Chelsea Thump Sorry Hornets  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 4 Watford 0 

Michael Ballackin action against WatfordDidier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Chelsea crushed Watford 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Having lost to Tottenham last weekend Chelsea knew they could not afford to drop more points against lowly Watford, and Drogba turned in a striking master-class to inspire them to victory.

He netted after 27, 32 and 69 minutes for his second three-goal haul of the season, while Andrei Shevchenko also scored a second half goal.

Adrian Boothroyd's side were outclassed for much of the game, but actually contained Chelsea well in a scrappy opening period.

The Hornets did not let Chelsea settle in possession and forced them into a series of uncharacteristically sloppy passes, although they did not threaten a typically composed Blues back line.

Watford tried to unsettle John Terry and company with a barrage of crosses and long throws, but the quality of delivery was not good enough to find a way through.

Drogba fired a shot wide on the turn early on, but Chelsea looked strangely sluggish until once again showed their knack for scoring whilst not playing at their best.

Geremi sent a low cross skidding into the box after being released by Ricardo Carvalho down the right and, although Shevchenko failed to make contact, he had drawn two defenders away from Drogba and the Ivorian made no mistake in tucking the ball away from six yards.

The goal relaxed Chelsea and they never looked back as they ruthlessly rammed home their advantage.

With Watford still reeling, Drogba played a short ball to Shevchenko and left his marker Danny Shittu sleeping to run onto the return pass inside the area. With time to possibly pick out Frank Lampard, Drogba instead provided further evidence of his new-found composure in front of goal with a cool finish across Ben Foster.

Shittu had a chance to make amends for his poor defending when he found himself one-on-one with Carlo Cudicini following a corner, but the Italian keeper rushed out quickly to smother his shot.

Chelsea added a third seven minutes into the second half and this time Drogba created it, as he wriggled away from his defender and flicked a wonderful ball through to his strike partner. Foster thought he could intercept the pass and sprinted off his line, but Shevchenko took it on his chest and slotted into an empty net.

The Ukrainian thought he had grabbed another moments later when he fired in off the post, but the flag was already raised for offside.

Lampard then smashed a free kick over from 35 yards as Chelsea started to enjoy themselves, and Arjen Robben was brought on to further torment Watford with his pace and trickery.

Drogba completed his hat-trick after 69 minutes, as he profited from some non-existent marking to turn Geremi's low cross past Foster from close range.

Watford continued to battle for the remaining 22 minutes but the gulf in class was all too evident as Chelsea ran riot.

Ashley Cole and Robben both came close to scoring as they came flying in off the left wing to meet crosses, while Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were also introduced to further thrill the Stamford Bridge crowd.

Chelsea could probably have made the margin of victory even more convincing if they had really wanted to, but took their foot off the gas slightly in the closing stages.

Boothroyd will now have to go back to the drawing board as Watford prepare for challenges ahead, while Chelsea will feel well and truly back in the groove following their second 4-0 win inside a week.


Chelsea  Cudicini, A. Cole, Carvalho, Terry, Ballack (J. Cole 73), Essien, Geremi, Lampard, Makelele (Wright-Phillips 76), Drogba, Shevchenko (Robben 65)
Subs Not Used  Hilario, Boulahrouz
Booked  Ballack
Goals  Drogba 27, 36, 69, Shevchenko 52

Watford Foster, DeMerit, Doyley, Shittu, Stewart, Francis, Mahon, Bouazza (Powell 62), Henderson, Smith (Banqura 70), Young
Subs Not Used Lee, Mackay, McNamee
Booked  Doyley

Attendance  41,936

Referee  H. Webb


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