Belfast Telegraph

Cesar hails fightback as the catalyst to boost Blues season

Chelsea 4 Watford 2

By Ed Eliiott

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta hopes the dramatic victory over Watford can help the champions get their season back on track.

Antonio Conte's Blues have endured a sticky spell, losing back-to-back league games to title rivals Manchester City and bottom club Crystal Palace, as well as snatching a home draw against Roma in the Champions League.

Their poor run looked set to continue on Saturday after the Hornets took a 2-1 lead at Stamford Bridge before a late fightback saw them claim a much-needed victory.

Spain international Azpilicueta, who scored Chelsea's crucial third goal three minutes from time reflected: "We were three games without winning so it's important to step up and get back to winning ways.

"We know it's a long season and we will have ups and downs.

"This has been a difficult period but this is the first step to get out and get our confidence up."

After Pedro put the hosts ahead with a fine strike from distance, Watford battled back to deservedly lead through Abdoulaye Doucoure's fourth goal of the season and Roberto Pereyra's first since last November.

Watford boss Marco Silva felt his team merited at least a point and backed summer signing Richarlison to bounce back from some costly misses.

The 20-year-old inexplicably fired wide with the goal gaping at 1-1 and then squandered the chance to give his side a two-goal advantage when he headed off-target from close range.

"He deserves all the credit until now because he has been fantastic," Silva said.

Belfast Telegraph

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