BHAFC v CCFC (17/2/18) F.A Cup 5th Round Match Preview

Brighton are back in action in the 5th Round of the F.A Cup, where they face Coventry City at the AMEX Stadium.

Coventry Team News;

Coventry will be without Jack Grimmer and Michael Doyle through injury, while duo Kyel Reid is cup-tied and Jordan Maguire-Drew is ineligible against his parent club.

Last Time Out; CUFC 2-1 CCFC

Coventry lost their 3rd straight league game after a 2-1 loss at Colchester. Junior Ogedi-Uzokew’s penalty gave the home side the lead, before Tom Bayliss equalised for the Sky Blues. Mikael Mandron late strike snatched all 3 points for Colchester.

Top Scorer; Marc McNulty (14)

Form; W, W, W, L, L, L

FACT; Coventry have won 2 of their 3 meetings in the F.A Cup with Brighton.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton have only Steve Sidwell and Jiri Skalak on the injury list, while Jurgen Locadia will be getting his first start for the Seagulls.

Last Time Out; SCFC 1-1 BHAFC

Brighton were held to a 2nd consecutive away draw by Stoke; Jose Izquierdo put the Seagulls in front before Xherdan Shaqiri equalised. Charlie Adam missed a 90th minute penalty to win the game for the Potters.

Top Scorer; Glenn Murray (10)

Form; L, L, W, D, W, D

FACT; Brighton have lost just 2 of their last 15 home F.A Cup games; both defeats coming against Arsenal.

Last Time We Met: CCFC [2]-[0] BHAFC (31/12/11);

Brighton were defeated 2-0 away at Coventry; goals from Gary McSheffery and Lukas Jutkiewicz saw off the Seagulls

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 27 of the 69 of the game played between the 2 sides, with Coventry winning 19. Brighton have won only once in the last 9 meetings, losing 4 times. The last meeting in the F.A Cup ended up with a Coventry in back in 2006.

Coventry Likely Line-Up;

Burge;

Willis, McDonald, Hyam, Stokes;

Vicenti, Kelly, Doyle, Shipley;

Biamou, McNulty;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Krul;

Bruno, Goldson, Hunemeier, Suttner;

Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, March;

Ulloa, Locadia;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-0 Coventry

Advertisements

SCFC v BHAFC (10/2/18) | Match Review

Brighton & Hove Albion played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Saturday afternoon at the bet365 Stadium, with Mathew Ryan saving a 90th-minute penalty to keep the scores level. A sublime first-half goal from Jose Izquierdo, which was a brilliant team move, handed the Seagulls an early advantage before Xherdan Shaqiri curled the hosts level in the second period. Ryan was the hero for Albion in the dying stages – as late drama unfolded in front of the club’s away following – saving brilliantly from Charlie Adam’s spot-kick, before Anthony Knockaert headed off the line moments before the full-time whistle. Chris Hughton made one change to the side that beat West Ham United 3-1 seven days earlier at the Amex Stadium – Solly March replaced Anthony Knockaert on Albion’s right-hand side, while club-record signing Jurgen Locadia came into the fold in place of Sam Baldock on the Seagulls’ bench.

Albion began on the front foot and drew home keeper Jack Butland into a great save within the opening two minutes of the contest. Davy Propper was alive to the ball in the centre of the field and his clever first-time pass found Jose Izquierdo free on the far side of the area. The Colombian midfielder cut inside sharply and curled an effort towards goal which Butland did well to tip behind for a corner. The opening quarter of the half was evenly contested on the whole, with Albion looking to play on the counter-attack and looking threatening through the combination of Pascal Gross and Glenn Murray, as the pair linked up with players in the wide areas of the pitch. Albion had another good opportunity 17 minutes in when Murray latched onto Shane Duffy’s intelligent knock-down from Propper’s long free-kick from the halfway line – but despite beating the home keeper to the ball, he could only prod his effort over the crossbar. Dale Stephens set Izquierdo away down the left flank with a superb pass approaching the half-hour mark, but as the winger cut inside once more, he could only fire a dipping effort over the bar as the visitors continued to threaten on the counter. But four minutes later Hughton’s side took a deserved lead – and it came courtesy of the game’s most influential player. Izquierdo picked up possession on the left-hand side and played the ball into the feet of March who fired it back into the Colombian. The wide man then exchanged passes with Stephens before dropping his shoulder and coolly slotting into the bottom corner of the net to hand the Seagulls a well-earned lead. A superb ball by March across the field then found Gross, and the midfielder twisted and turned superbly before firing across goal looking for Murray at the back post – but the ball was scrambled away by the home defence as the Seagulls went into the break ahead. Stoke made a change at the break with Saido Berahino replacing Darren Fletcher, and the home side began the second period quickly – loading a succession of crosses into the Albion penalty area that the visiting backline did well to deal with. Albion had to wait a little longer into the second period for their first good opportunity – and it came via the head of Propper. Stephens was once again the architect – this time with a superb sweeping ball to find the run of Izquierdo on the left. The winger’s cross was cleared, but only as far as Gross who delivered a superb ball to find the Dutch midfielder who headed over the bar from the middle of the area. Jese then became the hosts’ second change when he replaced Maxim Choupo-Moting, while Albion’s constant threat on the counter-attack remained – particularly in the wide areas. But against the run of play the hosts were level with just over 20 minutes left to play. Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri – who had looked the biggest threat to Albion’s defence, picked up possession on the edge of the area and curled his shot past Ryan in the away goal to level the scores. Leonardo Ulloa then came on to replace Murray with 20 minutes left on the clock before Propper volleyed at Butland as the game began to open up in the later stages. Beram Kayal was introduced for the influential Gross in Albion’s second substitution, and the hosts made their final switch as Charlie Adam replaced Badou N’Diaye. The electric Izquierdo then stung the palms of Butland once more after unleashing a right-footed effort, and Anthony Knockaert then became Albion’s final substitute when he replaced the impressive March with five minutes left to play. But there was to be plenty of late drama when Stephens was adjudged to have fouled Jese inside the area – it looked soft but Robert Madley pointed to the spot. Adam stepped up with a golden chance to win the contest for the hosts, but Ryan superbly palmed away the penalty. Lewis Dunk then did equally as well to deny the Scottish midfielder on the rebound as his sliding challenge did enough to prod the ball behind for a corner. The resulting set-piece saw Kurt Zouma’s flicked header at the near post look to be heading in, but Knockaert was on-hand to head the ball off the line before the referee brought a breathless last few moments to a close – and the spoils were shared.

