May 15, 2017 at 8pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 41,473
Terry (22'), Azpilicueta (36'), Batshuayi (49'), Fabregas (88')
Ake (30'), Chalobah (58')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Capoue (24'), Janmaat (51'), Okaka (74')
Holebas (4'), Amrabat (11'), Prodl (83'), Deeney (94'), Okaka (94')
Prodl (92')

Live Commentary: Chelsea 4-3 Watford - as it happened

Live Commentary: Chelsea 4-3 Watford - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of Chelsea's 4-3 win over Watford, as the Blues earned their 29th league victory of the season in a thrilling manner.

Chelsea earned a record-equalling 29th Premier League win of the season by overcoming Watford 4-3 at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta were the unlikely scorers to give the Blues a half-time lead, netting either side of an Etienne Capoue header.

A tap-in from Michy Batshuayi gave the hosts what appeared to be an unassailable lead early in the second half, but Daryl Janmaat and Stefano Okaka hit back to leave Chelsea requiring a late strike from Cesc Fabregas to earn the points.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

7.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge. A party atmosphere is expected in West London this evening as the Blues celebrate winning their sixth top-flight crown, secured thanks to a narrow 1-0 win away at West Bromwich Albion in their last outing three days ago.

7.02pmThe pressure now off, Blues fans can really enjoy themselves this evening in a match that form over the past few months suggests will only go one way. While Chelsea have got themselves over the title-winning line with time to spare, Watford have been sliding down the table and now find themselves sitting in 16th place, failing to pick up a point in any of their last four matches.

7.04pmTEAM NEWS!

CHELSEA XI: Begovic; Zouma, Terry, Ake; Azpilicueta, Kante, Chalobah, Kenedy; Willian, Batshuayi, Hazard

WATFORD XI: Gomes; Mariappa, Prodl, Holebas; Amrabat, Cleverley, Behrami, Doucoure, Janmaat; Capoue; Niang

7.06pmStarting with a look at the home side, manager Antonio Conte has made a whopping nine changes to the side that saw off West Brom a few days back. The Italian has made fewer alterations than any other top-flight boss over the course of the season so far, but that stat is about to be skewed somewhat because only Eden Hazard and Cesar Azpilicueta retain their places in the XI for this one.

7.08pmOf those to start, the big news is that captain John Terry comes in for what could well be his final appearance at Stamford Bridge. Still one more home game to come, of course, and it is hard to see Conte leaving the experienced defender out for the visit of Sunderland, but all eyes will certainly be on him tonight. There is also a place in attack for Michy Batshuayi, who will go down in club folklore following his goal against Albion.

7.10pmThere is also a rare start for Kenedy, who spent time on loan at Watford earlier in the campaign, while Nathaniel Chalobah is another who will be given a chance to impress from the off. The hosts may be weakened this evening, but there is still a spot in the engine room for defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante, back after sitting out the last two matches. Willian is another of the more experienced heads, meanwhile, joining Hazard and Batshuayi in attack.

7.12pmIn terms of the visitors, under-fire boss Mazzarri has made a few changes of his own following the recent dreadful run of form. Nordin Amrabat, M'Baye Niang and Tom Cleverley all come back into the fold, the latter of whom was ineligible to feature against parent club Everton last time out. Christian Kabasele picked up a thigh injury in that match at Goodison Park and is therefore left out tonight.

7.14pmStefano Okaka and skipper Troy Deeney are the other two players to make way, leaving Niang up top on his own. Always a little surprising to see Deeney overlooked for inclusion, but he has failed to net in any of his last six outings - leaving him on 10 for the season; three fewer than last time around - and there is no denying that Mazzarri had to freshen things up slightly.


