Guus Hiddink’s unbeaten start as Chelsea manager remains intact despite failing to comply with up a win at Arsenal with victory over Watford.
Champions Chelsea are however to win consecutive matches in the Premier League this season as they had been held to a 0-0 draw by a resilient Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday.
A 1-0 triumph at Arsenal in their previous league outing provided a much-needed increase to Chelsea’s poor defence in the title, but they have been unable to adhere to it up with yet another triumph as Watford held firm to get a seventh top-flight clean sheet at house this season.
Guus Hiddink kept faith with all the side that were victorious at Emirates Stadium, meaning captain John Terry retained his spot inside the beginning line-up immediately after revealing his time at the club may very well be set to finish when his contract expires in the end of your season.
In a cagey match it was Etienne Capoue who had the most effective chance of your first half, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois standing firm to deny him inside the 28th minute.
Oscar – scorer of a hat-trick inside the 5-1 win more than MK Dons in the FA Cup on Sunday – missed a glorious chance shortly after the restart when he failed to steer Diego Costa’s pass in to the back in the net, even though Heurelho Gomes kept out Branislav Ivanovic within the closing stages.
Hiddink’s unbeaten run since returning for the helm now stretches to nine games in all competitions, however the draw will likely be noticed as a missed opportunity to put greater distance amongst themselves along with the relegation zone following Everton’s 3-0 win at 18th-placed Newcastle United.
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores replaced Nathan Ake – ineligible against his parent club – and Miguel Britos with Jose Holebas and Sebastian Prodl, while Eden Hazard was a substitute for the guests despite scoring his initial aim for the club this season at MK Dons last time out.
Chelsea controlled possession early on but the two sides struggled to make clear-cut opportunities inside a tightly-contested affair until Watford stepped up their efforts ahead of the half-hour mark.
Prodl aimed his header from Ben Watson’s corner also close to Courtois, and the Chelsea goalkeeper held firm to quit Capoue drilling property soon after a brilliant run from Jose Manuel Jurado.
That spurred the visitors into action, Costa spinning in behind Prodl to latch onto a extended ball prior to the recovering Craig Cathcart did enough to deflect the Spaniard’s shot wide with 32 minutes played.
Even so, Chelsea were unable to register a shot on target before the interval with Cesar Azpilicueta skewing wide from the left-hand side from the box, ahead of Costa and Juan Carlos Paredes had been shown yellow cards for any stoppage-time confrontation.
Gomes was forced to backpedal to quit John Obi Mikel’s deflected strike from looping in quickly following the restart as well as the chances began to flow.
Troy Deeney rifled narrowly wide from 20 yards and Holebas sent a shot into the side netting, but Oscar was unable to steer a cutback from Costa inside the close to post from the edge with the six-yard box with 55 minutes around the clock.
Possessing kept out Oscar from just outdoors the box, Gomes denied Ivanovic from substitute Hazard’s cutback 12 minutes from time.
Costa volleyed wide ahead of Gomes once once more developed an incredible save with two minutes remaining, stopping the striker’s deflected header from acquiring the top corner to make sure Watford move as much as ninth.