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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 16:53 GMT
Chelsea 4-0 Watford
By Caroline Cheese

Dider Drogba celebrates with Chelsea team-mate Andriy Shevchenko
Drogba took his goal tally to 14 for the season
In-form Didier Drogba fired a brilliant hat-trick as champions Chelsea outclassed Watford at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba opened the scoring after 27 minutes when he finished from close range after Geremi's cross.

The Ivorian made it 2-0 after a one-two with Andriy Shevchenko before providing the pass for his strike partner to round the keeper and tap home.

And Drogba capped another impressive individual display on 69 minutes when he converted another Geremi cross.

It took Drogba's tally for the season to 14 and saw him overtake Portsmouth's Kanu as the Premiership's top scorer.

The margin of victory also helped the Blues close the gap in goal difference to Premiership leaders Manchester United - and the four-goal hammering was nothing more than they deserved.


Before kick-off, a laughing Jose Mourinho bore the air of a man who fully expected his team to run out winners, and his players mirrored that attitude.

They stroked the ball around with supreme confidence and while a bustling Watford side did their best to break the champions' rhythm, they never really looked like causing an upset.

Drogba had already had a couple of half-chances before he eventually opened the scoring.

Shevchenko miskicked Geremi's cross but the ball ran through for the Ivorian to stab home from six yards.

Seven minutes later, the champions could afford to switch to cruise control when Drogba snatched his second.

Dan Shittu failed to track Drogba's run after he laid the ball off to Shevchenko and the striker was free in the box to tuck away the return pass.

A rush of blood to the head from Michael Ballack almost gave Watford an unexpected lifeline before half-time.

The German midfielder inexplicably clattered into Jordan Stewart with the ball long gone and from the free-kick, Shittu saw his shot cannon off Carlo Cudicini's feet.

To their credit, Watford continued to commit players in attack after the break and Ashley Young saw his cross flash across goal beyond the reach of Darius Henderson.

But normal service was quickly resumed as Chelsea effortlessly extended their lead.

Drogba and Shevchenko were involved again, this time the Ivorian providing a fabulous pass for his strike partner to round Ben Foster and tap into the empty net.

With Watford's players demoralised, Chelsea began to create more and more chances and it was no surprise when Drogba completed his hat-trick - his second of the season.

Geremi escaped down the right and as Watford's defence stood and watched, Drogba stole in to convert the cross and complete a miserable day for the Hornets.

  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Didier Drogba:
    "He's at the top of his game. He's playing amazing stuff.

    "He's improved at every level. He's great in every aspect of his game: physically he's strong, in the air he's great and defensively he's very strong.

    "At this moment I don't see another striker playing like him, scoring like him,"

  • Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd:
    "We started well but if you are not on guard for the full 90 minutes you get punished and that's what happened to us.

    "But the mark of any team is the ability to bounce back quickly and that is what we have to do.

    "We know Chelsea are light years away from us but we're in the same division and we have to play them.

    "Every week we give our all and sometimes we are naive but that reflects the club and the manager but we like this division. We like it in the Premiership and want to stay here."

    Chelsea: Cudicini, Geremi, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Makelele (Wright-Phillips 76), Ballack (Joe Cole 73), Lampard, Shevchenko (Robben 65), Drogba.
    Subs Not Used: Hilario, Boulahrouz.

    Booked: Ballack.

    Goals: Drogba 27, 36, Shevchenko 52, Drogba 69.

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

    Booked: Doyley.

    Att: 41,936

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

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