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Player Ratings: Watford 1-2 Chelsea | Premier League

Chelsea got back to winning ways by defeating Watford in a 2-1 victory in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Wednesday night.

The occasion and sense of celebration was overshadowed, however, by worrying scenes in the crowd, as a medical emergency brought play to a halt early on in the first half. 

The match was temporarily suspended 12 minutes in and bought the Blues some respite and reset time, given the spirited hosts seemed well up for the fight and caused some early headaches.

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It was more of the same after the restart. Kai Havertz's square ball for Mason Mount to finish smartly in minute 29 stemmed the black and yellow tide temporarily until Emmanuel Dennis drew the Hornets level two minutes before half-time.

It was a bitter blow before the break and it was clear that Thomas Tuchel needed to switch things up to galvanise his men. The hapless Saúl Ñíguez gave way, but the Pensioners remained languid. That is, until a well-crafted move was concluded with Hakim Ziyech rifling home in the 72nd minute.

While far from their best, the visitors ground out the win to stay top of the Premier League. The action keeps coming thick and fast for the Blues with a short trip to London rivals West Ham at lunchtime on Saturday. Until then, here are tonight's player ratings...


Edouard Mendy - 8/10

Managed to fit in the good, bad and the ugly of his abilities in before the suspension in play. Pulled off a smart save - from his own skipper - before some shaky and questionable moments with the ball at his feet. A string of important saves followed at various intervals, including one 30 yards from his own goal in a brave demonstration of skilled sweeping. Chelsea probably lose this without him.

Trevoh Chalobah - 6/10 [60]

Unlike some in the centre-back department, the uncomplicated Sierra Leonean has been letting his football do the talking and has been reaping the rewards for it. Entrusted in a midfield role in the second half after witnessing the calamity a few yards in front of him before that, but then calamity ensued when he was withdrawn through injury. A big loss and worryingly yet another man in the medical room for the Blues going into a hectic period.

Andreas Christensen - 6/10

Having been relegated to the naughty step of the Chelsea bench for off-field contractual wrangling, the Dane was restored to on-field duties by account of the indomitable Thiago Silva needing a rest. Caught flat-footed a few times, but for the most part held it down well - particularly impressive in the air.

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Antonio Rüdiger - 6/10

Made an impressive start to his evening, notably with his picture perfect long ball to set off the move for Chelsea's opener and some competent defending. Truthfully, it went a tad downhill thereafter. Emmanuel Dennis "The Menace" was to the former AS Roma man what his moniker implied. It's not often the German meets his match, but the Nigerian was a handful - and the lack of support from Marcos Alonso in dealing with him did not help the case, either.

César Azpilicueta - 6/10 [70]

The captain has taken a bit of a back seat in the wake of Reece James' electric form, but with the young Englishman lying low with a knock, his services were required. Kept it simple, adequate and was a steady head when others threatened to lose theirs in a feisty encounter.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 4/10

Painfully anonymous, to the point where his frantic and sloppy role in the Watford equaliser was his most notable contribution. Not at all convincing in a deeper role with midfield general Jorginho providing stability against Manchester United, so it would have been a shock if tonight was an improvement with the equally shaky Saúl. Fans will be wanting to hear good news about N'Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic sooner rather than later.

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Saúl Ñíguez - 3/10 [45]

Has not looked at the races thus far in his fledgling Chelsea career - albeit, with limited chances - and tonight was no different. Completely waylaid by the vim and vigour of the underdogs, with an early booking symbolic of the Spaniard being unable to keep up with the pace of the game. Mercifully hooked at half-time. Not quite a disaster of Tiémoué Bakayoko proportions - although it could have been, had Thomas Tuchel let it continue - but with auditions like this a stay in West London is looking more and more like a pipe dream.

Marcos Alonso - 5/10

Came as no surprise that the brunt of the Hornets' offensive build-up came down the Pensioners' left flank, with Alonso possessing a pace befitting Chelsea's nickname. His rustiness - or, alternatively, his waning abilities - is looking like an alarming liability in his team's title challenge already. Some credit must be however reserved for his role in the opener, with a well-timed jog in behind and a neat touch to flummox the Watford backline.

Christian Pulisic - 5/10

Difficult to ascertain what he brought to the table different on the evening that in-form Callum Hudson-Odoi could not have, as one example. Wasteful in advanced areas and his usually dependable dribbling deserted him.

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Mason Mount - 8/10

'Money Mase' has come in for criticism in some quarters - some warranted, and some from himself - for a lack of cutting edge in his performances this season. His composed finish showed he has the requisite teeth when it matters - if you'll pardon the pun - and his sharp sprint and cut back for the winner was the clutch bit of quality that has come to be expected of the club's talisman.

Kai Havertz - 8/10

With very limited support from a near non-existent midfield unit, the German worked smarter and harder with some neat link-up play and close control to fashion chances. A performance of clever game intelligence and movement made all the more impressive that it was pretty much him against the world in the final third for vast swathes of proceedings. May not get the plaudits he deserves in the aftermath - or the headlines of a goal and assist performance from Chelsea's number 19 - but his class should not be overlooked.


Bench

Thiago Silva - 6/10 [45]

Brought some much needed calm and steel to a Blues' backline - and really, the Blues' half -  that were being asked some serious questions by the hosts.

Hakim Ziyech - 6/10 [60]

Think it would be fair to call his cameo one of the 'Jekyll and Hyde' category. The man they call "The Wizard" entered the fray and initially seemed desperate not to be upstaged by Saul in a race to the bottom, misplacing pass after pass and making some bizarre mistakes. He soon kicked into gear, however, arriving late to steer home a well-taken winner.

Romelu Lukaku - 6/10 [70]

Still getting up to speed, but his mere presence unsettled the Watford defence and freed up space for those in the 10 roles. It was therefore was an astute substitution by the German gaffer, just like the one before it.


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