PMB: Watford v Chelsea - history
news Sun 4 Feb 2018
Continuing the build-up to Monday night's match, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton recall some of our past encounters with the Hornets...
We Have History
Chelsea are aiming to extend our unbeaten run against Watford to 14 games in all competitions, on the back of 10 victories and three draws in the previous 13 meetings.
The Hornets were members of the Southern League until 1920, and in the post-World War 2 era up to 1959 they wore a very similar kit to Chelsea’s and were known as the Blues. Yellow and black had been adopted by the time our two clubs met for the first time in the 1969/70 FA Cup. Ossie and co. won the semi-final 5-1 on a terrible surface at neutral White Hart Lane.
This will be the Londoners’ fifth visit to Hertfordshire in the Premier League era. Two of the previous four ended in victory, one a draw and one a loss, and the Blues are unbeaten at Vicarage Road since the turn of the century.
Watford was the first away trip of Antonio Conte’s tenure in August 2016, and the Italian’s 100 per cent start was preserved by a late show from his strikers.
The first half was goalless, with the visitors showing quality without urgency or a cutting edge. It appeared there would be a price paid for that when, 10 minutes after the break, Hornets midfielder Etienne Capoue dispatched Adlene Guedioura’s cross past Thibaut Courtois.
Diego Costa was still furiously protesting a foul and was booked, but it was the Spain striker who inspired the comeback. First, though, substitute Michy Batshuayi netted his first for the club, latching onto Heurelho Gomes’ errant parry of a low, fizzing Eden Hazard drive.
With only a few minutes of normal time remaining, Cesc Fabregas played a ball from deep that set Diego Costa in the clear, the striker placing the ball between Gomes’s legs for a 2-1 victory.
Watford’s last home win against Chelsea was in September 1999 when Allan Smart scored the only goal for a side managed by Graham Taylor.