John Terry played a role as hero and villain as champions Chelsea capped their homecoming party with a rollercoaster 4-3 victory over 10-man Watford at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues skipper, who was handed his first league start since September 11, opened the scoring midway through the first period when he reacted smartly to prod home a right-wing corner.
But his big moment in what is likely to be his penultimate appearance at the Bridge turned sour 34 seconds later when his poor defensive header allowed Etienne Capoue to level.
It proved to be the appetiser for a crazy 90 minutes of football as the home side threw away a 3-1 lead after Daryl Janmaat and Stefan Okaka cancelled out other efforts from Cesar Azpilicueta and Michy Batshuayi.
Watford had found the net away from home for the first time in 641 minutes of football, but slumped to a fifth straight loss that may well cast further doubt on the future of boss, Walter Mazzarri when substitute Cesc Fabregas’ miscued shot clinched a 14th win from their last 15 league outings on home soil for the Blues.
Sebastian Prodl of Watford is shown a red card by referee Lee Mason after picking up his second yellow of the game during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2017 in London, England.
Sebastian Prodl of Watford is shown a red card by referee Lee Mason after picking up his second yellow of the game during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2017 in London, England.Getty Images
The 16th-placed Hornets’ misery was further compounded when Sebastian Prodl was sent off for a second bookable offence in injury time.
Chelsea will now lift the trophy when they sign off their league campaign at home to Sunderland on Sunday before stepping up their preparations for the FA Cup final against Arsenal on May 27.