Watford v Chelsea: Premier League – live! – The Guardian,

Watford v Chelsea: Premier League – live! – The Guardian,

(min:In an attempt to win a 50 – 50 challenge in midfield, Dawson spins Abraham around in a headlock. Free kick, though he’s pretty fortunate to escape a booking.

52 min:Willian is down complaining after being legitimately whacked by a hard-tackling Chalobah. He should be OK to continue, though.

49 min:A stunning pitch-long move byChelsea, started by Pulisic near his own left-hand corner flag. Willian scampers towards the Watford box and feeds Mount to his left. Mount pearls a shot goalwards, but it’s parried well by Foster. It’s a corner.

47 min:Emerson takes a fresh-air kick and allows Deulofeu to make good towards the (Chelsea) box down the right. Deulofeu slips the ball across to Gray, who looks like having a free crack from the penalty spot … but out of nowhere comes Zouma, sliding across to block at the very last second! That was Watford’s best move of the match, but what sensational defending by Zouma to deny them an equaliser.

46 min:Emerson and Pulisic combine neatly in the middle. The former bursts into a lot of space, and is cynically clipped by Kabasele, who is booked for his trouble.

Watford get the second half underway.There have been no half -time changes.

Half-time reading.Here’s how the two teams currently aboveChelseadid earlier this afternoon. Plenty of late drama just a click away!

HALF TIME: Watford 0-1 Chelsea

After going behind early doors to Tammy Abraham’s fine goal, Watford have done well to stay in this game. Having said that, without Ben Foster, they’d be four goals down. As things stand,Chelseawill rise to third place this evening.

43 min:Mount dribbles sensationally around a couple of challenges on the left, real ball-glued-to-boot stuff in a tight spot. He then launches an equally wonderful shot towards the top right from 25 yards. Foster gets a fingernail to it, and diverts it from the corner onto the underside of the bar and out! That was top-drawer football all round. What a save (pt.III in a continuing series)! But what a talent Mount is.

41 min:Watford are beginning to create proper chances now. Deulofeu’s cute flick down the right allows Doucoure to make his way towards theChelseaBox. His shot isn’t all that, and easily deflected away from danger. This is a brave effort by Watford after their dreadfully slow start.

39 min:Deulofeu wins a corner down the right. Chelsea half clear the set piece, but Deulofeu is able to come straight back atChelsea, dribbling at pace down the same flank, cutting inside, and lashing a low diagonal shot inches wide of the left-hand post. A decent effort, although he’ll be annoyed not to have hit the target at the very least.

(min:) Pereyra feeds Doucoure down the right. Doucoure’s low cross, intended for Gray in the middle, is blocked by Emerson.Watfordare at least finding some good areas now, even if they ‘re yet to seriously work Kepa.

35 min:… nothing happens. They faff about with a short corner, and suddenly the ball’s shuttled all the way back to Kepa! What total nonsense.

32 min:Watford are working their way into this now. Pereyra nearly releases Deulofeu with a long rake down the right, but his team-mate can’t bring the ball down. Then Gray is sent scampering along the left. He doesn’t back himself against Zouma and turns tail. But the crowd are a little happier now, as Watford spend a bit of quality time in theChelseahalf at last.

28 min:Chalobah has a crack from the best part of 30 yards. The ball is blocked the second it leaves his boot. Watford have suddenly stepped it up, harassingChelseainto a couple of loose passes. Small acorns, and all that.

25 min:Doucoure tries to inject some zest into Watford’s game, barging through the middle of the park. But he doesn’t have any options. Possession’s given up soon enough.

21 min:Masina makes his way down the right and crosses into theChelseabox. Doucoure competes but can’t connect. Alittlebetter from the hosts.

20 min:Cathcart can’t continue. He makes way for Mariappa.

19 min:And from the set piece, another stunning save by Foster! Willian’s corner from the right is met by Pulisic at the near post. He sends a looping header across goal, towards the top left. It’s dropping in, but Foster heroically back-pedals and claws it out! He’s just keptWatfordin this game … though for how long is moot, given the way the rest of the team are playing right now.

Ben Foster keeps Chelsea out again!
Ben Foster keeps Chelsea out again! Photograph: John Walton / PA


(min:Mount tears towards theWatfordbox. His shot is deflected left, into the path of Abraham, who is clear in the area! His shot is parried brilliantly by Foster. Corner.

17 min:… though on the whole, Watford are struggling to get a foothold in this game.Chelseahave enjoyed nearly 70 percent possession so far.

15 min:This is better from Watford. Deulofeu causes some bother down the right. The ball ends up clanking around in theChelseaarea. Chalobah imposes a little control, cushioning a pass back to tee up the in-rushing Pereyra, who sidefoots harmlessly into the arms of Kepa. A tame finish, but perhaps that little passage of play will help build some much-needed confidence.

