treated for cardiac arrest to stabilize.
Watford kept the pressure on after the game resumed, although Mount could have opened the scoring earlier than him as the width of the post prevented his half volley from catching Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s header above of the defense.
The Hornets pushed for an equalizer in the final stages, with Mendy forced to reverse a late rocket free kick from Juraj Kucka and last-minute challenges required to stop further efforts on goal.
TALKING POINT – CHELSEA MISS THEIR ENGLISH WING-BACKS
It’s not about chauvinism, but Chelsea’s Spanish winger options leave a lot to be desired compared to the England regulars they replaced. Sadly, Ben Chilwell will likely be out for the remainder of the season with a previous cross knee injury, but Reece James’ absence due to less serious illness was felt even more heavily against Watford.
For the good player Cesar Azpilicueta has been at Bridge, he can’t give the team what perhaps Chelsea’s best player does this season. On the other side, while Marcos Alonso was better and admittedly had his hands full with Dennis, he doesn’t possess the ubiquitous on-pitch threat that Chilwell had before his injury.
Maybe without N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in the central midfielder it’s hard to make that call, but it says a lot about the growing importance of these players that their absence was felt more than the international stars who play within them.
MAN OF THE MATCH – EMMANUEL DENNIS (WATFORD)
How good is this guy? The stats say it all, with only Mohamed Salah having had a bigger initial impact than him in his first ten Premier League games. Suffice to say that it is difficult to see him still at Watford at the start of next season, but his very presence is likely to keep his team in the top flight. As educated as a defender as Marcos Alonso, he looked like a rookie against Watford right-winger. Few players as fast as he are so calm in possession, especially in the commercial arena. As cold as the night had been in Hertfordshire, there was nothing cooler than the Nigerian’s presence of mind to move around and then shoot through Rudiger’s legs and into the net. John Barnes was watching the game and there couldn’t have been a winger to delight Vicarage Road so much since he left.
Chelsea: Mendy 8, Chalobah 7, Christensen 7, Rudiger 7, Azpilicueta 6, Saul 5, Loftus-Cheek 6, Alonso 7, Mount 8 *, Pulisic 6, Havertz 7.
Subtitles: Thiago Silva 6, Ziyech 8, Lukaku 5.
Watford: Bachmann 6, Femenia 6, Troost-Ekong 7, Cathcart 7, Louza 6, Cleverley 7, Sissoko 7, Masina 6, Pedro 6, Dennis 8 *, King 6.
Subtitles: Rose 6, Kucka 6, Ngakia 6.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MATCH
19 ‘Off the post! Loftus-Cheek puts the ball over for Mount who hits a half volley against the near post.
29 ‘GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Alonso brings a beautiful ball over Rudiger into the box and he passes inside to Havertz, who faces Mount and he brings him home.
43 ‘GOAL FOR WATFORD! This Dennis is a player. A pass from Sissoko puts him behind the Chelsea defense, then slips past Rudiger before shooting into his legs and into the far corner.
72 ‘GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Mount arrives at the demarcation line on the left and steps back for Ziyech who sends a ball into the roof of the net.
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