Mason Mount inspired Chelsea to a hard-fought 2-1 win over a re-energised Watford team to cling on to top spot in the Premier League table ahead of another London derby against West Ham.
Watford set about Chelsea from the off. Two minutes in, João Pedro had his goalbound shot cleared by an alert Trevoh Chalobah and, moments later, Edouard Mendy was on hand to parry a deflected cross to safety.
The opening 10 minutes were certainly not without incident, and not just on the pitch either. As Adam Masina lay stricken on the floor, Chelsea players alerted officials to a fan who had taken ill in the stands. The quick-thinking medical professionals were on the scene almost immediately as both sets of players were asked to leave the pitch whilst emergency responders treated the member of the crowd.
With the supporter being taken safely to a nearby hospital, play resumed after a 31-minute stoppage and it was Chelsea who threatened first. Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed a ball through for Mason Mount to pounce on and lash a shot back off the post. A missed chance for the Englishman, but he made no mistake on 28 minutes. Some neat passing from Chelsea on the edge of the 18-yard box saw Mount comfortably tuck away the opener somewhat against the run of play.
Watford hit back just before the break through man of the moment Emmanuel Dennis. The Nigerian composed himself just inside the box before slotting in the equaliser, meaning he has now scored four and set up four of Watford’s last 10 league goals. For all of the hosts’ energy and ingenuity, they failed to create any second-half clear cut chances and were punished on 72 minutes, when substitute Hakim Ziyech connected with a Mount cutback to power what would be the winner beyond Daniel Bachmann and ensure Chelsea’s third win in a row at Vicarage Road for the first time in their history.