Chelsea took a huge step towards Champions League qualification by completing a 3-0 victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday opened the door for Chelsea to go third in the Premier League and they took advantage courtesy of goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain.
The Blues were under pressure for much of the first half and lost midfield enforcer N’Golo Kante to a muscle injury after 10 minutes, making the France international a doubt for their Europa League semi-final, second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
The recalled Eden Hazard assisted goals for Kante’s replacement Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz in the space of three second-half minutes, before Gonzalo Higuain rounded off the scoring as Chelsea edged closer to a top-four finish.
Watford started on the front foot and Troy Deeney had a header pushed onto the post by Kepa Arrizabalaga in the eighth minute, while Kante’s injury gave the Blues more cause for concern.
Chelsea were a different side after the break and moved ahead in the 48th minute when Hazard picked out Loftus-Cheek to head home.
David Luiz evaded Adrian Mariappa to nod another Hazard delivery past Ben Foster as the Blues turned the game on its head.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 5, 2019
Foster produced a pair of strong saves to keep Pedro and Higuain at bay, but he was helpless when the duo combined and the on-loan Juventus striker dinked in a fine finish.
Watford were denied a consolation in bizarre fashion when Roberto Pereyra’s free-kick hit the post and substitute Isaac Success headed in the rebound off an offside Andre Gray.
Club captain Gary Cahill was sent on to a rapturous ovation in the 89th minute for a final appearance at Stamford Bridge before departing when his contract expires at the end of the season.