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Chelsea 4-3 Watford: Blues win first game since being crowned champions

Chelsea won their first game since being crowned Premier League champions with a thrilling 4-3 win over Watford.

John Terry returned to the starting line up as he edges closer to departing Stamford Bridge, and he opened the scoring with a close range strike. Watford equalised seconds later after a mistake from Terry, but the Blues entered half-time in the lead with Cesar Azpilicueta scoring.

Soon after the restart Michy Batshuayi – who scored Chelsea’s title winning goal against West Brom – netted a third for the hosts, but Daryl Janmaat and Stefano Okaka struck back to tie the game.

But a late strike from Cesc Fabregas secured Chelsea the win, and ensures they are still on course to win 30 games this season.

The hosts dominated the opening stages to celebratory chants from the stands. Doucoure did well to block a powerful Batshuayi effort, with Willian then curling a free-kick into Gomes’ hands.

On the 20-minute mark, Hazard won a corner after some fine work from Willian. From the resultant set piece, Terry marked his return to the starting line up by opening the scoring.

The corner was not dealt with by the Watford defence, and Terry reacted first to reach the ball and send a sliced finish in off the frame of the goal.

It seemed as if the script was being followed perfectly, but Capoue popped up with an equaliser just moments later to tie the game at 1-1 – and Terry was to blame.

His attempted headed clearance was disastrous, lacking the required distance to reach Begovic in goal. Capoue charged into the area and jumped highest to head the ball into the all-but empty net.

It was a goal out of nothing, but it did not change the momentum of the game.

Chelsea were still dominating, with Gomes first denying Hazard with a brave save at the Belgium forward’s feet, before he then struck a low strike just wide off the near post.

Kenedy saw a near post attempt pushed wide, and the Blues again retook the lead from the resultant corner.

This time the ball was cleared to the edge of the area, and Azpilicueta was there to take a single touch and thunder a wonderful low attempt into the corner of Gomes’ goal.

There was another rare chance for the visitors, with Capoue heading over from close range, but moments later Kenedy broke down the left flank and saw a curling attempt fly wide.

Less than five minutes after the restart, the Blues had put breathing space between them and Watford.

A deflected Kenedy shot was controlled wonderfully by Ake, who had just Gomes to beat, but he unselfishly played the ball across the face of goal for Batshuayi to tap home and make it 3-1.

But again Watford struck back within seconds.

Janmaat latched onto a loose ball in the inside left position and dribbled his way into the area in a style Lionel Messi would have been proud of. One final turn past Ake opened the goal up for the Netherlands defender, and he curled a fine strike past Begovic.

Further chances from Batshuayi and Azpilicueta were wasted – Gomes saving well from the latter – and the Hornets found themselves back on level terms with 15 minutes remaining.

Okaka was brought on to replace Niang, and he beat three Chelsea defenders to Cleverley’s neat cross and powered the ball low into the back of the net.

Amrabat and Behrami smashed long-range shots wide as the Hornets pressed for a fourth goal, but the Blues also had chances – Gomes pushing a Fabregas free-kick over and Terry heading wide.

Fabregas was again denied by Gomes, but with two minutes left the Spain midfielder finally beat Watford’s keeper, planting the ball into the far corner from the edge of the area.

Prodl was dismissed for Watford in injury time, and there just wasn’t enough time for the Hornets to find another equaliser, as Chelsea crowned their title success with a home victory.

Source: Talksport