Chelsea up to third after win over Watford as jeers turn to cheers


Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s first goal.(AP)

London, May 5: Chelsea moved into third place in the Premier League as a quick-fire blitz from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz inspired a vital 3-0 win over Watford on Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side were booed off after a sloppy first half, but two goals in three minutes from Loftus-Cheek and Luiz lifted the mood at Stamford Bridge.
Gonzalo Higuain added the third and Chelsea are now one point clear of fourth placed Tottenham after their first win in four games in all competitions.
If the Blues win their last league game of the season at Leicester next Sunday they will be certain to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.
Before heading to Leicester, Chelsea host Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, with the tie poised at 1-1 after the first leg.
Finishing in the top four and winning the Europa League would make Sarri’s troubled first season a relative success.
But even now Sarri, who has struggled to win over his squad, can’t escape murmurs of dissent.
The former Napoli boss awoke to more unrest on Sunday after out-of-favour Blues defender Gary Cahill blasted Sarri.
Cahill has made just eight appearances this season and claims he has been shown a lack of respect by Sarri.
“I see some of the situations with players who won the title with Chelsea, not just myself, and it just hasn’t been right,” the long-serving Cahill told the Sunday Telegraph.
“It makes it very hard for me to have respect for someone who has not respected what some of us have won with the club.”
Cahill was given a standing ovation by Chelsea fans when Sarri sent him on in the final minutes for what could be his farewell appearance.
But Cahill’s outburst might have been on his team-mates’ minds during a lethargic, distracted first half display.
Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu went close early on with a fierce shot that flashed just wide.
Hazard sparkles
Chelsea were also indebted to a stunning save from Kepa Arrizabalaga, who recently admitted the painful lessons of his League Cup final mutiny — when he refused to be substituted against Manchester City — have made him a better person and player. (AFP)