Watford 0 Chelsea 0

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 03 February 2016

Chelsea eked out a dour 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road this evening against a Watford side they would have put to the sword last season.
The Blues move up one place to a paltry 13th place and frankly on this showing are in the right place.
That said Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had one of those night where he could do no wrong.
He literally was on hand to thwart, Diego Costa, Branislav Ivanovic and several others but the overall performance was lacklustre and in desperate need of inspiration.

In the first game since skipper John Terry's bombshell of an announcement that he would not be getting a new contract by Roman Abramovicjh, the focus was on the 35-year-old defender all game, and he delivered a consummate, professional one.
It was a pity that his team-mates let him down

The opening exchanges were quiet, with both sides testing each other out by not overcommitting.
But on seven minutes, Diego Costa lost the ball and Watford launched the first foray into the Chelsea rearguard. A corner was a achieved but was wasted.
Gradually the Blues took control of the ball and inched forward's without testing ex-Spurs' goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Costa was pulled up by referee Mike Dean for tangling with centre-back Sebastian Prodl.
The Austrian, however was soon in Dean's book for needlessly hauling down Willian.
The home side should have taken the lead on 25 minutes but Odion Ighalo made a hash of the connection and the chance was lost.
Prodl then almost buried a powerful,header past Thibaut Courtois, but the Belgium goalkeeper easily held the effort.
Courtois was again in again powerfully punching away a Etienne Capoue raspier three minutes later.
On his own, Costa, on 33 minutes, latched onto a Cesar Azpilicueta route-one ball, and managed to squeeze a corner out of his dragged effort that was anyway going wide of the Watford goal.
Seconds before the break all hell broke lose when Cost and Paredes clashed on the sideline. Costa had already complained he had been hauled to the ground and it appeared the striker retaliated.
Dean seemed to take ages to decide that a yellow card for Costa and Paredes was all that was needed.
Guus Hiddink came to the touchline seemingly trying to calm his striker down.
There was no changes from either side at half-time.
But the Blues certainly started the brighter, with even Mikel having a shot on target which took a wicked deflection before Gomes tipped it over the crossbar for a corner. Predictably, nothing came of it.
Then Troy Deeney tried his luck from 20 yards. The ball zipped wide of Courtois's right post.
Jose Jurado was next up to have a shot, but his effort smashed into the side netting.
Oscar should have slide the ball home from close range on 55 minutes after excellent set-up play by Nemanja Matic and Costa but he too could only rattle the side netting stanchion.
A Matic volley stung the hands of Gomes, on58 minutes as the flow of the game ebbed between the two sides, with neither looking as if they were serious about scoring.
Gomes, however parried away a simple drive by Oscar but it was a case of individuals and not a team ethic that was deciding Chelsea's play.
The game was crying out for some brilliance and Hiddink sent on Eden Hazard on 73 minutes in the hope the mercurial midfielder could conjure some up for the Blues. Matic made way.
Gomes then produced the save of the match to deny Branislav Ivanovic with 13 minutes on the clock, the Serbian defender lashed a near post effort that seemed goal-nous, but Gomes parried the ball away for a corner.
A breath-taking save by Gomes thwarted Costa late on as the striker's header seemed destined for the far corner of the net. But the stopper dived to his right and tipped the ball around the post in athletic and spectacular fashion.
But that was it.
Next up it's Manchester United at Stamford Bridge with yet another Sunday 4pm kick-off.

Teams: Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Oscar, Mikel, Costa, Matic, Willian, Terry, Azpilicutea
Subs,Begovic, Baba, Hazard, Traore, Kenedy, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek

Watford, Gomes, Prodl, Jurado, Behrami, Deeney, Paredes, Cathcart, Watson, Ighalo's, Capoue, Holebas
Subs, Pantilimon, Nyom, Suarez, Amrabat, Auedioura, Anya, Abdi

Referee, Mike Dean

 

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