Ross Barkley rescues a late winner for Chelsea against Watford

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Chelsea 2-1 Watford: Ross Barkley rescues a late winner for Thomas Tuchel’s side over relegated Hornets on the final day of the season

  • Chelsea sealed a 2-1 victory over Watford to finish third in the Premier League
  • Kai Havertz opened the scoring in just the 11th minute of the match on Sunday
  • Dan Gosling equalized for the Hornets with just three minutes left to play
  • Ross Barkley, however, notched the eventual winner for the Blues in injury time

The first farewell began with 25 minutes still to play. There were quite a few to get through, in fairness.

Stamford Bridge rose to salute Antonio Rudiger for the final time; he need not shut the door on his way out. Watford boss Roy Hodgson and referee Mike Dean followed close behind.

Could Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta be next? On this day, when old eras gave way to new, not everyone had the chance to say goodbye.

Chelsea sealed a 2-1 victory over relegated Watford to finish third in the Premier League table

Chelsea sealed a 2-1 victory over relegated Watford to finish third in the Premier League table

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz notched the opening goal of the game in the 11th minute

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz notched the opening goal of the game in the 11th minute

That FA Cup withdrawal proved to be Andreas Christensen’s final bow. As for Roman Abramovich, well he’s otherwise engaged.

Instead, in the stands sat Todd Boehly and Rob Edwards – symbols of a different future for these two.

Down below, a football game was taking place. Chelsea won it, thanks to Ross Barkley’s injury-time header, for those interested.

Watford midfielder Dan Gosling scored an equalizer in the 87th minute at Stamford Bridge

Watford midfielder Dan Gosling scored an equalizer in the 87th minute at Stamford Bridge

Ross Barkley scored the winner for Thomas Tuchel's side in stoppage time on the final day

Ross Barkley scored the winner for Thomas Tuchel’s side in stoppage time on the final day

Just a few minutes earlier, Chelsea’s supporters seemed fairly unfazed when Dan Gosling cancelled out Kai Havertz’s opener – they were too busy celebrating goals at the Etihad to care.

MATCH FACTS

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy 7, Azpilicueta 6.5, Thiago Silva 7, Rudiger 6.5 (Barkley 66, 7.5), James 8, Saul Niguez 6.5, Kante 6.5, Kenedy 7 (Sarr 59, 6), Ziyech 6.5, Mount 7 (Chilwell 89, 6), Havertz 7.5

Unused subs: Kepa, Jorginho, Lukaku, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah

Goals: Havertz 11, Barkley 90

Yellow: None

Red: None

Manager: Thomas Tuchel 7

Watford (4-3-3): Bachmann 6.5, Femenia 6.5, Kabasele 6, Samir 6.5, Kamara 6.5 (Masina 78, 6), Sissoko 6.5, Kayembe 7 (Gosling 82, 7), Cleverley 6, King 5 (Hernandez 72, 6.5), Joao Pedro 6.5, Sema 5

Unused subs: Elliot, Ngakia, Ekong, Cathcart, Sierralta, Baah

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Goals: Gosling 87

Yellow: None

Red: None

Manager: Roy Hodgson 6.5

Attendance: 32,089

Referee: Mike Dean

But Thomas Tuchel’s side sign off with a win in front of their new owner and with three points at home – neither has been easy to come by recently.

For Watford, another defeat to end a miserable season.

The presence of Kenedy down the Chelsea left was as good an indication as any of just how little this fixture meant to either side.

That he was the man to break Watford’s resistance, on a first Premier League appearance all season, probably says a lot about why they are where they are, too.

Havertz had threatened even before the opener, forcing Daniel Bachmann into a smart save after Mason Mount’s fine ball.

Kenedy was also causing problems. One low cross saw Hassane Kamara make a desperate clearance to deny Hakim Ziyech.

Next time, Kenedy’s ball reached the back post, where Havertz was waiting to finish.

By the time the German hit the bar, on the stroke of half-time, there really should have been more goals.

Watford carried arguably more of the threat. Edo Kayembe dragged a shot just wide before Kiko Femenia tested Edouard Mendy at his near post.

The goalkeeper then made a brilliant save to deny Joao Pedro shortly after the break, after the forward jinked his way across the box into a shooting position.

Hodgson’s side eventually had their reward – Gosling heading home Adam Masina’s deep cross while Chelsea supporters taunted Steven Gerrard once more.

Thanks to Barkley, however, they had a winner of their own to celebrate, too.

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