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    Chelsea 2-2 Watford: Costa double rescues a point

    By Alex Easley
    Diego Costa scored a brace as Chelsea drew 2-2 with Watford at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
    Diego Costa scored twice as Guus Hiddink began his second spell in charge of Chelsea with a thrilling 2-2 draw at home to a very much in-form Watford.

    The hosts had to come from behind but will feel they should have won the game as Brazilian Oscar slipped, sending a possible match winning penalty over the bar and into the stands.

    Costa had initially given Chelsea the lead in the 32nd minute, but Watford levelled through a Troy Deeney penalty while his red hot strike partner Odion Ighalo scored yet again in the second half.

    Another lovely Costa finish made it 2-2, but Oscar’s horror moment meant a pulsating Boxing Day encounter ended with the two teams sharing the spoils.

    The Blues looked like they wanted to impress early on and Costa headed Pedro’s cross just over as they controlled possession in the first 15 minutes of the match.

    But the visitors found their feet quickly and Ighalo wasted a great chance to put them ahead at Stamford Bridge, pulling his shot wide after Jurado’s effort had fallen well for him.

    Willian’s corners were constantly causing Watford’s defence problems and Chelsea were ahead when the Brazilian’s cross bounced into the six-yard box off the heads of Gary Cahill and John Terry before Costa spun and volleyed the ball into Heurelho Gomes’ net.

    The goal gave Chelsea encouragement as they then began to attack with more gusto but Oscar shot over the bar after good work from Branislav Ivanovic and they then conceded an equaliser in bizarre fashion.

    Ben Watson’s right-side corner appeared to pose little threat at first but Nemanja Matic completely misjudged the flight of the ball and ended up clearly handling it right in front of the referee, who had no choice but to give Watford the penalty.

    Captain Troy Deeney stepped up to calmly roll the ball past Courtois, who dived to his right, on 42 minutes.
    Watford captain Troy Deeney calmly slots his penalty away to level the score at 1-1.
    Things got even better for Quique Sanchez Flores side 11 minutes into the second period when Ighalo scored for a club-record fifth consecutive top-flight match in a row.

    Having been initially found by Jurado, the Nigerian took his time before unleashing a low shot which was deflected by Cahill’s foot past a completely wrong-footed Courtois and flew into the net.

    The Blues kept going and levelled the match when Willian found Costa with an inch-perfect low pass and the striker finished ably once again, taking one touch to set himself up and slotting the ball past Gomes for his second on 65 minutes.

    Eden Hazard was brought on as a sub with 15 minutes as Chelsea looked for a winner and it appeared to have worked when he was brought down by Valon Behrami in the Watford box.

    However, Oscar failed to put the ball away in spectacular style, pausing as he began the run-up and then slipping over to send it high into the stands behind Gomes’ goal.
    Oscar ballooned a penalty over the bar missing the chance to secure all three points for Chelsea.
    Nonetheless Chelsea continued to attack but Costa’s booking, which means he will be suspended for Monday’s clash with Manchester United, was a small blip on his afternoon’s work.

    John Obi Mikel almost sent Chelsea into that game on a high but his late shot was just wide of the goal and Chelsea will visit Old Trafford just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone.

    Watford, on the other hand, came through a very tough game with their reputation further improved and they currently sit seventh ahead of in-form Tottenham’s visit to Vicarage Road on Monday.


    Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Costa

    Subs used: Mikel, Hazard

    Watford: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas, Abdi, Capoue, Watson, Jurado, Ighalo, Deeney

    Subs used: Behrami, Anya, Guedioura

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Diego Costa
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    Item Reviewed: Chelsea 2-2 Watford: Costa double rescues a point Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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