CHELSEA SUBS: Eduardo, Aina, Alonso, Cahill, Fabregas, Pedro, Costa

WATFORD SUBS: Pantilimon, Mason, Eleftheriou, Zuniga, Pereira, Okaka, Deeney

7.18pmA few of those Chelsea subs may well be nursing hangovers still, with the title party no doubt stretching across most of the weekend. Diego Costa is fourth in the scoring charts and in need of four goals to overtake Romelu Lukaku, the man widely considered to be his direct replacement in the summer, but he will have to do it the hard way from the bench. The visitors have Deeney and Okaka among their back-ups, meanwhile, but Kabasele misses out with that thigh problem.

7.20pmMichy Batshuayi will forever be remembered around these parts as the player who scored the title-clinching goal for Chelsea but, incredibly enough, he earns his first league start for the club this evening. The big Belgian is one of nine players to come into a heavily-rotated Blues side, including starts for outgoing skipper John Terry and Brazilian starlet Kenedy.

Michy Batshuayi in action for Chelsea on August 20, 2016© SilverHub

7.22pmVery little to play for on the surface of things for both sides this evening, with Chelsea achieving their target of winning a second title in three years and Watford safe from the drop. Tonight is very much about the Blues bringing the title home in front of their own supporters, looking to extend the party by another week or so heading into their final game of the term here against Sunderland.

7.24pmIt is fair to say that Conte's men picked up their sixth top-flight crown in convincing fashion, even if they did see their 14-point lead reduced to just four at one point. That was largely down to the impressive pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur, who deserve great credit for even managing to keep the race alive for this long. That they fell short is not down to being poor, but more so Chelsea just simply being too good - one of the all-time great Prem sides, in fact.

7.26pmOnly Manchester United have won more Premier League titles than Chelsea, but the challenge now - as Arsene Wenger was quick to warn the Blues - is to balance domestic and European duties next season. Far from being bitter, the Frenchman did have a point with those comments he made this week, with the West London outfit joining Leicester City in cantering to the title without having Champions League football to contend with.

7.28pmThe most impressive aspect of Chelsea's title success has been the manner in which Conte has got each and every player on his side, even if he has largely stuck with the same core. Cesc Fabregas and John Terry have praised the Italian highly, for example, despite both - particularly the latter - seeing their playing time limited this season. Keeping a large group of players happy is never easy, yet Conte has seemingly done that with ease in his first campaign on these shores.

7.30pmIt is not difficult to pinpoint when the title was won, either - the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal back in September. It was a tough period for the Italian, having also dropped points away to Swansea City and lost at home to Liverpool, yet it proved to be the ultimate blessing in disguise as the switch to a 3-4-3 formation has worked wonders. A 13-match winning run followed - a joint-Premier League record - and from that point on the other teams have watched on.

7.32pmThe Blues boast the best attack in the division, scoring 76 times in all. That leaves them behind only the Chelsea side of 2009-10 in that regard - so much for being a defence-minded side, in the words of former boss Jose Mourinho. Like all past champions, Chelsea are great at both ends of the pitch, sitting second only to Tottenham Hotspur in terms of goals conceded. Two more wins, in fact, and they will become the first English top-flight team to win 30 matches in a 38-game season.

7.34pmDID YOU KNOW? A telling stat is that Chelsea have scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches than any other side, with 11 in all. The Blues became masters of grinding out narrow victories at one point, during that 13-match winning run, simply finding the net early on and then successfully seeing things through. In fact, they have dropped just nine points from leading positions all term.

7.36pmConte is the fourth manager to win the Premier League title in his first campaign, joining Carlo Ancelotti, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho in doing so. The Italian will now be aiming to join compatriot Ancelotti in making that a double, at the same time becoming one of a very few select breed to have done so. With Arsenal to come in the FA Cup final a couple of weeks from now, focus can start shifting towards Wembley.

7.38pmChelsea got over the title-winning line with two games to spare thanks to their victory over West Bromwich Albion on Friday night. Antonio Conte becomes the fourth manager to win the Premier League trophy at the first attempt, and he still remains on course to become one of the rare bosses in English football to win a league and FA Cup double. It has, quite simply, been an extraordinary season for him.

