LONDON (AP) — Ross Barkley scored in injury time as Chelsea concluded a season of ownership turmoil with a 2-1 win over Watford in the final round of the Premier League on Sunday.
The former England midfielder nodded in Reece James’ cross for Chelsea’s late winner with prospective owner Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge again to finally see the team win in person.
The Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner was joined by Swiss billionaire and consortium partner Hansjorg Wyss, who was making his first visit to the west London stadium since the deal to buy the club from sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich was agreed earlier this month.
They will hope their Chelsea takeover can finally be completed in the next week, ahead of the May 31 deadline when the government license that allows the club to operate expires.
Abramovich’s Chelsea tenure looks to be coming to a close after 19 years and 21 trophies since the Russian oligarch took over the club. Government sanctions against Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant Chelsea was unable to extend existing players’ contracts or conduct any other transfer business for the last 11 weeks.
Chelsea was virtually assured of finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League before Watford’s visit, so there was little but pride at stake on a day of goodbyes at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Rüdiger enjoyed standing ovations when he came on as a second-half substitute. The Germany defender is expected to complete a move to Real Madrid.
Brazilian wing-back Kenedy provided the assist for Kai Havertz’ early goal for Chelsea on his first Premier League appearance since 2017. The 26-year-old still has a year to run on his Chelsea contract, but it may yet prove to have been his final appearance.
Dan Gosling equalized in the 87th for Watford but Barkley’s late winner ensured Chelsea finished three points ahead of crosstown rival Tottenham, which secured the last Champions League place.
Watford’s defeat brought the end of Roy Hodgson’s managerial career, too, with the 74-year-old adamant that this time, he will retire for good.
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