Brighton 1-2 Chelsea – Match Report

Two goals were enough for Chelsea as Eden Hazard masterminded Chelsea’s win against Brighton at the Amex stadium.

Hazard assisted one and scored the other, despite Brighton’s late comeback, to put them in fourth place and three points clear of Arsenal.

It was a staggered start for the home side who struggled to keep hold of the ball.

Mathew Ryan had his goal tested early on as David Luiz struck a free-kick from 30 yards. Luiz got the ball up and over the wall to then bounce just in front of Ryan but it was saved comfortably.

Glenn Murray instigated Brighton’s first chance as the striker arched his run brilliantly to beat the offside trap, latching onto Lewis Dunk’s through ball. Murray then laid the ball off to Solly March only to see his shot blocked.

But it was the away fans celebrating first as Pedro tapped in his sixth goal of the season just after quarter of an hour. Hazard fortunately saw his initial shot ricochet back into his path. The Chelsea forward then burst into the Brighton box, squaring it across goal to Pedro for an easy finish.

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It could have been a different story for Brighton if it wasn’t for a Kepa Arrizabalaga save just before Chelsea’s second. Mateo Kovacic’s misplaced pass fell to March and, to the midfielder’s relief, saw Kepa get down well to stop March’s 25-yard strike and keep Chelsea in front.

Shortly after, Chelsea doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Leon Balogun gifted the ball to Willian who then slipped the ball to Hazard through on goal. The Belgian international composed himself and wrong-footed Ryan for a superb finish.

Chelsea began the second-half with the same tenacity as the first with an early chance. Cesar Azpilicueta drilled a low cross into the box to Hazard and surprisingly the Chelsea talisman missed the ball completely. Pedro picked up the loose ball but fired high over the crossbar.

The home side were to be saved by the frame of goal as Marcus Alonso’s superb long ranged effort smashed against the post and moments after, Brighton were given a lifeline.

It was in the 66th minute when Bernado rose the highest at the far post, heading the ball back into the danger area. March reacted the quickest and hooked the ball into the Chelsea net.

Brighton would have felt hard done by in their late resurgence. Substitute Yves Bissouma played through March who was dragged down by Alonso. As the home fans gestured to see red, referee Stuart Attwell cautioned Alonso to Chris Hughton’s disbelief.

Brighton continued to surge forward in hope of getting a point but Chelsea managed to hold on to record their first win in three away matches and stay in touching distance from Tottenham.

Click here to view Chris Hughton’s post match thoughts

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