Nemanja Matic celebrates scoring with Eden Hazard during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on May 8, 2017© SilverHub

7.40pmIt has not been quite as impressive a season for Watford, it is fair to say, as they sit 16th in the table and only six points above the relegation zone. The bottom three spots have already been sorted, of course, so there is no risk of relegation for the Hornets, but it is difficult to see Mazzarri staying in the job as things stand. A win tonight would certainly help his cause, lifting his men level on points with Leicester City in 11th.

7.42pmThe pressure has really started to grow on the Italian, who remains adamant that he will still be in charge at Vicarage Road next season. Mazzarri, who still has two years to run on the deal signed last summer, is undergoing intensive English courses and is arranging the club's pre-season training camp, but Hornets chiefs have a history for discarding managers at the end of a season.

7.44pmMazzarri comes up against his old adversary in Conte tonight, having had run-ins with his compatriot in the past. Conte supposedly 'nicked' his opposite number's preferred 3-4-3 formation while at Juventus in 2011, leading the Turin club to the title and doing likewise for three-successive years. Mazzarri insists that all that is now in the past, however, and he congratulated Conte on winning his first title outside of Italy.

7.46pmWatford could equal a club top-flight record run of five defeats on the spin this evening, while also going an unprecedented five matches without finding the net. They have lost six games in a row away from home without scoring - their worst such run since 1952 - most recently going down 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park on Friday. Mazzarri knows that something has to change, not helped by a string of injury problems.

7.48pmThe Hornets' only respite was the 1-0 win over Swansea City on April 15 - their only points in six matches since the start of April. That game saw Etienne Capoue find the net 42 minutes in, proving to be the last goal Watford would score in nine hours and 56 minutes of football - and counting! Mazzarri has opted to leave out Deeney tonight following his six-match run without netting, instead putting Niang up top in what is best described as a 3-5-1-1 formation.

7.50pmTellingly, Watford have not recovered from a goal down at half time to win a match in their entire Premier League history, drawing seven and losing 48 of those previous games. Couple that with Chelsea's impressive record of scoring early on and shutting up shop, and you get the impression that the Hornets' only hope of leaving here with any sort of positive result - even against a weakened opposition XI - is to keep things tight for as long as possible.

7.52pmMazzarri's men require five points from games against Chelsea and Manchester City over the next six days to match last season's tally of 48. That is looking highly unlikely at the moment, with that four-match winning run possibly stretching to a sixth as they come up against two of the division's better sides. As mentioned a little earlier, though, victory for Watford tonight and all of a sudden they are level with Leicester City in 11th place - hardly disastrous.

7.54pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Chelsea are unbeaten in six Premier League meetings with Watford since losing the first encounter in the competition in September 1999, winning four and drawing two since then. That 1-0 triumph at Vicarage Road was the Hornets' only success in their past 16 encounters with the Blues in all competitions. Furthermore, they are also winless in six league visits to Stamford Bridge since May 1986.

7.56pmWith kickoff at Stamford Bridge now less than five minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Antonio Conte: "They know we have to work during the training session to prepare in the right way these two games against Watford and then Sunderland. When you work hard it's important to celebrate and then to prepare in the right way the final of the FA Cup, because we have the opportunity to fight to win the double and we must be ready to do this."

Walter Mazzarri: "We have to play as we did [against Everton] at Chelsea. Of course, these players are giving me a lot of satisfaction - they are giving everything and trying their best. Everton had reached their objective, and look how they played; the nice thing in England is teams never give up until it is finished."

7.58pmConte targeting the double as we approach the final weeks of the season, with just two more league matches to come before the huge FA Cup final showdown against Arsenal at Wembley. Very little pressure on the Blues between now and then, as they have the title wrapped up with time to spare and can now enjoy themselves in these remaining home meetings with Watford and Sunderland.

