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Barkley bags winner under Blue Stamford Bridge sky

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Chelsea ended the 2021/22 campaign with a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge over Watford, extending their winning streak against the relegated outfit to six consecutive matches.

A lot of change is expected for both sides during the summer, but they first had to bring an end to their respective campaigns. Chelsea, who started their season earlier than most as they won the UEFA Super Cup on August 11th, were dominant against the ‘Hornets’, at least in terms of possession. Kai Havertz had a glorious opportunity to open the deadlock within the opening five minutes, but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann. However, the German atoned for his previous lack of clinical touch in front of goal soon after, tapping in Kenedy’s shot-cum-shot from close range.

Watford did threaten as the game progressed, with Edo Kayembe dragging an effort wide of the post before Kiko Femenía forced Édouard Mendy into a save just after the hour mark. The ‘Blues’, though, ended the first half once again in the ascendancy, as Mason Mount tested Bachmann before only the crossbar stopped Havertz from grabbing both his and his side’s second goal of the encounter.

The visitors almost restored parity after the interval through João Pedro, but Mendy was equal to his low shot. Chelsea soon regained control, though, and went close through Hakim Ziyech and substitute Ross Barkley, who replaced Antonio Rüdiger for what will be the Germany international’s last appearance for the club before his impending switch to Real Madrid. Thomas Tuchel’s men looked to be strolling to victory, but Watford’s Adam Masina had other ideas, nodding into the far corner in the final five minutes to seemingly secure a point for his side. The hosts, though, would have the last laugh, with Barkley getting on the end of Reece James’ clever cross to secure the win.

Chelsea will be delighted to end the term with three points, and will be looking to close the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City next term. Incoming Watford boss Rob Edwards was in attendance, and will be only too aware of the work he has to do to get this side back into the Premier League next season.

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