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Andy Barwell reports
"Chelsea showed how much they miss the drive of Dennis Wise"
 real 28k

Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli
"Hats off to Watford - they were really up for it"
 real 28k

Saturday, 26 February, 2000, 18:25 GMT
Harley heads Chelsea home

Marcel Desailly put Chelsea ahead in the second minute

Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Chelsea took the points against struggling Watford at Stamford Bridge, thanks to Jon Harley's first goal for the Blues.

The young defender, who won his first England under-21 cap against Argentina on Tuesday, sank the Hornets in the 65th minute, despite a brave fightback from the visitors.

Marcel Desailly had opened the scoring with a header in only the second minute, but Allan Smart equalised before the break for Graham Taylor's team.

harley John Harley provided the winner for the Blues
Desailly's early goal seemed to galvanise Watford, with Smart and Mark Williams both hitting the post early on.

Gianluca Vialli's team seemed to have weathered the retaliatory storm, but the gutsy visitors eventually found a way through, six minutes before half-time.

Williams was shoved forward to meet a long free-kick out of defence and Heidar Helguson latched onto his towering header with a superb volley.

The Icelander did brilliantly to turn his shot on target and it surprised De Goey.

The Dutchman, sprawling to his left, could only parry the ball to the feet of Smart and the Scot gleefully tapped home his second of the season - both against Chelsea.

Kennedy then unleashed a thunderbolt from 30 yards which was inches too high and Chelsea looking momentarily rattled.

Watford were still fighting after the break, refusing to let their hosts settle into a rhythm and bombarding De Goey's goal with a barrage of corners, free-kicks and crosses.

It was a counter-attack, engineered by Didier Deschamps, which gave Chelsea the luxury of a second goal they barely deserved.

The Frenchman sent Petrescu scampering down the right with a first-time pass.

Petrescu lifted a deep cross into the area where Harley arrived in the nick of time to head the first goal of his short but impressive career.

Robert Page denied Poyet with a defensive header and Tore Andre Flo rifled over on the turn.

Fine skill from Smart eked out another sight of goal for the Watford scroer but he dragged his shot into the side-netting.


Chelsea: De Goey, Lambourde, Desailly, Thome, Harley, Petrescu, Deschamps, Morris, Poyet, Zola, Flo.
Subs: Ferrer, Ambrosetti, Cudicini, Della Bona, Wolleaston.

Watford: Chamberlain, Palmer, Page, Williams, Gibbs, Hyde, Bonnot, Kennedy, Wooter, Smart, Helguson.
Subs: Day, Robinson, Ngonge, Smith, Miller.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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