Chelsea surged back to winning ways with a convincing win over Brighton on Saturday.
The Blues raced into a two-goal lead inside the first eight minutes on the south coast thanks to an Eden Hazard strike and a flowing team move finished off by Willian.
The Belgian scored a solo strike for Chelsea’s third before Victor Moses rounded off the scoring late on.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Brighton (3-4-2-1): Ryan 7; Goldson 5.5, Duffy 5.5, Dunk 5; Schelotto 7, Stephens 6, Propper 6.5, Suttner 6.5; Gross 6 (Kayal 68, 6), March 7 (Izquierdo 83); Hemed 5.5 (Murray 68, 6)
Subs not used: Hunemeier, Baldock, Rosenior, Krul
Booked: Schelotto, Duffy, Goldson
Manager: Chris Hughton 6.5
Chelsea (3-4-3): Caballero 6; Azpilicueta 6, Christensen 7 (Luiz 58, 6), Rudiger 6; Moses 6.5, Bakayoko 7, Kante 7, Alonso 6.5 (Zappacosta 75, 6); Willian 8 (Musonda 81), Batshuayi 7, Hazard 8.5
Subs not used: Eduardo, Sterling, Ampadu, Barkley.
Goalscorers: Hazard 3, 77, Willian 8, Moses 89
Manager: Antonio Conte 7
Referee: Jonathan Moss 5
MOM: Eden Hazard.
But the second – now that was something. All Brighton did wrong was give in to a little pressure, with Lewis Dunk playing carelessly near the halfway line. Ordinarily, they might have been fine given the traffic in Chelsea’s path to goal, but the burst from Willian and two backheels in sequence by Hazard and Michy Batshuayi saw to that.
In a blink, that rotation of one-touch passes had cut Brighton apart and put Willian in possession just inside the area. He lashed his shot into the top corner. Beautiful.
Brighton were denied their penalty appeals in pursuit of a way back and also caused serious scares when Tomer Hemed had a header saved and Davy Propper hit the bar. Chance creation wasn’t a problem but conversion has been a recurring issue this season, so the hope is that Jurgen Locadia, their new £14.1m signing from PSV Eindhoven, will drastically improve the productivity of this side. They need it.
Without goals, they were further picked apart by Hazard, whose run and strike for Chelsea’s third was a delight. Victor Moses buried the fourth after a lovely ball over the top by Charly Musonda.
Not bad from a side looking to revamp their attack.