- Costa scores twice
- Ighalo nets 13th of season
- Oscar misses late PK
Chelsea drew 2-2 at home against in-form Watford on Saturday, as Guus Hiddink’s first home game of his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge ended with the points shared.
Diego Costa gave Chelsea the lead but Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo — who else? — struck to turn the game on its head and Costa’s equalizer grabbed Chelsea a point. However, Oscar’s slip when taking a penalty kick late on saw him miss a glorious chance to seal back-to-back wins for Chelsea and the Blues had to settle for a point.
Watford now have 29 points, while Chelsea have 19.
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Costa headed just over inside the opening five minutes as Pedro picked him out superbly with a cross, and then Ighalo had a gilt-edge change to put Watford 1-0 up but he rushed his finish as the ball surprisingly broke to him in the box. Watford then pressed as Chelsea were on the back foot but before half time the Blues went ahead.
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A corner from Willian was nodded down by John Terry and after a slight deflection off Gary Cahill, the ball fell to Costa who volleyed home and netted the first goal of the second Hiddink era at Chelsea. 1-0 to the home side. Oscar then went close but blasted over but Watford continued to look dangerous and were soon level.
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Right on half time the Hornets were handed a lifeline as a corner from the right was clearly handled by Nemanja Matic in the box and Deeney scored from the resulting penalty. 1-1. Game on.
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In the second half Watford grew in confidence and Chelsea twice blocked superbly from Etienne Capoue who drilled a shot which was saved by Thibaut Courtois and Terry then launched himself in front of the follow up. However, moments later Watford were ahead as Ighalo’s deflected shot looped past Courtois at the near post and in. 2-1 to Watford and the Nigerian striker had his 13th goal of the season.
Pedro had a shot blocked in the box as Chelsea pushed for an equalizer and it soon arrived with Costa slotting home following a brilliant through-ball from Willian. 2-2 and all to play for late on.
Costa almost sealed his hat trick but Huerelho Gomes saved bravely and Chelsea pushed hard for the winner with Eden Hazard coming off the bench late on.
The Blues had a glorious chance to win it 10 minutes from time when Hazard was brought down by a fellow sub, Valon Behrami, and Chelsea were handed a penalty kick.
However, Oscar slipped horribly as he took the PK and kicked the ball against his standing foot as it looped over the bar and out. With the ball went Chelsea’s chances of recording back-to-back wins in the PL. To make matters worse Costa was then handed a yellow card for a lunging tackle which will see him ruled out of Chelsea’s trip to Manchester United on Dec. 28.