Brighton 1-2 Chelsea: Hazard magic show seals the win for the Blues
The visitors showed more intent and caught the game by the scruff of the neck right from the kick-off. Eden Hazard created the breakthrough after David Luiz’s free-kick and Marcos Alonso’s close-range effort were saved by goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
The Belgian drove through the Brighton defence and lit up the scene with an intelligent pass to pick out the run of Pedro at the far post who put the Blues in the driver’s seat with the simplest of tap-ins.
Chelsea continued to threaten and chances were few and far between for the Seagulls. Solly March found some space and called Kepa Arrizabalaga into action with a powerful long-range effort but that didn’t cause the Spaniard any major headaches.
However, the pressure from Chelsea was absolutely relentless and Eden Hazard once again made the home side pay for just the slightest of mistakes. Leon Balogun’s attempted pass was intercepted by Willian who set Hazard free with a delightful pass and the Belgian literally outpaced three Brighton defenders in a ridiculous manner to guide the ball past a rather helpless Matt Ryan.
It could have been 3-0 for the Blues before halftime but Antonio Rudiger fired his header tantalisingly wide of the post from a corner.
Brighton saw more of the ball in the second half and created a few chances. However, Chelsea could have had a third goal when Marcos Alonso’s thunderous effort from about 20 yards shook the frame of the goal.
Solly March took advantage of some sloppy defending by David Luiz to pull one back for Chris Hughton’s side in the 66th-minute but the Seagulls couldn’t manage to breach Chelsea’s defence for the second time.
The victory means that Chelsea remain 4th in the standings, eight points behind leaders Liverpool, and the Blues have a tricky fixture coming up against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Here’s how the Chelsea fans reacted to the 2-1 away win:
+ Another win/3 points.
+ The ’False 9’ works once again. Keep with it until a proven CF comes in.
+ Good resiliency shown in an away performance after Wolves. Solid display.
+ Great match once again for a certain Belgian called Eden Hazard. #BRICHE #CFC pic.twitter.com/XWNUK6FxwQ
— ForeverBlue ✏️⚽️🎮 (@sazio1984) December 16, 2018
— Branko Nikovski (@NikovskiBranko) December 16, 2018
Excellent Chelsea victory – all the more valuable as Arsenal lost
Hazard continues to look irreplaceable🔥
Azpi is back!
Willian deserves more credit than he gets
Alonso managed to try even my fan-boy patience
Jorg & Kante great
RLC & Barkley deserve more starts#BRICHE#Chelsea
— Mark Worrall (@gate17marco) December 16, 2018
— Brett Rutherford (@bgrutherford99) December 16, 2018
What does Emerson has to do to start ahead of Alonso…or what else Alonso has to do to get dropped…very sloppy at defence and gave away ball possession too many times..was lucky to be on pitch for 90 mins..#BRICHE #Chelsea
— Rohan Pawaskar (@Rohan_VP) December 16, 2018
FT: Brighton 1 – 2 Chelsea
⚽️ Pedro (assist: Hazard)
⚽️ Hazard (assist: Willian)
— Dee (@deenalovemuse) December 16, 2018
— Shane Morrison (@ShaneMorrison19) December 16, 2018
— Proff Austin Sibanda (@theproffa) December 16, 2018
Should never have ended out the match that way, very nervy 15 Minutes towards the end. We are nowhere near being there yet, as expected, & still struggling to kill Games off. 3 Points & a Big Win.. I’ll take that! UTC💙 #BRICHE
— Coombsey (@ShaneCoombes1) December 16, 2018