Heurelho Gomes 7.5
For someone who has been in the wars, he continues to bravely dive headfirst at the feet of attackers. He did it once in each half here and both times against Diego Costa, a player who has a habit of leaving his foot in. The one in the first half was an alert, smart piece of goalkeeping. His kicking, however, was slightly wayward at times.
Allan Nyom 6
You wondered if it was going to be one of those afternoons for him when he spooned a pass from kick off straight up in the air. Things improved as he and Almen Abdi sought to nullify the twin threat of Oscar and the attacking full-back Cesar Azpilicueta on Chelsea’s left. Tucked in when he had to but the problem of allowing his marker to run off his outside shoulder continues to rears it head: Costa did it here to him for the second goal, although he was fractionally offside. Redeemed himself by heading away a dangerous cross from Eden Hazard late on.
Craig Cathcart 7
Took one for the team by fouling Costa to stop a counterattack and pick up a booking, only his second of the season. Allowed Costa to get in behind him for an early header but was much more alert late on when he got in a crucial toe to thwart Oscar. Was livid at the concession of both goals which shows you how much defending and clean sheets matter to him.
Miguel Britos 8
Produced the tackle of the match when he went off his feet to slide tackle the marauding Branislav Ivanovic and divert the ball for a corner. His timing was immaculate and it had to be. Was tasked with the job of marking the dangerous Serbian at corners and didn’t give him an inch. Booked for the second successive match when he cleaned out Costa.
Jose Holebas 8
A remarkable performance for someone making his first Watford appearance since August. Got forward with relish, producing several teasing crosses, one which forced Gary Cahill to clear at full stretch and another which presented Etienne Capoue with two strikes at goal. Defended diligently and clearly listened to the plan. Tucked in to clear a dangerous Azpilicueta cross with his right foot and showed good decision-making to come off his flank and meat out his own legitimate, hefty challenge on Costa. Made one glaring mistake when he dallied when receiving a pass from Britos to let Willian in, but he was tiring by then.
Ben Watson 7
After Oscar cut the ball back to Pedro in the box, it looked almost certain that the Spaniard would score until Watson dived across to put his body on the line and prevent a certain goal. It’s that kind of commitment to the cause which was why it was he who received the armband from Troy Deeney when the captain was substituted. Now the first-choice corner taker and it was from one outswinger that Nemanja Matic handled for the penalty. Will be feeling it today as it was tough work running trying to put out fires among Chelsea’s nimble midfielders. Allowed Costa to roll him for the first. Slammed his hands on the turf in disappointment.
Etienne Capoue 7
Guilty of overconfidence when he tried to play out of defence in the first ten minutes when cornered by Oscar and Matic. Conceded a free-kick and was lucky not to pick up a booking that would have ruled him out of the Tottenham game. Received instructions from Quique Sanchez Flores early in the first half and from then on he was much better in sweeping up in midfield. Will wonder when he’s going to find the net after two sweetly-struck efforts in the same phase of play were repelled by Thibault Courtois and John Terry.
Almen Abdi 6
Nobody made more tackles in the Premier League last week than Abdi. He didn’t scale the same heights here and seemed to get caught between two stools; knowing he had a responsibility to link the play but also aware of the role he had to play in shielding Nyom. Sent one ambitious effort from long range high and wide over Courtois’ bar.
Jose Manuel Jurado 7.5
His technical ability is becoming more evident by the week. He will claim the assist for the pass to Odion Ighalo but it was his clever run, which dragged Ivanovic out of position, that created the space for Ighalo to run in to. The way he became the outlet from a Chelsea corner, launching a counterattack before drawing a foul from Oscar, is exactly why Sanchez Flores places such importance on the role he plays in the side. Tracked back and used his body well to dispossess Willian on the byline but blotted his copybook by losing possession in the buildup to the equaliser.
Troy Deeney 7
Oscar will be calling him up for lessons on how to take a penalty. The striker’s sixth goal of the season was his fourth from the penalty spot and, yet again, he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. Struck a second-half shot even better but it thundered into Matic. He had John Terry on toast in the air and defended with his usual gusto.
Odion Ighalo 7
Has six goals in his last five games and could have had more. You expected him to do better when Jurado’s speculative shot ended up in his path but he snatched at it. His goal took a wicked deflection off Gary Cahill but if you don’t buy a ticket…
His general play was average and he never really came alive until the last 15 minutes when Watford played on the break and holes in the Chelsea defence started to appear. Cahill knew he was in a game and, at one point, had to wrestle him to the ground.
Valon Behrami 3
Stupid rash tackle on Hazard for the penalty and then, unbelievably, made another minutes later on Azpilicueta, one that left the Spain international distinctly unhappy and pointing to stud marks on his upper thigh.
Ikechi Anya 6
Summoned to help deal with Willian’s pace. He showed composure on the ball when under pressure and launched a couple of counterattacks, including one in which he sprinted half the length of the pitch before expertly back-heeling the ball to Deeney.
Brought on for the umpteenth time in the dying minutes to help run the clock down.