05-Feb-2018 22:05:22 | The Guardian
Antonio Conte had shivered through much of this contest, hands planted deep in the pockets of his puffa jacket and that distant, rather haunted look in his eyes which tends to mark out Chelsea managers under the cosh. The Italian had been emotionless as Eden Hazard belted his team level eight minutes from time and, perhaps more significantly, just as motionless as Watford ran riot in what time remained. A third chaotic defeat in four games has reinforced the sense this campaign is veering away from the champions.
They were poor throughout here but, having gleaned improbable parity, would still find time to wilt. Daryl Janmaat’s wonderful exchange with Roberto Pereyra and smart finish across Thibaut Courtois would restore the lead Watford’s dominance merited, and there was still time for the game’s outstanding performer, Gerard Deulofeu, to roll in the hosts’ third. As perverse as it seems at a club still in the top four and involved in the Champions League and FA Cup, Conte is witnessing the unravelling of his team’s campaign.
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