Chelsea mark title celebrations with a John Terry goal and a thrilling 4-3 win over Watford

Chelsea mark title celebrations with a John Terry goal and a thrilling 4-3 win over Watford
Photo Credit To @ChelseaFC

Terry got in on the act with what might well turn out to be his last goal in a Chelsea shirt as the Champions trumped Watford in a seven goal thriller.

Chelsea refused to falter despite successfully wrapping up their title bid last week, overcoming a remarkable fightback from Watford on Monday night to post a late winner through Fabregas, and now setting their sights on a record 30th league win on Sunday.

The Blues fielded a drastically changed side, with captain John Terry making his first league start since September. Conte made eight other changes to the side that clinched the title on Friday against West Brom. And it showed, as the hosts failed to get a grip on a feisty Watford side. John Terry’s performance quite epitomized the helter-skelter nature of the game. The 36-year old scored Chelsea’s first with a close-range finish, but then he was primarily responsible for Watford’s equaliser not a couple of minutes later when his poor clearance inadvertently fed Capoue.

Fortunately for Terry and Conte, Chelsea’s attack made up for their defence on the night with Willian in fine form. Azpilicueta took back the lead for the hosts before halftime. And Batshuayi doubled it soon after the restart. But Watford, far from done, bounced back through an excellent solo effort from Janmaat. And when substitute Okaka’s low finish equalized the score in the 75th, it looked like Mazzarri’s side had earned a deserved draw after having picked at Conte’s makeshift side all game.

But it was a Chelsea substitute who decided the encounter. Fabregas came on late to strike with a precise shot from the edge of the box to sink Watford. Watford’s disbelief turned to ill-thought aggression as the match winded down. Prodl was shown red for a couple of poor challenges, and the visitors appeared to be arguing among themselves as well as the officials in their frustration. But Chelsea were determined not to spoil the celebrations on the night.

Celebrations colour the night in an end-to-end game with an almost testimonial feel to it

In the end it turned out to be a near-perfect homecoming for the newly crowned champions. An entertaining game, if not one firmly in their control. A first goal in almost one-and-a-half years for their departing captain and club legend. And a thrilling late finish capped by some raucous celebration carried over from the weekend. Conte will no doubt have one eye on the FA Cup Final next week, as could be seen from his selections against Watford. But the Italian should be content that a side composed mostly of second-string players managed to grind out a result. The likes of Ake, Chalobah and Kenedy will likely play a greater role next season.

For John Terry though, this was possibly one of his last couple of appearances for a club he’s served for over 18 years – 13 as captain. And while he may be expected to be outshone by younger, quicker opponents, he had his moments. He managed a goal, making it 17 consecutive seasons in which he’s scored for the club. And he was commanding as ever at the back in spite of the score, and in defusing the situation late on when tempers ran high. It speaks to his credit that Chelsea still haven’t managed to zero in on an effective replacement for Terry.

”I think it was a funny game.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte could well have been disappointed with the way his side conceded against Watford. But Fabregas’ winner and the celebratory mood at the Bridge wouldn’t allow the Italian to dwell much on their performance.

“I think it was a funny game. At this stage of the season I like to see these type of games, when you’ve won the league and you can allow this situation.

“I must be pleased because I made the decision to change a lot of players and give the opportunity to our young players to start this game. It was an important game because it’s the first game we are champions.

“We conceded three but we scored four and we created many chances to improve the final result. I had a good answer, we won our 29th game in the league which is a great achievement. We have the possibility to win 30 games and we have to try to reach this target. It’s important for me and the players.”

On the departing captain John Terry and his upcoming final home game on Sunday:

“First of all I’m looking forward to seeing him lift the trophy and all the players want to see this, he deserves that. John took this decision to play regularly, play every game, and for this reason he preferred to leave Chelsea.

“For us it’s a big loss. John has helped me a lot on and off the pitch. He always sent the right message to the other players in every moment of the season.

“John wants to continue to play and I wish him and his family the best. Chelsea will always be his home. John is a great man and a great legend for Chelsea.”


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