John Terry comes on during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on May 8, 2017© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! We are up and running at Stamford Bridge, following a guard of honour from the Watford players to greet John Terry and his Chelsea teammates out on to the pitch. A much-changed Blues side this evening, but can the visitors make it count?

3 minThe home side seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages, with Hazard dropping so deep that he was in possession on the edge of his own area. Willian got in behind but his pull-back to Batshuayi was blocked, as was the follow-up from Hazard.

5 minYELLOW CARD! Jose Holebas shown a yellow card for attempting to haul down Willian in that previous attack, seeing him join the Premier League record books with his 14th caution of the season. Tightrope, etc, etc.

7 minIt is Watford's turn to see a fair bit of the ball now, patiently looking to move it forward towards Niang up top. Chelsea win the ball back and Hazard is clattered by Behrami, halting the Belgian's plans to start a counter.

9 minYELLOW CARD! Kenedy, on his first league start in 13 months, is barged off the ball by Amrabat. The Morocco international did get some of the ball but he got far more of the man, rightly earning himself a yellow card.

11 minNot a great deal between the two sides so far, in truth, but it is the hosts who look the slightly more dangerous. Just the one half-chance so far, with Hazard's shot inside the box being blocked before it could reach the goal.

13 minThe Hornets certainly seeing more of the ball than they would had this been a must-win match for their opponents. Chelsea under no pressure to get the result, meaning that the intensity is - understandably - lacking so far.

15 minEden Hazard again drops very deep and looks to roll the ball into the path of Michy Batshuayi, who went to ground under a challenge from Prodl. Not enough contact, though, with referee Lee Mason waving play on.

17 minWatford not really allowing their opponents to build any sort of attacks so far, putting in a number of fouls across the pitch. A rather flat atmosphere at the moment, not helped by the lack of intensity out on the field of play.

19 minThe Hornets not under too much danger at the back, but nor are they able to trouble their opponents. They have seen their fair share of the ball in the opening 19 minutes, without getting into the final third of the pitch.

21 minNearly a quarter of the match played and we are awaiting for the first chance. It almost arrived through Hazard, as he peeled off down the left but saw his attempted cross cut out by Mariappa near the front post.


24 minJohn Terry, on his fifth start of the season, opens the scoring for Chelsea. Shocking defending from the hosts, as Terry was allowed to get on the end of a loose ball from an uncleared corner and stab homr what will likely be his 67th and final goal for the club.


26 minHow about that for a response! Just a minute or so after falling behind to a Terry goal, the Chelsea captain gifts Watford with a leveller. Terry and Ake rather got in each other's way when jumping for a simple header, helping it into the path of Capoue who made no mistake in nodding past Begovic.

28 minA very quiet opening quarter to the match, in which neither keeper was tested, has all of a sudden made way for an exciting match. Terry involved at both ends, prodding home for the opener and then gifting Capoue a leveller a minute later.

30 minI mentioned that Terry now has 67 goals for Chelsea, 41 of which have come in the Premier League, but that was his first top-flight goal since January 2016. The Chelsea skipper has certainly been involved on what is just a fourth start of the term.

32 minYELLOW CARD! A superb ball over the top from Kante is latched on to by Hazard, but Gomes did well to get to it before the Belgian could get a shot away. A few shouts for a penalty from the home fans, but Hazard was quickly up on his feet. Ake booked for a foul on Behrami.

34 minCHANCE! Hazard starting to get far more involved in the game now, bringing down the ball and cutting inside from the left but dragging his shot wide. He wanted a corner and replays show that it did take a deflection.


37 minAzpilicueta puts Chelsea back ahead, picking out the bottom corner with his strike from 15 yards out. Like the first goal, it came from a corner that was not dealt with by the visitors - another unlikely scorer, too!

39 minThat was Azpilicueta's first goal of the season, incidentally, but the way he took it makes you wonder how he has not scored more! Niang takes a blow to the face, leaving him in need of some treatment to stem the bleeding.

