Chelsea 2-1 Watford: Barkley claims dramatic late win

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Chelsea finished their Premier League campaign with an unexpectedly dramatic 2-1 win over relegated Watford.

Already secure of third place having long since seen any chance of a title challenge fade, Chelsea had little to play for on the final day.

Kai Havertz, who on another day would have had a hat-trick, gave Chelsea the lead with his 11th-minute effort.

Dan Gosling's late header looked to have earned Watford an unlikely point, only for Ross Barkley to respond in kind in the 91st minute to secure the points.

Watford's defensive struggles have defined their dreadful campaign, and they were grateful to Daniel Bachmann for keeping them on level terms after Havertz was afforded far too much space to surge down the left channel.

But, as has so often been the case this season, Watford did not learn their lesson and Chelsea took a deserved lead as Kenedy's excellent low cross was turned home by Havertz from a point-blank range.

On the backfoot for most of the first half, Watford did force Edouard Mendy into action when the Chelsea goalkeeper denied Kiko Femenia at the near post, but they would have fallen further behind had Bachmann not again showcased his reflexes to thwart Mason Mount.

Havertz's personal battle with Bachmann continued as his volley got the better of the Watford goalkeeper but rattled the crossbar rather than finding the net.

Joao Pedro was almost rewarded for his neat one-two with Tom Cleverley shortly after the restart but again found Mendy in fine form.

Chelsea did take their foot off the gas in the second half, with Kenedy and the departing Antonio Rudiger afforded Stamford Bridge farewells when substituted.

And they paid the price for letting up when Adam Masina bent a superb cross to the far post where Gosling arrived to seemingly give Watford a share of the spoils, but Barkley denied them that as his own header proved too powerful for Bachmann.

What does it mean? Better days hopefully ahead for Blues

Chelsea's future remains somewhat in flux with a potential takeover by Todd Boehly's consortium dragging on, but should that deal go through, the Blues will hope they can be competing for honours like Manchester City and Liverpool, rather than needing a late goal to beat a relegated side in a meaningless game.

Havertz's home comforts

Havertz was unfortunate not to score a hat-trick, but he has still scored more goals in all competitions at Stamford Bridge this season than any other Chelsea player (eight). Seven of Havertz's 12 league goals have come against teams starting the day in the relegation zone.

Watford's woeful season

Defeat for Watford marked their 27th of the season; only once in their league history have they lost more, doing so in 1971-72 (28 in the second tier).

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