Blues claim Brighton scalp

Chelsea enjoyed their Boxing Day fixture by comfortably seeing off Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

  • Chelsea 2 Brighton 0
  • Morata on target on 46′
  • Alonso adds a second on 59′

Match summary

It was a relatively comfortable victory for Chelsea with Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso the goalscorers, although it took some doing for the Blues to break down Brighton’s compact defence.

Full report

Cesc Fabregas was dictating the early tempo as Chelsea began with the ball, and Morata enjoyed an early chance that was well blocked by Seagulls stopper Matthew Ryan.

Eden Hazard was off target with a seventh-minute sighter while Tomer Hemed’s timing was off for a chance at the other end as he looked to connect to a Marcus Suttner delivery.

Tiemoue Bakayoko then failed to steer the ball home for the Blues, when free in the box, as the ball landed at his feet from a header back across goal from Antonio Rudiger, from a Fabregas delivery on the half-volley.

Bakayoko was off target again on 23 minutes before Ryan kept out a first-time Victor Moses effort as he latched onto Fabregas’ ball over the defence.

Brighton were restricting Chelsea with some organised defending midway through the first half, but it always looked as if the Blues would eventually find a breakthrough.

But while Moses, Fabregas and Hazard all had chances towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, the two sides went in at the break on level terms.

However, it took just one minute in the second half for the hosts to take the lead, through Morata, who powered a header home, having connected to an excellent Cesar Azpilicueta delivery.

Hazard then dragged a 48th minute chance wide before a super Alonso free-kick with 57 minutes played was turned around the post by Ryan.

Ryan was again in the thick of the action as he again kept out Alonso, but he could do nothing to deny the Spaniard a third time, on 59 minutes, from a cushioned header from a whipped Fabregas corner.

As the tie wore on, Lewis Dunk was forced to clear off his line after Hazard beat four Brighton defenders before a reverse effort from 15 yards.

Hemed was, meanwhile, off target following some good approach play from the visitors, and while they ended the game well, the Seagulls were unable to affect with the final piece of action, a header from Shane Duffy that clipped the post on its way out of play.