Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:40 am
Chelsea FC celebrated their English Premier League title triumph with a hard-earned 4-3 victory over Watford on Monday at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte and his players were able to take the acclaim on a lap of honour after the final whistle in an ill-tempered but thrilling encounter.
But they were made to work for the win by a fired-up and physical Watford.
John Terry, who will leave at the end of the season after more than two decades at the club, set the ball rolling with an unusual event.
He celebrated his first league start since September by scoring Chelsea’s 100th goal in all competitions this term after 22 minutes.
Terry then gifted Watford’s Etienne Capoue an instant equaliser with a poor header.
Cesar Azpilicueta then saved him the blushes when he restored Chelsea’s lead with a crisp finish before half-time.
The contest appeared to be over when Michy Batshuayi, whose goal at West Brom on Friday kept the title in the bag, added a third just after the break.
Watford, however, showed commendable fight after this, as Daryl Janmaat’s fine solo effort put the visitors within reach.
Substitute Stefano Okaka, who was given his Italy debut by Chelsea boss Conte when he was in charge of the national side, took advantage of defensive uncertainty to equalise.
Chelsea, as so often this season, found a way to win as substitute Cesc Fabregas struck from the edge of the area with three minutes left.
Watford’s misery was then compounded when Sebastian Prodl was sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time.(NAN