Chelsea celebrated their Premier League title triumph with a hard-earned victory over Watford in an ill-tempered but thrilling encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Manager Antonio Conte and his Chelsea players were able to take the acclaim on a lap of honour after the final whistle – but they were made to work for the win by a fired-up and physical Watford.
John Terry, who will leave at the end of the season after more than two decades at the club, celebrated his first league start since September by scoring Chelsea’s 100th goal in all competitions this term. It came after 22 minutes before he then gifted Watford’s Etienne Capoue an instant equaliser with a poor header.
Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea’s lead with a crisp finish before half-time and the contest looked over when Michy Batshuayi, who scored the title-winning goal at West Bromwich Albion on Friday, added a third just after the break.
Watford, however, showed commendable fight. Daryl Janmaat’s fine solo effort put the visitors within reach before substitute Stefano Okaka, who was given his Italy debut by Chelsea boss Conte, took advantage of defensive uncertainty to slam in an equaliser.
Chelsea, as so often this season, found a way to win as substitute Cesc Fabregas struck from the edge of the area with three minutes left – while Watford’s misery was compounded when Sebastian Prodl was sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time.