London - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insisted he
"wasn't worried" about his job despite seeing his 10 men suffer a
second consecutive humiliating defeat on Monday, going down 4-1 at Watford.
Goals from Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto
Pereyra in the final six minutes handed Watford a welcome first win in six
games to move the Hornets six points clear of the relegation zone.
Chelsea, beaten 3-0 at home by Bournemouth on their last outing,
had already been reduced to 10 men by Tiemoue Bakayoko's first-half red card
before Troy Deeney's penalty put Watford in front just before the break.
Eden Hazard's brilliant strike eight minutes from time
briefly handed the visitors hope, but they remain fourth, just a point ahead of
Tottenham Hotspur, with Conte's chances of remaining in charge for the rest of
the season under the spotlight.
"I work every day and I give 120 percent, if this is
enough, okay, otherwise the club can take a decision, but I'm not
worried," said Conte.
"(There is) great disappointment for sure because I
think our performance was very poor. We started very badly and without
personality. We played with fear."
Conte insisted ahead of the match he intended to see out his
contract to 2019 despite a series of complaints this season over his lack of
influence over the club's recruitment strategy.
The Italian once again named a side without a recognised
striker with new signing Olivier Giroud only deemed fit enough for a place on
the bench in the absence of Alvaro Morata due to a back injury.
A makeshift front three of Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez and
Willian struggled to get involved as Watford dominated on new boss Javi
Gracia's home bow.
"It is an unforgettable night," said Gracia.
"A great victory and a great match. I am very proud of my players today.
"The match changed after the sending-off, but I am
happy for all the match not only after the sending-off.
"I don't think we have only a good result because
Chelsea played with 10 players."
Watford had a series of chances to go in front as Chelsea
started slowly with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Deulofeu and Deeney failing to hit the
Having been let off by Watford's wayward finishing, Chelsea
weren't handed such a reprieve from referee Mike Dean as Bakayoko's miserable
first season in England continued.
The French midfielder was dismissed for two bookable
offences within five minutes to leave the visitors a man light for the final
Conte immediately responded by replacing Willian with Cesc
However, that did little to stem Watford's tide and they
went in front when Thibaut Courtois brought down Deulofeu as he rounded the
Deeney made amends for his previous miss by burying the
resulting penalty into the bottom corner.
Watford continued to pose the greater threat after the break
as Deulofeu and Richarlison sent shots inches wide of Courtois' left-hand post.
The Belgian keeper then had to be at his best to turn Doucoure's
Giroud was finally handed his debut for the final 25 minutes
in place of Pedro, who hobbled off with a nasty looking injury that could make
him a doubt to face old side Barcelona in Chelsea's Champions League last 16
tie in two weeks' time.
An individual moment of magic from Hazard gave Chelsea hope
when he curled into the far corner from 25 yards for his 13th goal of the
Parity only lasted two minutes, though, as Janmaat played a
brilliant one-two with Pereyra before slotting past a helpless Courtois to
spark wild scenes of celebration at Vicarage Road.
Deulofeu sealed the points two minutes later when he fired
across Courtois with Chelsea's tired defence pulled apart.
And Pereyra rubbed salt in the champions' wounds with a
brilliant finish from a narrow angle in stoppage time.