Watford 0-0 Chelsea: Heurelho Gomes on fine form to earn draw
By Gerard Brand at Vicarage Road
Last Updated: 04/02/16 7:00am
Several fine stops from Heurelho Gomes earned Watford a 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the Premier League at Vicarage Road.
Odion Ighalo had the best chance for the hosts, miscuing a close-range header in the first half, while former Tottenham goalkeeper Gomes was at his best to keep out Diego Costa's late header, Chelsea's clearest opening.
The result means Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions, their best run since the 2014/15 season, while Watford move up to ninth, four points ahead of the Blues.
John Terry, who announced on Sunday he would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, was named as captain at the heart of the Blues defence for the 11th straight game, while Watford's new signing Mario Suarez started on the bench for the hosts.
The first chance of the game fell to Watford after an even opening as Jose Holebas' cross from the left found its way onto the head of Ighalo six yards out, but the striker failed to make proper contact after rising too early.
Moments later, Etienne Capoue stung the hands of Thibaut Courtois from 15 yards after Jose Manuel Jurado had dodged two Chelsea men on the edge of the area to feed him.
Costa and Juan Carlos Paredes both went into the book just before the break after a clash in front of the Hornets bench.
The Chelsea striker reacted to Paredes' initial challenge but the pair were quickly separated as manager Quique Sanchez Flores and Ighalo played peacemakers.
After the interval, Holebas hit the side-netting from the left angle after a fine one-two with Capoue, moments after Troy Deeney had driven the ball a couple of yards wide of Courtois' post.
Chelsea then came close to breaking the deadlock through Oscar, but the Brazilian's poke from close range after Costa had centred from the byline ran just wide of the left-hand post.
Oscar then forced Gomes into a good save with 20 minutes remaining after his long-range effort, before Gomes was at his best again to palm away Branislav Ivanovic's drive from inside the area after Eden Hazard's cut back.
And man of the match Gomes, keeping his 10th clean sheet of the season, produced a fantastic stop with three minutes remaining, diving to his right to keep out Costa's header.
Watford: Gomes (9); Paredes (6), Prodl (6), Cathcart (6), Holebas (7); Behrami (6), Watson (6), Capoue (6); Jurado (7); Deeney (6), Ighalo (7).
Subs: Suarez (6), Guedioura, Abdi (6) Nyom (6)
Chelsea: Courtois (6); Ivanovic (6), Zouma (6), Terry (6), Azpilicueta (6); Mikel (6), Matic (5); Willian (6), Fabregas (7), Oscar (7); Diego Costa (5).
Subs: Hazard (7).
Man of the match: Heurelho Gomes