 Stoke Subs; Brighton Subs; 
 Berahino —> Fletcher (46)  Ulloa —> Murray (71)
 Jese —> Choupa-Moting (62)  Kayal —> Gross (79)
 Adam —> Ndiaye (79)  Knockaert —> March (86)

SCFC [1]-[1] BHAFC; Shaqiri (68); Izquierdo (32);

Att; 29,876 (3,000 Brighton)

Albion MOTM; Ryan

SCFC v BHAFC (10/2/18) | Match Preview

Brighton travel to Stoke in a crunch match at the foot of the table, where 3 points can go a long way in terms of survival for both teams.

Stoke Team News;

Jese will be in the squad for the first time since the start of December after family leave, and Bruno Martins Indi is set to return.

Last Time Out; AFCB 2-1 SCFC

Stoke fell to an away defeat at the hands of Bournemouth. Xherdan Shaqiri gave the Potters a 1-0 lead before 2nd half goals from Josh King and Lys Mousset.

Top Scorer; Shaqiri, Diouf (5)

Form; L, L, L, W, D, L

FACT; Stoke have lost 7 of their last 11 games and taken only 8 points out of a possible 33 in that period.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton will have record signing Jurgen Locadia in the squad for the first time after injury; Steve Sidwell and Jiri Skalak remain out.

Last Time Out; BHAFC 3-1 WHUFC

Brighton got themselves their first PL double with a dominating win against West Ham. Glenn Murray put the Seagulls in front before Javier Hernandez equalised. 2nd half goals from Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross gave them a much needed win.

Top Scorer; Murray (10)

Form; W, L, L, W, D, W

FACT; Brighton are without an away league win since the start of November.

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [2]-[2] SCFC (20/11/17);

Brighton were held to a 2-2 draw back in November. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put the visitors in front before Pascal Gross levelled, but Kurt Zouma scored in first half stoppage time. Izquierdo scored into the 2nd half and the points were shared

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 9 of the 40 meetings between the 2 sides, while Stoke have won 16. The Potters have won 8 of the last 9 games keeping 5 clean sheets in that time; Brighton’s last win was back in 2001.

Likely Line-Up;

Butland;

Bauer, Shawcross, Zouma, Peters;

Allen, Cameron, Adam;

Shaqiri, Diouf, Choupo-Moting;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Ryan;

Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner;

March, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo;

Gross;

Murray;

Prediction;

Stoke 1-1 Brighton

BHAFC v WHUFC (3/2/18) | Match Review

Brighton & Hove Albion recorded a fantastic 3-1 win against West Ham United at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, claiming their first-ever Premier League double. Glenn Murray had handed the Albion an eighth-minute lead in the first half, but his well-taken effort was cancelled out by Javier Hernandez on the half hour mark. Jose Izquierdo put the Seagulls back in front just before the hour mark with an outstanding curling finish into the top corner, before Pascal Gross’s stylish effort gave the Seagulls a two-goal advantage and all three points. Chris Hughton made one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Southampton at St Mary’s on Wednesday evening with Anthony Knockaert replacing Solly March on Albion’s right. David Moyes named an unchanged side for the visitors who drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace on Tuesday but there was a space on the Hammers’ bench for deadline day arrival Jordan Hugill

