It was a meeting of two Italian managers at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon with Antonio Conte's Chelsea visiting Walter Mazzarri's Watford side. It took another late winner from Diego Costa to seal three points for Chelsea away from home. Etienne Capoue's opener was cancelled out by substitute Michy Batshuayi before Costa raced through to snatch the win for the visitors.
A half of few chances
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts as a ball over the top allowed Jose Holebas in behind the Chelsea defence but his effort, from a tight angle, was stopped well by Thibaut Courtois. Watford were in again just after 20 minutes as Nordin Amrabat's low driven cross was met by Odion Ighalo but the striker's effort from close range flew just over the bar.
The first half saw Chelsea offer little threat to the Watford goal despite dominating the majority of possession. The best chances fell to Watford while the first opportunity for the visitors came just before half time but Eden Hazard's tame free-kick was saved comfortably by Gomes.
Chelsea turn it around
Watford started the second half the better of the two sides and despite an early half-chance for Hazard, the hosts took the lead through a thumping volley from Etienne Capoue. A deep cross from the right-hand side fell to Capoue, all alone at the backpost, and the midfielder lashed home a volley past Courtois to make it 1-0.
Chelsea had appeals for a penalty turned down with 20 minutes to go. A corner from Pedro hit the outstretched arm of Craig Cathcart but nothing was given to the visitors.
Despite rarely threatening the Watford goal, Chelsea found themselves level with ten minutes to go thanks to summer signing Michy Batshuayi's first goal. Hazard's shot from distance was too strong for Gomes, who could only parry it to the feet of Batshuayi. The second game in a row in which Conte's substitutions worked in favor of his side.
Batshuayi continued to make an impact and almost set up a second for Chelsea and his cross was met by Branislav Ivanovic from less than six yards out but Gomes got down to stop it well.
The introduction of Cesc Fabregas with ten minutes to go worked wonders as Chelsea completed the turnaround in the 88th minute. A beautifully threaded pass from Fabregas found Diego Costa, who raced through and calmly finished past the goalkeeper. The Blues almost grabbed a third deep into stoppage time but Batshuayi's attempt smashed off the crossbar.
A second consecutive 2-1 win for Chelsea and a second consecutive late winner, something that was missing all last season. Plenty of positives to draw from a fairly dull performance from Conte's side.
The Blues are back at home next week as they welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge.