Chelsea move up to third with comfortable win at Watford

Tom HomewoodAssistant Producer

Chelsea moved up to third in the Premier League after a 2-1 win against bottom of the table Watford at Vicarage Road.

Tammy Abraham put Frank Lampard’s side in front after just four minutes with a cool finish past Ben Foster.

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The Watford keeper made some great saves to keep the deficit at just the one goal, but he couldn’t deny Christian Pulisic just before the hour mark as the American made it 2-0.

Gerard Deulofeu was brought down by Jorginho inside the area and the home side pulled one back with ten minutes to play after Deulofeu himself converted the resultant spot kick.

Chelsea held on to make it five wins from their last five league matches and move third in the table, while Watford remain rooted to the bottom.

Pulisic has scored four goals in his last two games (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Pulisic has scored four goals in his last two games (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores made seven changes to the team which lost at Everton in the Carabao Cup midweek with Andre Gray starting up top.

Chelsea also made seven alterations from their cup defeat by Manchester United. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori all came back in as Christian Pulisic retained his place after bagging a hat-trick at Burnley last weekend.

Abraham fired Chelsea into an early lead against the rock-bottom Hornets as he broke in behind the defence to meet a superb pass from Jorginho before lifting over Ben Foster in the 4th minute.

In an effort to pull one back and get the quiet crowd going at Vicarage Road, Roberto Pereyra tried his luck from distance. It was comfortable for Kepa, but it was a sign of intent from Watford.

Abraham was then denied by a fine Ben Foster save, before Willian floated in the resultant corner where Pulisic forced another great stop by the Watford keeper.

Foster denies Pulisic with a fantastic save (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Foster denies Pulisic with a fantastic save (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Despite having very little of the ball it was Watford that almost came up with an equaliser before the break. Gerard Deulofeu whipped in a low fizzing shot from outside the penalty area which flashed just wide.

Chelsea responded and almost grabbed another themselves before the half-time whistle blew. Mason Mount with an emphatic strike which Foster did well to tip on to his crossbar.

Foster managed to keep the game a 1-0, once again denying Mount’s powerful strike with yet another fantastic save not long after the restart.

The 36-year-old couldn’t keep Pulisic from making it 2-0 in the 54th minute though. Abraham picked out the American, who was completely unmarked to tap home inside the six yard area.

Pulisic should have made it 3-0 two minutes later. The 21-year-old was through on goal with just Foster to beat, but the Watford keeper denied him with his left boot.

Abraham should have added Chelsea’s third after it was put on a plate by Mateo Kovacic, rolling the ball invitingly across the six yard box, but the 22-year-old failed to connect.

Against the run of play Watford were awarded a penalty with just over ten minutes to go. Gerard Deulofeu went down after a challenge by Jorginho and after a lengthy VAR check the spot kick was given.

Deulofeu's penalty gave Watford hope (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Deulofeu's penalty gave Watford hope (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

The Spaniard picked himself up, dusted himself down, and sent Kepa the wrong way to make it 2-1.

Foster, who came up for an injury time corner, was denied a last minute equaliser as Kepa dived to claw away his header with the last chance of the match.

Chelsea held on for a win on the road that lifts them up into third place in the table, while Watford remain bottom on just five points.

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