Hornets sting Blues to heap pressure on Conte

February 6, 2018 by David Nugent

On Monday night, Watford recorded a 4-1 home win over reigning Premier League champions Chelsea to add to the pressure on Blues boss Antonio Conte, who future at the club is now reportedly in doubt.

If you missed Sunday’s action there is a recap here.

Watford 4-1 Chelsea

Troy Deeney celebrates scoring penalty vs Chelsea: February 5th 2018Watford recorded a comfortable victory over the ten-man champions after a pulsating encounter finished in a big flourish of late goals.

The Hornets started the game in a strong manner. Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure fired wide, before Gerard Deulofeu hit the side-netting on his debut. Striker Troy Deeney also missed an excellent chance to put the home side ahead. Chelsea offered a rare attacking threat when attacking midfielder Willian fired over the Blues bar from close-range.

The visitors were reduced to ten men on the half hour mark. Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko saw a second yellow card in five minutes when he fouled Brazilian winger Richarlison.

It got even worse for the home side on 42 minutes, as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois slid into Deulofeu and brought the winger down in the penalty area. Deeney stepped up and made no mistake with the penalty kick.

The Hornets started the second period on the front foot, as both Richarlison and Deulofeu fired efforts wide of goal. Chelsea looked to have snatched something from the game with just eight minutes left on the clock. Playmaker Eden Hazard picked up the ball and curled a sublime effort from 25 out past Karnezis in the Watford goal.

The scores did not stay level for long, though, as Watford were ahead on 84 minutes. Full-back Daryl Janmaat played a lovely one-two with Deeney, before beating two Chelsea defenders and firing past Courtois.

The home side all but sealed the points on 88 minutes. Doucoure found Deulofeu near the halfway line and the winger ran at the Chelsea defence, hitting a shot that took a deflection off Gary Cahill and found its way past Courtois. The home side secured victory in the first minute of stoppage-time. Substitute Roberto Pereyra fired home past Courtois to complete the visitor’s misery.

The win was a first for new Hornets boss Javi Gracia. The victory was just Watford’s second in their last 13 Premier League outings. The Hornets are now six points clear of the relegation zone and 11th place in the table.

Chelsea remain fourth place in the Premier League table. However, the Blues are now just a point above fifth-place Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification. The defeat has added fuel to the rumours of Chelsea boss Antonio Conte leaving the club in the near future. The Italian is now the favourite Premier League leave boss to lose his job next.

The former boss has been very outspoken on the lack of support he has received from the clubs hierarchy. It remains to be seen if the Italian will still be in charge of the team for their next league game, a home game against West Brom next Monday night.

Will Chelsea sack Antonio Conte in the near future?

David Nugent

David Nugent Author

David is a football fan and writer who has spent the last decade sharing his opinion and spreading news about the beautiful game across the internet. The lifelong Everton fan has written for numerous sports websites, plus an international soccer magazine where he covered the Premier League, the Bundesliga and various youth international tournaments.

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