Ten-man Chelsea suffered a second consecutive humiliating defeat on Monday, going down 4-1 at Watford in the English premier league.
Goals from Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra in the final six minutes handed Watford a welcome first win in six games to move the Hornets six points clear of the relegation zone.
Chelsea, beaten 3-0 at home by Bournemouth on their last outing, had already been reduced to 10 men by Tiemoue Bakayoko’s first-half red card before Troy Deeney’s penalty put Watford in front just before the break.
Eden Hazard’s brilliant strike eight minutes from time briefly handed the visitors hope, but they remain fourth, just a point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, with Conte’s chances of remaining in charge for the rest of the season under the spotlight.
Coach Antonio Conte insisted ahead of the match he intended to see out his contract to 2019 despite a series of complaints this season over his lack of influence over the club’s recruitment strategy.
The Italian once again named a side without a recognised striker with new signing Olivier Giroud only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench in the absence of Alvaro Morata due to a back injury.
A makeshift front three of Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez and Willian struggled to get involved as Watford dominated on new boss Javi Gracia’s home bow.
Abdoulaye Doucoure dragged a shot wide when well-placed from the edge of the area before on-loan Barcelona winger Deulofeu came close to marking his home debut in style when he smashed into the side-netting.
The chances kept coming for Watford as captain Deeney then fluffed his lines when found completely unmarked at the back post from a corner.
Having been let off by Watford’s wayward finishing, Chelsea weren’t handed such a reprieve from referee Mike Dean as Bakayoko’s miserable first season in England continued.