Chelsea remain top of the Premier League after winger Hakim Ziyech scored a second-half winner to help claim a 2-1 victory over Watford on Wednesday despite a lengthy delay following a medical emergency at Vicarage Road.
Boss Thomas Tuchel’s side started slow before teams both were taken off the field by the referee on 13 minutes after play was stopped following an incident in the stands.
The score was 0-0 at the time. The match was resumed around 30 minutes later.
Midfielder Mason Mount kicked the game into action when he opened the scoring on 28 minutes. Teammate Kai Havertz received the ball in the penalty box before he slid a short pass to Mount who side-footed into the bottom corner. Havertz looked to double Chelsea’s lead when he netted himself shortly after, but it was quickly disallowed for offside.
Watford hit back when Emmanuel Dennis equalised on 42 minutes, striking through the legs of defender Antonio Rudiger and finding the bottom corner. He now has four goals in his last five Premier League matches.
Midfielder Moussa Sissoko missed a glorious chance to put Watford ahead on the stroke of half-time when he found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, but he miskicked the ball wide.
Ziyech netted a winner on 72 minutes as he struck home an inviting low cross from Mount.
However, Tuchel didn’t take a great deal of satisfaction from the result — the German not holding back in his assessment.
“We were lucky. We should admit it,” Tuchel said. “Sometimes you need it. Today we could not reach this level. We were not ready for this game. We are to blame.
“We never found the right attitude. It was a big exception from the rule. We conceded a lot of chances in the first half and did not create much. We were very lucky to escape with a win.”
Claudio Ranieri’s side will take heart from the way they pushed the league leaders but are just one place and three points above the relegation zone.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.