EPL

Chelsea 3-0 Watford: Willian strikes again as Blues return to fourth

By Sports Desk July 04, 2020

Willian was on target again as Chelsea beat struggling Watford 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to move back into fourth place in the Premier League. 

The Blues suffered a midweek defeat at West Ham and slipped out of the Champions League positions when Manchester United hammered Bournemouth on Saturday. 

Chelsea responded later in the day, Olivier Giroud marking his return to the starting line-up with the opener before Willian scored his sixth goal in his last seven games from the penalty spot late in the first half. 

Ross Barkley added a third in stoppage time as Frank Lampard's side moved two points clear of United, and just one behind third-place Leicester City, a year to the day since the former England international was appointed. 

Watford are just one point and a place above the relegation zone with five matches to play.

Willian fired straight at Ben Foster with Chelsea's first sight of goal and the Watford goalkeeper kept out a Giroud effort before the France striker opened the scoring after 28 minutes.  

The impressive Barkley was the architect, his clever reverse pass giving the former Arsenal frontman the chance to drill into the far corner with his left foot from 10 yards out.  

Chelsea looked increasingly dangerous and were two up just before the break, Willian sending Foster the wrong way after Etienne Capoue needlessly upended the lively Christian Pulisic. 

The busy Foster again denied Giroud after the break, while he also tipped a measured Willian shot around the post as Lampard's men remained on the front foot. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga produced an agile stop to prevent Danny Welbeck from halving the deficit as Watford showed more of a threat, but Barkley rifled home his first league since October 2018 after Pulisic had been denied a penalty as Chelsea cruised to victory. 


What does it mean? Chelsea back on track, Hornets remain in the mire 

After a setback at the London Stadium, Chelsea provided just the response Lampard would have been looking for. 

They had too much quality for a Watford team that were unable to contain the Blues, who caused the strugglers all sorts of problems as they fizzed the ball around on a slick surface with a swagger. 

Pulisic goes from strength to strength 

Pulisic was a constant menace to Nigel Pearson's side, drifting into pockets of space and gliding away from defenders with great skill and pace in another eye-catching performance. The big-money signing from Borussia Dortmund took time to settle in English football but he now looks very much at home. 

Outing to forget for Capoue  

Midfielder Capoue most definitely did not have the impact Pearson would have had in mind, going into the book before conceding the penalty and being hauled off early in the second half. 

What's next? 

Chelsea face a short trip to Selhurst Park for a London derby with Crystal Palace on Tuesday, while the Hornets host bottom side Norwich City on the same day. 

Related items

  • RB Leipzig 'in no way inferior' to Atletico Madrid - Kampl RB Leipzig 'in no way inferior' to Atletico Madrid - Kampl

    Atletico Madrid may be one of the best teams in Europe but RB Leipzig have the talent to match them in their Champions League quarter-final, according to Kevin Kampl.

    Having twice lost finals in the competition during Diego Simeone's reign, Atleti will hope to finally get their hands on the famous trophy as the knockout stages are completed in Portugal.

    The LaLiga club ended Liverpool's title defence in the previous round but must now get past a Leipzig side who also knocked out English opponents to reach the last eight, impressively putting out Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate.

    Leipzig midfielder Kampl knows Atleti will be tough to beat, considering their reputation for being strong defensively, but believes there is no real favourite ahead of Thursday's meeting.

    "Atletico Madrid have been one of the best teams in Europe for years. They have a lot of experience on the field and have already made it to the final in recent seasons," he told the media.

    "Even if they haven't won the title yet, we know that this team is of high quality. We also know that they defend very well and have an extremely good counter-attack and know how to use their phases of possession. Often a 1-0 win is enough for them.

    "We have a great squad and are in no way inferior to Atletico's quality. We are always dangerous for goals, no matter what formation we play with or who will be on the pitch.

    "In addition, we are all aware of this great opportunity that is presented to us here. Everyone will tear themselves apart to win and advance to the semi-finals. There is no real favourite on Thursday."

    Leipzig will need to find a way to beat Jan Oblak, a goalkeeper Kampl knows all about from their time playing together for Slovenia.

    The 29-year-old is full of praise for his compatriot, rating him "one of the best in the world" ahead of the clash to decide who will progress through to a semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain or Atalanta.

    "Of course, I know Jan from my time with the Slovenia national team. He is a really outstanding keeper and for me is one of the best in the world," Kampl said.

    "He has already achieved a lot in his career and he still has enormous potential. We actually have still been in contact now and then.

    "We exchanged a few messages before we arrived and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the pitch on Thursday."

  • Winks says consistency will hold key to Spurs revival Winks says consistency will hold key to Spurs revival

    Harry Winks wants Tottenham to shed the inconsistency that has left them casting an envious eye at Europe's elite.

    After four consecutive years of Champions League football, Spurs will drop into the Europa League next season, a blow to a club with grand ambitions.

    That is the consequence of finishing sixth in the Premier League, with Tottenham's modest total of 59 points their lowest since the 2008-09 campaign.

    It was small consolation that they finished above rivals Arsenal, but the Gunners' FA Cup final victory over Chelsea meant it was they who finished the season with north London bragging rights.

    Spurs and their head coach Jose Mourinho will expect to deliver more next season, and England international Winks says it will be important to start strongly.

    The objective will be another top-four finish to secure a place in the 2021-22 Champions League.

    "We need to have a better season, in our opinion, it's been a bit up and down, a bit inconsistent," Winks said on the club's official website.

    "We started to find a bit of rhythm in the last few weeks and started to get a good run of results, so let's hope we can take that into next season and get a bit of consistency, build up a bit of confidence and finish where we deserve to finish and where we believe we should be finishing, and that's in the top four."

  • Dybala thanks former boss Sarri following major changes at Juventus Dybala thanks former boss Sarri following major changes at Juventus

    Paulo Dybala tweeted out his appreciation for Maurizio Sarri the day after the Italian coach was sacked by Juventus.

    The Serie A champions decided to take swift action following Friday's Champions League exit to Lyon, announcing the end of Sarri's reign less than 24 hours after the second leg of the last-16 tie.

    Juve did not wait long to name his replacement either, giving the job to Andrea Pirlo just over a week after appointing the former Italy international as their new under-23 team coach.

    The internal promotion came as a surprise too, considering links to former Juve player and current Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Simone Inzaghi, who is in charge of domestic rivals Lazio.

    Reacting to the departure of Sarri, Dybala published a picture on Twitter of the pair together with the comment: "Thank you so much for everything Mister!"

    Argentina international Dybala enjoyed an excellent 2019-20 season under the former Napoli and Chelsea boss, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in the league as the Bianconeri finished top of the table for a ninth successive year.

    Dybala - who was linked with a move away from Turin last year, including to Manchester United - was named Serie A MVP for his performances in domestic games, including Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana games.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.