41 minIt has been an entertaining first half on the whole, which looked far from being the case on the basis of the opening quarter. Three goals since, then, however, with Chelsea retaining their lead through Azpilicueta a few moments ago.

43 minNot seen a great deal of Kenedy in this first half, but he just had half a chance to add to the scoring. Hazard charged forward but pulled the ball back behind his teammate, who recovered to get on the end of it and sent a deflected shot wide.

45 minWe are into the first of three added-on minutes at the end of the first half. Watford the side in possession at the moment, but other than their goal they have yet to create much of anything, with Cleverley sending in a poor corner that is hooked clear.

45+2 minHazard has threatened to turn on the style a few times in this first half, but his latest run comes to a halt around 25 yards from goal. Just 60 seconds left to play at the end of the opening 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge.


8.50pmReferee Lee Mason brings the opening 45 minutes to a close, with Chelsea sitting on a 2-1 lead at the break. John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta on the scoresheet for the home side, either side of an Etienne Capoue header to temporarily level things up in West London.

8.53pmAntonio Conte used Chelsea's homecoming as a chance to make mass changes to his starting lineup, making nine changes in all from the title-clinching win over West Bromwich Albion a few days ago. Among those to come in for just a fourth league start of the season was skipper John Terry, who marked what will likely be his penultimate appearance at Stamford Bridge with his 67th goal for the club. After an uneventful opening quarter to the match, Terry prodded home from an uncleared corner to finally spark the game into life.

8.56pmWatford, previously without a goal in any of their last five away outings, responded almost immediately through Etienne Capoue, who capitalised on a poor defensive header from Terry to nod past stand-in keeper Asmir Begovic. A relatively quiet Eden Hazard had a chance to edge his side back ahead 34 minutes in, cutting inside into a good position but seeing his shot take a touch on its way wide of the target.

8.59pmIt did not take Chelsea too much longer to regain their advantage, however, as another unlikely scorer in Cesar Azpilicueta found a way through, picking out the bottom corner with a half-volley inside the box to open his account for the season. The scoreline remained that way at the break - bad news for the visitors, as they have failed to recover from a losing position at the midway point to win a match in 55 Premier League attempts.

9.02pmPlenty still left to play for in the second half, then, but will either manager turn to their bench? Options galore for Chelsea, who have Pedro, Costa and Fabregas among their back-ups, while Watford can call upon top-scoring skipper Deeney.

CHELSEA SUBS: Eduardo, Aina, Alonso, Cahill, Fabregas, Pedro, Costa

WATFORD SUBS: Pantilimon, Mason, Eleftheriou, Zuniga, Pereira, Okaka, Deeney

Diego Costa celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on May 8, 2017© SilverHub

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at Stamford Bridge, where neither manager has opted to make a change at the break. Chelsea within two wins of making it 30 for the season, remember - the most of an English side in a 38-game season.

48 minSAVE! Willian is played in behind and gets a shot away which was destined for the bottom corner, if not for a fingertip save from Gomes. The Blues look as though they want to wrap this one up sooner rather than later.


51 minChelsea within touching distance of a record-equalling 29th Premier League win of the season, as Batshuayi rolls the ball into the net to put his side two in front. Kenedy's deflected shot was latched on to by Kenedy, who unselfishly squared for his teammate to score his second goal in two games.


53 minA sense of déjà vu at Stamford Bridge as, much like in the first half, Watford level up moments after going behind. This was all about Janmaat, who jinked his way past two bodies and still had the composure to beat Begovic.

55 minWatford the side in the ascendancy now, winning a free kick in a promising position following a foul from Kante. Chelsea barely been given a chance to breath so far this evening, with the Hornets putting up a good fight.

57 minJust the third time this season that Chelsea have conceded more than once in a home league match, but unlike in the defeats against Palace and Liverpool they will not be all that concerned. Still more than 30 minutes for the Hornets to find another.

