Watford manager Brendan Rodgers admitted was proud of his players for pushing Chelsea all the way before losing 3-1 in their FA Cup fifth round tie.
The Championship strugglers had led 1-0 courtesy of Tamas Priskin's second-half strike before the top-flight side found their stride and won the day with a Nicolas Anelka hat-trick in the final 20 minutes.
"We have given a world-class squad a fantastic game," claimed Rogers.
"We were excellent tonight. With 20 minutes to go we were 1-0 up and looking comfortable.
"I couldn't have asked for any more from my team. When we went 1-0 up I thought we looked reasonably confident.
"The boys have worked really hard and they were really disciplined today."