It was a summer evening breeze
for Chelsea and another sell-out crowd as we finished
our exciting pre-season preparations well at Vicarage
There was even another delayed
kick-off but just as at Palace on Saturday, that couldnt
delay the impressive Mikael Forssell from making an early
impact. After only eleven minutes he began the evenings
goal entertainment but he had almost opened the scoring
five minutes earlier when his shot from a Gronkjaer lay-back
was palmed over.
When the goal did come it,
it was Wayne Bridges lofted diagonal ball that started
the danger. The young Finn did well to collect it behind
his marker and when it fell nicely at his feet, he gave
keeper Chamberlain little chance this time with a well-hit
Frank Lampard was almost
the beneficiary as Forssell turned creator a minute later,
with a neat back-heel into his path. The shot that followed
crashed against the post.
We didnt have to wait
long for the second however. On 16 minutes Jesper Gronkjaer
did what he does best and hared away down the right. Paul
Robinson attempted to catch and disposes him as the goal
beckoned but simply didnt have the legs and conceded
a clear penalty.
Whether Jimmy felt the pressure
after his spot-kick failure in Malaysia only he will know
but with a run-up and a dummy this time, he thankfully
didnt repeat his only penalty miss for Chelsea so
The fluent Blues were gliding
around the pitch at this stage and Geremi, again impressive
and secure in the middle, was next to strike bad luck
as his shot from outside the area hit the post. He wasnt
as unlucky as Watfords Neil Ardley however who attempted
to clear the rebound but only succeeded in finding his
Forssell saw a powerful header
from a Lampard cross well saved and then another Lampard
cross from the right gave Hasselbaink a heading chance
but with a tamer effort, he too was denied by Chamberlain.
Just past the half-hour mark,
Watford, who had up to that point failed to threaten pulled
one back when Helgusson got behind Desailly and Melchiot
to head in a cross with Ambrosio no chance of saving.
Chelsea went back on the
offensive before the break with Gronkjaer steaming away
and finding his fellow winger Duff with a low lay-back.
Chamberlain again kept the goal tally down.
The inevitable switches came
at half-time, Gudjohnsen and Johnson replacing Forssell
and Bridge with Johnson going to left-back. It didnt
disrupt the flow and seven minutes beyond the break, the
Duff skipped over some midfield
tackles and surged forward. He rolled the ball out left
to Gudjohnsen who skimmed it across the turf to force
another Chamberlain save. This time though, the rebound
fell to Duff who was following up in coaching manual style
and he calmly unbalanced the Watford keeper before poking
home. It was his first Chelsea goal.
Now it was the youngsters
turn when around the 65 minute mark, Huth replaced Desailly,
Oliviera took the place of Duff and Cole followed soon
after, coming on for Gronkjaer. There was a welcome return
for an oldie as well when Manu Petit began his pre-season
action in place of Lampard.
Hasselbaink and Gudjohnsen
once again showed signs of the old telepathy, if not the
old finishing when both should have done better with defence
splitting passes from the other.
Jimmy was replaced late on
by Keenan but it was the substitution that followed that
brought the biggest cheer and practically the first song
of the game. One Kevin Hitchcock roared the
Chelsea fans as our long-time servant, now a Watford coach,
ran on to keep goal in front of them for the closing minute