59 minYELLOW CARD! Chalobah is cautioned after lunging in on Behrami. Think the booking may have been awarded for his reaction to a free kick being given, rather than for the tackle itself. Two players on either side now in the ref's book.

61 minThe Hornets the side asking the questions, looking to get the ball into the box. At the moment, their best hope of scoring is to first concede a goal! Both managers may now be thinking about making a change or two.

63 minLess than third game left to play and it is still finely-poised. Again, there is no real pressure on Chelsea at the moment with the Chelsea wrapped up, but they will be keen to keep the feel-good factor alive for a while longer yet.

65 minIt has been a very strange game so far. The only real chances have ended with the ball in the back of the net. Gomes did make one terrific stop to deny Willian, but from the resulting corner the Blues found a way through.

67 minSAVE! Another good stop from Gomes, this time to deny Azpilicueta following some poor play from Holebas. At full stretch to keep out the well-hit drive, ensuring that we still have a finely-balanced game on our hands here.

69 minWATFORD SUB! The first change of the match sees Okaka brought on in place of Niang. Chelsea looking to add their fourth of the night, with Batshuayi being denied from range with a decent block that was desperately needed.

71 minPlenty of noise being made around Stamford Bridge now, with home fans urging their players on. Such a strange feel to this match, with neither team having much to play for, but that has given us an entertaining match.


74 minHow about that! Okaka, capped for Italy by Conte, nets an improbable leveller for the Hornets! Cleverley clipped the ball into a dangerous position and, after some slack defensive play, Okaka was there to blast home the game's sixth goal.

76 minCHELSEA SUB! Conte brings on Aina for Kenedy in the immediate aftermath of the Watford equaliser. Mazzarri must now be asking himself whether to stick or twist. As things stand, this will be a great point for the visitors.

78 minCHELSEA SUB! Fabregas is now on for Chalobah, with Watford the team in control at the moment. Three months without an away goal prior to tonight, remember - then three follow at once! What a game this has been.

80 minJanmaat not far wide at all after being picked out by Holebas. Conte well and truly turning to the cavalry now, with Pedro the latest to be stripped ready to come on. Just 10 minutes for the Spaniard to make an impression.

82 minYELLOW CARD! Sebastian Prodl is cautioned for a foul on Batshuayi - a real wild challenge. The travelling Watford fans now the ones making all the noise at Stamford Bridge, with around eight minutes remaining here.

84 minCHELSEA SUB! Batshuayi is the man to make way for Pedro, as Conte makes his final change. Fabregas, Pedro, Willian and Hazard all now on the field - can Watford hold off what will likely be a late onslaught?

86 minSHOT! Substitute Aina has a go at goal, only picking out the gloves of Gomes. There will likely be another chance in the closing stages here if the previous 86 minutes are anything to go by, but which way will it fall?


89 minThe seventh goal of this thrilling match goes the way of Chelsea - Fabregas the likely matchwinner with a smart finish into the bottom corner. Conte is rewarded for turning to the Spaniard, as he squeezed Willian's pass beyond Gomes from right on the edge of the box.

90+1 minWATFORD SUB! Pedro with a cheeky little lobbed attempt, which ends over the bar of Gomes. Hazard annoyed that he was not picked out, but you cannot really blame the Spaniard for taking it on. Deeney is now on for Capoue.

90+3 minRED CARD! A red card has now been dished out, just so we can say we have pretty much seen it all tonight! Sebastian Prodl has been great tonight, but he trips Pedro and is rightly shown a second yellow to leave the field a few minutes early.


10.00pmChelsea earn a record-equalling 29th Premier League win of the season, coming out on top 4-3 in what was a thrilling contest. John Terry's opener seems like a lifetime ago now, with the Blues squandering a two-goal lead in the second half but recovering to claim all three points late on through Cesc Fabregas.

10.02pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events at Stamford Bridge. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while reaction from West London will follow elsewhere on the site in the next hour or so. Thanks for joining!

John Terry comes on during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on May 8, 2017
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