Chelsea cruise back into top-four after goals from Giroud, Willian and Barkley secure win against Watford

Matt Debono

Chelsea bounced back at the first attempt to beat Watford to restore their place in the top-four in the Premier League after beating the Hornets 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. 

Olivier Giroud and Willian's penalty gave the Blues a first-half lead in west London and that was enough as Chelsea made their way back into the Champions League spots.

Ross Barkley added a third in second-half stoppage time to seal the victory for the hosts.  


Frank Lampard made four changes from their loss against West Ham in midweek as Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud came into the starting XI. 


As expected it was a dominant display from the Blues as they controlled the ball from the off and Olivier Giroud rewarded Lampard's faith in him to restore him to the starting XI as he netted the opener in the 28th minute.

Mount picked the ball up from just inside the visitors half and he zipped a ball into the feet of Ross Barkley who fed the Frenchman in. He angled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to net his fourth goal in his last seven starts for the club. 

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Chelsea were under pressure to claim a win after they dropped outside the top-four prior to kick-off but they doubled their advantage from the penalty spot two minutes for the break to give Lampard's side some breathing space. 

Christian Pulisic, who has been Chelsea's brightest player since the restart, continued his fine form and drew a foul from Étienne Capoue to earn a penalty. Willian had no issues and sent Ben Foster the wrong way to make it 2-0 to the hosts. 

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Pulisic almost had a goal himself inside the first two minutes of the second-half but his effort from the edge of the box sailed well over the bar. 

Willian had a well hit effort from the left-hand side saved by Foster, before denying Kurt Zouma from the resultant corner. 

Watford had their first shot on target in the 74th minute as Masina tried his luck from distance but Kepa Arrizabalaga easily saved. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham were all given minutes in the last quarter of an hour by Frank Lampard as the Blues cruised to victory. 

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Chelsea were handed a scare by N'Golo Kante as the Frenchman was replaced by Billy Gilmour after feeling a problem with his hamstring. 

Arrizabalaga ensured the scores stayed at 2-0 with ten minutes to play as Lampard's side were calved open after Nathaniel Chalobah played in Danny Welbeck. But Kepa got down low to deny the forward. 

Pulisic thought he should have been awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after he was sandwiched by two Watford players, but after a check from VAR, it was deemed not a foul. 

Ross Barkley added a third in stoppage time, firing into the roof of the net to confirm the three points to the Blues as they confirmed their place back in the top-four.


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