Chelsea signed off their Premier League season by sealing a 2-1 win with Watford at the death at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
It was almost the same old story as the Blues once again threw away a lead late against an opposition that scantly threatened, but a late header from Ross Barkley meant the hosts took all the spoils.
Kai Havertz prodded home a drilled cross from the lesser spotted Kenedy in the 11th minute to set the Pensioners on their way. The former Bayer Leverkusen star would go on to miss several chances before the half-time whistle brought a steady first period to a close.
After getting the early goal, it will have been a mystery to Thomas Tuchel as to how his men had not extended their advantage, even letting the visitors have a decent spell of their own in the first 45.
The second half sparked into life very late, with a Dan Gosling diving header almost snatching a point for Watford in the 86th minute before Ross Barkley responded with one of his own in stoppage time.
A late win was welcome as the fans paid their final farewell to Antonio Rüdiger and a number of other players likely to have had their curtain call as the sun set on the Roman Abramovich era. Here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the Blues in the final game of the season against Watford …
Edouard Mendy – 7/10
Up against a Hornets side with very little sting after relegation, the Senegalese giant was never slated to have a busy afternoon of it. Did well when called upon, with a smart albeit routine stop from Kiko Femenia at the near post being the only task of real note save for the goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 5/10
While a decision on his future is far from set in stone, there would be no shame in departing the club after nine years and winning every trophy possible in a royal blue shirt. That eventuality may be best for all parties, with the club captain again having a couple of sloppy and nervy ‘half moments’ that are slowly but surely creeping into his game on a more frequent basis. Nearly whipping the ball into his own net was pretty careless, too. You get the sense that teams with greater quality than Watford – with the greatest of respect – will have more and more joy against the Spaniard in future.
Thiago Silva – 7/10
Meat and drink as far as assignments go for ‘O Monstro’, barely breaking a sweat in keeping the young Joao Pedro at bay. The only time he had to get out of second gear was to hit full gear to prevent a calamitous own goal from his skipper.
Antonio Rüother – 7/10 
The biggest shame as the indomitable German departed for pastures new was that there was no trademark long-range effort as a leaving present. He was however as dependable as ever at the back and richly deserved his plaudits as he left the field for the final time at Stamford Bridge.
Reece James – 7/10
After a star turn against Leicester this past Thursday, this was an uncharacteristically muted performance from one of Chelsea’s best performers this season until his vital assist at the death. Most joy for the Blues came through the other flank, with only glimpses of the young Englishman’s powerful surges on display – which includes his great cross for the winner.
N’Golo Kante – 7/10
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Thomas Tuchel’s ‘key player’ has had a pretty torrid time of it of late, with injuries hampering his form and age taking its toll. With little on the line on the day, he was scarcely troubled by a non-descript Watford midfield. It allowed the veteran Frenchman to register a more business-like performance.
Saul Niguez – 7/10
The Atletico Madrid man has not set the world alight during his loan spell in West London despite arriving to great fanfare. Yet he did get marginally better with every appearance, and the player fans saw today is a far cry from the one who was a disaster against Aston Villa on debut. The Spaniard kept it neat and showed plenty of battling ability.
Kennedy – 7/10 
It is safe to say a few eyebrows were raised before the kick off by the Brazilian’s inclusion, but it did not take long before he justified his inclusion and then some. He ran rampant down the left channel and demonstrated his left peg to be a pretty potent tool in his arsenal indeed, most notably in assisting the opener. Not the toughest defense he will face, for sure, but you can only play what is in front of you.
Hakim Ziyech – 7/10
Kenedy isn’t the only one blessed with a gifted left foot, either. The man affectionately known as “The Wizard” conjured up a couple of excellent chances throughout the day, albeit without the definitive finishing touch of one of his colleagues. Constantly looking to exert a positive influence and be proactive, which was pleasing.
Mason Mount – 7/10 
A career best Premier League season for Chelsea’s talisman was capped off with a completely fine display here. Lively enough without really threatening the visitors’ goalmouth. Will be hoping to exorcise some cup demons while going up yet another level next year.
Kai Havertz – 7/10
The German is not the most naturally clinical player, as a spurned early one-on-one proved and as did a number of occasions. Chance after chance went by, but in the final analysis he made amends by being well placed to turn home, testament to his instinct and intelligent movement that gave the ‘Orns backline a persistent headache, even if his profligacy could not punish.
Malang Sarr – 5/10 
Suspect in his involvement in the Watford equalizer to say the least. The Frenchman really ought to work on his defensive awareness.
Ross Barkley – 7/10 
A half-decent cameo punctuated by the all important winner. Deserves a lot of credit for keeping positive and being in the right place at the right time.
Ben Chilwell – N / A 
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