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‘If I score, that’s me retiring!’ – Watford keeper Foster denied stunning equaliser against Chelsea

The Hornets shot-stopper nearly stepped up in front of goal for his side in a narrow defeat to the Blues after some key saves kept it close

Ben Foster joked he would have retired had he scored and salvaged a dramatic point for Watford in their 2-1 Premier League loss to Chelsea.

The bottom-of-the-table Hornets remain winless after 11 games, with Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic scoring in either half for the Blues at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Gerard Deulofeu’s 80th-minute penalty had given Watford hope and they nearly claimed a share of the spoils in stoppage time when Foster came up for a free-kick and headed towards goal.

Yet Kepa Arrizabalaga turned the ball away in the game’s final act, leaving Foster rueful but full of admiration for his fellow shot-stopper.

“If I score at the end, that’s me retiring,” he told BBC Sport. “Fair play to Kepa – that was some save.”

Frank Lampard’s young side won a fifth successive league game to move up to third in the table, and their margin of victory would have been greater had Foster not made brilliant saves to deny Abraham, Mason Mount and Pulisic.

“They were a very good team,” Foster added on Sky Sports. “Fair play to them: they’re young, energetic.

“Our manager told us before the game that they are like kids in the playground. If they’re in the playground and the gates are open, then they will run free.

“You need to shut the fences, you need to shut the doors. I don’t think we did that at times today, which was a bit disappointing.”

The result leaves Watford last in the Premier League, five points adrift from safety with the club yet to win a league game this season. 

Chelsea meanwhile have risen to third and have now won their past five league games with Lampard particularly pleased with Mateo Kovacic’s performance on Saturday.

“Kovacic, his ability to play – him and Jorgi together – and then that ability to drive from midfield, that’s not the norm,” Lampard said post-match.

“As a midfield player it’s your worst nightmare having a player who can play and then drive by you out of nowhere. He was doing that today to great effect. Really pleased with him.” 

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