Chelsea ease past Watford to boost top four finish

Chelsea responded to their shock reverse at West Ham with a comfortable 3-0 win over Watford to reclaim the final automatic qualification spot for next season’s Champions League.

In-form Manchester United had earlier moved past the Blues into fourth with their thumping 5-2 win over Bournemouth, but Frank Lampard’s men responded in style at Stamford Bridge to keep the advantage ahead of a nervy run-in.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for the Blues, latching on to Ross Barkley’s clever pass and steering a left-foot shot into the bottom-right corner.

While Watford worked hard to contain the hosts, they offered little to suggest they were capable of a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1986.

And they fell further behind before the break, with Etienne Capoue’s rash challenge on Christian Pulisic resulting in a Chelsea penalty that Willian converted.

Thereafter it was relatively plain sailing for Lampard’s side, who rounded off the scoring when Barkley found the top left corner from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

The Blues have now won three of their four games since the top flight resumed in June.

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