Watford 0-0 Chelsea

Diego Costa

Chelsea have not lost in the league since 14 December

Chelsea’s unbeaten run under Guus Hiddink extended to seven Premier League games with a draw at Watford.

Diego Costa saw a first-half shot deflected just wide for the visitors, while Etienne Capoue’s fierce drive was kept out by Thibaut Courtois.

Heurelho Gomes’s superb one-handed save from Costa’s header denied Chelsea victory late on.

The point moves Chelsea up to 13th on 29 points, while Watford are four points and places better off.

Re-live Watford’s draw with Chelsea

Gomes keeps the Blues away

Watford started their first season back in the Premier League in blistering fashion, with eight wins before Christmas propelling them into the top 10.

However, that form took a turn for the worse as they lost four successive league games from 28 December.

Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores brought in Costel Pantilimon from Sunderland during the January transfer window and if his intention was to challenge his first-choice keeper to raise his game, it appears to have worked.

Gomes put in a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea, reacting swiftly to keep out Branislav Ivanovic from close range and Costa in the final few minutes.

“I believe the goalkeeper has to do things like that [make key saves],” Gomes told BBC Sport.

“We got a point today against a very good side and I was glad to make a difference.”

Costa the centre of attention

Diego Costa has been given 15 yellow cards in the Premier League since he joined Chelsea in the summer of 2014 – four more than any other striker in this period

This game saw both the best and worst of Costa.

The striker, particularly in the first half, was at it his bustling best – a particular highlight the moment he brought down Cesc Fabregas’ long ball under control, and turned Watford defenders inside outside before shooting just wide.

He also struggled to control his temper as he was pulled up by referee Mike Dean for shoving over Sebastian Prodl in the Watford box, before he got involved in an angry exchange with Juan Carlos Paredes that led to both players been booked.

The start of the farewell tour?

John Terry has been at Chelsea since he was 14

Chelsea defender John Terry caused a bit of a stir on Sunday when he announced that he will leave the club this summer, saying he had not been offered a new deal.

Hiddink suggested on Tuesday that the Stamford Bridge door was not closed, however, and fans who travelled to Vicarage Road showed their support for their long-serving captain.

There was a loud cheer when his name was read out before kick-off, while some fans held up banners with the words “Captain, Leader, Legend” on them.

Generally, the 35-year-old was solid against Watford, although a misjudged jump in his attempt to clear a cross for Odion Ighalo hinted at why his time at the heart of the Chelsea defence could be coming to an end.

Man of the match – Heurelho Gomes

Heurelho Gomes kept his first clean sheet since 20 December

What they said

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: “We’re happy. We’ve shown we can get points against the big teams – you see it against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham.

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Flores happy with Hornets point

“The competitive level of the team is very high.”

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink on incident involving Costa and Watford’s Paredes: “It was clear and in front of our eyes. Costa was punched in the back and then he stumbled and brought his hands to his head. I was trying to protect my player because he was provoked.

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Hiddink ‘not happy’ with Watford draw

“This league is physical. When you see our central defenders and our opponent’s central defenders. He [Costa] likes to go physical but he must do within the rules. Some times players get physical and he has to get used to that.”

On Terry: “First we’ll see him often this season. What the future brings is up to him and the club.”

The stats you need to know

  • Chelsea have won seven and lost none of the past 10 matches against Watford in all competitions (D3).
  • Watford have won just one of their eight Premier League games in the month of February (W1 D3 L4).
  • Watford kept their seventh clean sheet at home in the Premier League this season – only Manchester United (8) have more at home in 2015-16.
  • Chelsea did not manage a shot on target until the 60th minute.
  • Watford attempted three shots on target, all between the 27th and 28th minute.
  • Watford have conceded a league-low seven goals in the first half of Premier League games this season.

What next?

Watford travel to Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday while Chelsea host Manchester United on the following day.

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