Premier League: Conte on the Brink as Watford Humiliate Chelsea

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte comes increasingly under the spotlight after his 10-man side suffered a second consecutive humiliating defeat on Monday, going down 4-1 at Watford.

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.

But with the Blues’ stuttering form since the turn of the year, it won’t be a surprise if the axe is dropped on the Italian ahead of their crucial last 16 tie against Barcelona.

Watford dominated on new boss Javi Gracia’s home bow as Chelsea struggled to get going with the makeshift front three of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro.

Things got worse for the Blues when French midfielder Tiemeou Bakayoko was dismissed for two bookable offences within five minutes.

The hornets responded by going in front shortly after through a penalty from captain Troy Deeney after Thibaut Courtois brought down Gerard Deulofeu as he rounded the goalkeeper.

Conte threw on Olivier Giroud for the final 25 minutes in place of Pedro, but it was an individual moment of magic from Hazard that pulled the Blues level when he curled into the far corner from 25 yards for his 13th goal of the season.

Their joy was short-lived though as two minutes later, Daryl Janmaat played a brilliant one-two with Roberto Pereyra before slotting past a helpless Courtois to spark wild scenes of celebration at Vicarage Road.

Barca loanee Deulofeu sealed the points two minutes later when he fired across Courtois with Chelsea’s defence ripped apart.

Pereyra put a gloss on the score with a brilliant finish from a narrow angle in stoppage time as Watford moved six points above the drop.

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