Chelsea 3-0 Watford: Olivier Giroud and Willian send Blues back into fourth

Malik Ouzia
·2-min read
PA
PA

Chelsea moved back into the Premier League top four as goals from Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and a Willian penalty earned a 3-0 win over Watford.

Manchester United’s thumping of Bournemouth earlier on Saturday had seen them leapfrog the Blues, but Frank Lampard’s side responded with a comfortable victory at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard made four changes to the side that lost at West Ham in midweek, with Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger among those dropped after their roles in the defeat, while Giroud returned to lead the line.

It was the Frenchman who had the game’s first real chance on 19 minutes, but his low shot was kept out by an excellent block from Ben Foster.

However, there was little the Hornets ‘keeper could do about his next effort ten minutes later as the forward steered cutely into the far corner to open the scoring, after incisive passes from Mason Mount and Ross Barkley.

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The visitors had given away several cheap free-kicks on the edge of their own box that Chelsea failed to punish, with Willian, Mount and Giroud all producing disappointing set-piece efforts.

But when Etienne Capoue went a step further, steaming in to make a rash challenge on Christian Pulisic inside the box, Willian gladly accepted the invitation to double the lead from twelve yards with another cool penalty.

The second half was a largely drab affair, Watford seemingly disheartened by gifting the Blues a second so close to the interval and the hosts happy enough to stroke the ball around.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Still, Foster had to be alert to push a Willian curler round the post while Craig Dawson attempted to prey on the home side’s much-discussed set-piece weakness at the other end, but headed over.

Barkley finally gave the scoreline the gloss in deserved in stoppage time with a powerful finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cut-back.