From Bad To Ridiculous For Conte - Watford v Chelsea
Following today's clash between Watford and Chelsea, here are the instant reactions from both managers.
Watford hosted Chelsea at Vicarage Road for an 8pm kick off on Monday February 5, with the hosts taking a completely unexpected and largely comfortable victory on the day with Chelsea seemingly exploding in front of Antonio Conte's eyes.
Javi Gracia oversaw a four one victory on his home debut at Vicarage Road and a dreadful opening 30 minutes from the visitors was capped by Tiemoue Bakayoko's horror show seeing him earn more yellow cards than seemingly moments of controlling the ball.
A Troy Deeney penalty 12 minutes later, following Gerard Deulofeu going down easily under a challenge from Thibaut Courtois, set events in motion and after waiting 82 minutes to register two efforts on target, Eden Hazard looked to have saved his side.
To Watford's delight that wasn't the case.
Daryl Janmaat restored their advantage two minutes later. Deulofeu made it three one with two minutes remaining and no doubt Chelsea though six minutes of stoppage time was a lifeline. Again it wasn't as in the 91st minute Roberto Pereyra made it four one and the only thing most seem to agree on, is the fact that Conte is now the proverbial dead man walking.
Prior to the game he asked for a statement from the club backing him and nothing arrived ahead of kick off, but something might be being printed out during the journey back.
Why are Chelsea now at their worst after lifting the title?
Karnezis, Mariappa, Prodl, Holebas, Janmaat, Capoue, Doucoure, Zeegelaar, Deulofeu (Carrillo 89), Richarlison (Pereyra 65), Deeney (Gray 90+3).
Ndong, Lukebakio Ngandoli, Bachmann.
Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Zappacosta, Willian (Fabregas 34), Pedro (Giroud 64), E Hazard.
Caballero, Rudiger, Drinkwater, Palmieri dos Santos, Hudson-Odoi.
Speaking to the BBC's cameras a short time after match day referee Mike Dean blew the final whistle, Watford head coach Javi Gracia explained.
'It was an unforgettable night. A great victory and a great match. I am very proud of my players today. You always try to look for the victory and play well. Today we played a good match, pressed high. OK, the match changed after the sending off but I think we played very well. Chelsea are a very big club, a big team. Today they had more difficulty because of the sending off but there was in the second half moments when they played better. I only think to get the next three points. Tomorrow we start training again to be ready for the next match.'
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte in his comparative interview was obviously asked about his job.
'My position? It is the same. I stay here, try to work and put all myself in the work. The pressure? Which pressure? What is the pressure? I work - if this is enough it is, OK. Otherwise the club has to take another decision.'
He added about the game itself.
'I tried to warn everyone about the difficulty of our path in the league and Champions League. We performed very bad but maybe I made the mistakes with the starting XI today. My choice was very poor I think. It was very difficult to change something tonight.'