Watford were ultimately left empty handed after a closely-fought midweek battle with Chelsea, as the European champions edged to a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road.
After starting the brighter of the two sides the Hornets went behind to Mason Mount’s 29th-minute strike, before Emmanuel Dennis smashed in his sixth goal of the season to make it level at half-time.
Joshua King and Tom Cleverley were among the biggest threats for the Golden Boys as they matched the Premier League leaders for large parts of the 90 minutes, but Hakim Ziyech’s goal in the 72nd minute proved decisive.
Having pushed one of the division’s strongest sides all the way, Claudio Ranieri’s Watford will quickly turn their attention to hosting reigning champions Manchester City back on home turf, in a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday.
The game started at a ferocious pace with the hosts enjoying the first real sight of goal in the third minute, Cleverley latching onto a quick throw on the right and feeding João Pedro, whose shot was blocked away from danger.