Premier League leaders Chelsea were made to work extremely hard by a relegation-threatened Watford, but the Blues prevailed in the end, thanks to goals from Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech. Liverpool, meanwhile, brushed aside a sorry Everton on derby day.
Chelsea were put on the backfoot by a determined Watford side, straight from kick-off in their latest league game, but the Blues did not buckle under pressure. Thomas Tuchel’s men survived an early onslaught – thanks to heroics from Trevoh Chalobah and Edouard Mendy – before scoring the game’s opening goal in the 29th minute.
Antonio Rudiger released Marcos Alonso down the left side, the Spaniard brought the ball down before squaring it to Kai Havertz, who played one more pass to Mason Mount in space, and he fired it into the bottom corner.
The Hornets were rewarded for their dominance up until that point before half-time. Ruben Loftus-Cheek lost the ball in midfield, where it was picked up by the Hornets’ captain Moussa Sissokho. The Frenchman drove forward with it before playing in Emmanuel Dennis, and the forward scored via a deflection off of Rudiger.
Chelsea stamped their authority in the second half after the introductions of Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan would turn into the matchwinner in the 72nd minute, firing home a shot from the center of the box from a Mount cross. The Blues, second-best all night, came away with three valuable points.
Elsewhere, Liverpool kept pace with the league leaders by thrashing Everton 4-1. The Reds took the lead in the ninth minute through Jordan Henderson, who side-footed an Andrew Robertson cross into the net from the edge of the box. Ten minutes later, Henderson released Mohamed Salah down the right side, and the Egyptian cut inside on his favored left to produce a trademark finish, putting Liverpool 2-0 up.
Demarai Gray pulled a goal back for Everton before half-time, but Salah restored Liverpool’s two-goal advantage four minutes past the hour mark with a simple finish in the corner.
Diogo Jota continued his good form of late by scoring Liverpool’s fourth in the 79th minute. The Portugal international got away from his marker and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range to cap off a fine team display.