12 min:Willian tries to lob Foster from the halfway line, pretty much. It’s always floating wide. But there’s confidence for you. It’s coursing through the veins of theChelseacollective .

11 min:Deulofeu tries to get something going for Watford down the left, but there’s nobody around to help him in his quest.Chelseaare looking very comfortable, Watford already slightly panicky and desperate.

9 min:Mount wastes the good position by ballooning his delivery miles over the bar. A shot that redefined ambition.

8 min:More of the Chelsea passing. Chalobah gets fed up with it and bundles Mount over. A free kick in a dangerous position out on the left.Chelseaload the box.

6 min:Watford look stunned. The crowd, falling quiet, certainly sound it. Willian threatens to break dangerously down the right, but can’t quite stay in control. The Premier League’s bottom side need to get their act together, and quick.

Abraham celebrates his finish.

Abraham celebrates his finish. Photograph: Christopher Lee / Getty Images


GOAL! Watford 0-1 Chelsea (Abraham 5)

Well this didn’t take long. Kovacic passes infield from the right, on the halfway line. Jorginho plays a delightful long curling pass down the inside-right channel, releasing Abraham, who beats Foster to the ball and sidefoots over the keeper from the edge of the box. What a lovely finish … and some pass, too.

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham sidefoots the ball over Ben Foster.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham sidefoots the ball over Ben Foster. Photograph: Andrew Boyers / Action Images via Reuters


4 min:See 2 min, thoughWatfordmight be getting a little sick of it now.


2 min:It’s allChelseapossession early doors. Ping, pass, ping, pass. All in the midfield, and Watford don’t seem to mind too much.

And we’re off!Chelseaget the ball rolling. If they win tonight, it’ll be their seventh consecutive away win, and it’d equal a club record set back in the days when they were managed by Bobby Campbell and played in the old Second Division.

Frank Lampard talks to Sky.“I’m aware of how thePremier Leagueworks, and it’s easy and casual to say what’s expected today because of the league positions. That doesn’t come into my thinking at all. I see a team that were strong last year, have pretty much similar personnel, and have a reason to get a result and get up the table. They’re a more dangerous animal where they are than possibly anywhere else in the league! So we have to be on our game. We’ve been good away from home and we want to continue that. ”

Big stakes tonight at Vicarage Road,now all the 3pm matches are done and dusted.Chelsea will move into third place, above Leicester City, should they avoid defeat. Watford can only move off the bottom if they win, though if they manage to pick up their first three-point haul of the season, they’ll leapfrog Norwich City and Southampton into 18 th place.

Avant-garde weather report.

It doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better, either.
It doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better, either. Photograph: Andrew Boyers / Action Images via Reuters

Watford make one change to the XI that started the goalless draw with Bournemouth.Tom Cleverley is replaced by Andre Gray.

Chelsea also make one change to the team named for the win against Burnley.Marcos Alonso drops to the bench, to be replaced by Emerson.

The teams

Watford:Foster, Dawson, Cathcart, Kabasele, Janmaat, Doucoure, Chalobah, Masina, Deulofeu, Pereyra, Gray.
Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Hughes, Femenia, Success, Holebas, Foulquier.

Chelsea:Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson Palmieri , Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham.
Subs: Alonso, Caballero, Giroud, Hudson -Odoi, Batshuayi, James, Gilmour.

Referee:Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).


This is asking for trouble, of course it is.But there could be plenty of goals here this evening. Entertainment a-go-go!

You see, bottom-of-the-league Watford are a shambles right now.They’ve yet to win in thePremier Leaguethis season. They’ve already shipped three goals twice at Vicarage Road, against Brighton on the opening day and against West Ham not long after that. They were also absolutely battered by the last top and in-form team they played, shipping eight at Manchester City. Solidity is very much a pipe dream at present.

So they’ll doubtless be less than thrilled to seeChelseaheaving into view.Frank Lampard’s young side have already scored 16 goals on their travels in this campaign. Then again, that defense isn’t the finished article quite yet, and they’ve also let 11 in. The Hornets can also take succour from their recent form under returning manager Quique Sánchez Flores. Three draws in a row might not represent sparkling form, though they were four minutes and one VAR decision away from a win at Spurs, and in any case you’ve got to start the rebuild slowly.

Chelsea are favorites for this, then, not least because they’ve won five of their last six matches againstWatford.The hosts will take a little heart from the one other match in that sequence – a 4-1 skelping of the Blues in February 2018 – and from the fact that a first league win of the season has to come at some point. Doesn’t it? It’s on!

Kick off:5. 30 PM GMT.

Updated (at) . 51 am EDT

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