Watford showed cojones at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea did what Arsenal couldn’t and beat the Hornets with goals from Pedro, Cesar Azpilicueta and a double from Michy Batshuayi. But it wasn’t a comfortable victory from the Blues who endured a poor period either side of half time and fell behind courtesy of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra goals. It was Antonio Conte’s substitutes who changed the game and all three points fell into Chelsea’s grasp after the final whistle. Who were the standout performers in Chelsea blue, find out in this week’s Man of the Match shortlist.
#3 Tiemoue Bakayoko
A tireless display alongside Cesc Fabregas in the centre of midfield from the Frenchman. His power and guile turned defence into attack in a matter of seconds through the game as he provided the defensive solidity that Chelsea have been lacking in the absence of N’Golo Kante. His consistent performance was capped off with an assist for Chelsea’s fourth and final goal. His opportunistic interception fell into Michy Batshuayi’s path and the Belgian lifted it over Heurelho Gomes and into the back of the net. Bakayoko seemed to get himself into tight situations but his confidence and ability saw him wriggle free of a group of Watford players on more than one occasion.
Outshone Eden Hazard on his return to the side as Antonio Conte switched back to a front 3. He put Chelsea in front with an glorious strike early on in the first. The Blues took a short corner and Hazard rolled the ball back for Pedro on the edge of the area and the Spaniard hit it first time and sent it flying into the top left corner. The ball clipped in of the post and fell into the opposite side netting to leave Gomes and the rest of the stadium in awe. His contributions weren’t finished at that, it was his cross that Michy Batshuayi converted from to pull Chelsea level after a switch to right wing-back for Pedro. His new position allowed him to create more from a wide position and his assisting cross was a thing of beauty, all his team-mate had to do was guide the ball into the goal because the pace of it was already there.
#1 Michy Batshuayi
After a quiet, uneventful 60 minutes from Alvaro Morata, Michy Batshuayi replaced the Spaniard and changed the game for his team. Ten minutes after coming on, he powered a header past a helpless Heurelho Gomes after Pedro’s wicked cross before firing a chance over the bar from inside the penalty area, showing his goal scoring intent straight away. Cesar Azpilicueta put Chelsea in front and the Batsman sealed the win with a well-taken goal deep into stoppage time. He ran onto Bakayoko’s interception and dinked the ball over an onrushing Gomes and went off to celebrate with the fans who adore him and his lively antics both on and off the pitch, even if he’s not always influential on the field. But this week he’s the hero Chelsea and Conte were looking for as his brace beat Watford to move Chelsea above them in the table.