Defending champions Chelsea kept their title hopes alive with a dramatic 4-2 win over high-flying Watford in their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Watford were the form side going into the clash in London, but it was the hosts who would take the lead in the 12th minute via returning winger Pedro. The Spaniard’s pin-point curler gave Hornets keeper Heurelho Gomes no chance as it nestled in the back of the net after grazing the post.
Chelsea were dominating their opponents and should have gone into a two-goal lead when Cesc Fabregas was one-on-one with Gomes but the midfielder’s chip was well-read by the veteran keeper.
And the Blues would rue that missed chance as Watford drew level on the stroke of half-time thanks to in-form midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. The Frenchman took advantage of some slack Chelsea defending to lash in his fourth league goal of the season.
Post the interval, Chelsea were virtually camped in the Watford half as they sought to score as early as possible but it was Watford who would break the deadlock off a counter.
Richarlison, who had missed a sitter early on in the second-half, made amends with a carefully weighted through-ball to Robero Pereyra and the winger cooly finished past Thibaut Courtois.
Watford would have another chance to score soon after taking the lead but once again, Richarlison would fluff his lines.
Antonio Conte, desperately seeking to avoid a third straight league loss in a row, sent on Michy Batshuayi and Willian in a bid to seek the equaliser and the Belgian forward would once again rescue his side.
Winger Pedro sent in a cross from the right which the striker guided home to level proceedings with less than 20 minutes remaining.
The momentum was well and truly with the hosts and Cesar Azpilicueta would then give the Blues the lead with another header in the 87th minute and this time the provider was substitute Willian.
Batshuayi and Chelsea weren’t done, however, and the Belgian added to his side’s tally after capitalising on a Watford error to beat Gomes in the 95th minute.
With the result, Chelsea rise to fourth in the league table and are likely to remain there unless Arsenal win their game in hand by a resounding margin of five or more goals. They are six points behind leaders Manchester City, who could restore their nine-point advantage over the Blues should they win their game in hand over Burnley.
Watford slip to fifth with their second loss of the season and depending on other results on the weekend, could drop to eighth.