The Seagulls began on the front foot and took the lead after eight minutes. A quick counter attack saw Knockaert find  Gross in the centre – and the German’s intelligent through ball found Murray and the forward advanced towards goal and calmly slotted under Adrian as an excellent advantage was played after Knockaert was brought down byAaron Cresswell, who was booked, in the build-up. Knockaert then fired over when off balance as Albion remained camped in the West Ham half, before Murray saw a shot from the edge of the area blocked after a neat exchange between Gross, Izquierdo and the striker. Sam Byram’s header was scrambled away by the Seagulls after a dangerous cross by Cresswell, but the visitors drew level on the half hour. Mark Noble’s driven pass was firmly into the feet of Javier Hernandez, who weaved his way past home defenders before firing into the top corner. Cresswell provided another dangerous delivery five minutes before the interval, but Joao Mario’s extended leg couldn’t make contact with the cross, before Byram’s header at the far post went well over the bar. Lewis Dunk picked up Albion’s first yellow card of the game shortly after the restart for a late challenge on Hernandez and Murray’s cutback couldn’t find a Seagulls shirt as the half began in an equally competitive nature. But the Seagulls were soon back in front just before the hour mark – and in some style. There didn’t appear to be much danger on when Izquierdo picked up possession on the edge of the area after a corner by Gross had sailed to the back post, but the Colombian winger took aim superbly and curled a delightful finish into the top corner to put the hosts back ahead. Michael Antonio then came on in place of Declan Rice as the visitors made their first change of the afternoon, and Gross headed over after a marauding run and cross from Schelotto. Murray was withdrawn for Leonardo Ulloa with just under 20 minutes left, as the Argentine striker received a standing ovation as he entered the field on his return to the Amex Stadium. A wonderfully worked move between Ulloa, Izquierdo and Gross ended in the latter’s shot deflecting narrowly wide for a corner, before the German fired Albion into a two-goal lead soon after. Davy Propper’s well-weighted pass was slick and into the feet of the midfielder, and Gross turned stylishly before firing an unstoppable shot past Adrian and into the far corner to give the hosts a more comfortable advantage. Knockaert was replaced by Solly March in Albion’s second change, and the midfielder was straight into the action as he found Gross in-behind – but his shot was tipped away by Adrian. West Ham’s deadline day arrival  Hugill then came on in place of Byram for the visitors’ second change, before Beram Kayal replaced Gross with seven minutes left to play. There was still time for both Ulloa and March to go close as the latter fired agonisingly over from close range but that was the last action of the afternoon as the home side saw out the remainder of the contest to secure a vital three points and their first Premier League win of 2018.

Brighton Subs; West Ham Subs;
Ulloa —> Murray (72) Antonio —> Rice (65)
March —> Knockaert (78) Hugill —> Byram (80)
Kayal —> Gross (83)

BHAFC [3]-[1] WHUFC; Murray (8), Izquierdo (59), Gross (75); Hernandez (30);

Att; 30,589 (2,990 West Ham)

Albion MOTM; Izquierdo

BHAFC v WHUFC (3/2/18) | Match Preview

Brighton host injury-plagued West Ham at The AMEX on Saturday, looking for a first league win since the 23rd of December.

West Ham News;

West Ham have an injury-hit team going into the game; Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, Michail Antonio, Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll, Edmilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang all out injured, while Arthur Masuaku is suspended.

Last Time Out; WHUFC 1-1 CPFC

West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace; Christian Benteke opened the scoring before Mark Noble scored a penalty to equalise.

Top Scorer; Arnautovic (6)

Form; D, W, W, D, L, D

FACT; West Ham have taken 8 points from their last 4 league games, as many as in their previous 15 games.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton have Steve Sidwell, Jurgen Locadia and Jiri Skalak missing, but Bruno is back after 3 games out with a back injury.

Last Time Out;

Brighton drew 1-1 away at Southampton; Glenn Murray scored a penalty in the 15th minute, before Jack Stephens equalised in the 2nd half.

Top Scorer; Murray (9)

Form; D, W, L, L, W, D

FACT; Brighton could do their first PL double with a win over the Hammers.

Earlier In The Season: WHUFC [0]-[3] BHAFC (20/10/17);

Brighton won their first PL away game after a convincing 3-0 win against a poor West Ham side; Murray scored either side of a Jose Izquierdo stunner to seal the 3 points.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 16 of the 48 games played between the sides, with West Ham winning 18 times. Brighton won the last meeting, before that West Ham had romped to 3 straight wins scoring 10 goals in that time and conceding 0.

West Ham Likely Line-Up;

Adrian;

Ogbonna, Fonte, Collins;

Byram, Noble, Kouyate, Zabaleta, Cresswell;

Hugill, Joao Mario;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Ryan;

Goldson, Duffy, Dunk;

Schelotto, Stephens, Kayal, Propper, Suttner;

Knockaert, Ulloa;

Prediction;

Brighton 2-1 West Ham

SFC v BHAFC (31/1/18) | Match Review

Brighton & Hove Albion played out a 1-1 against Southampton on Wednesday evening at St Mary’s Stadium. A first-half penalty from Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls a deserved lead, before Jack Stephens equalised for the hosts in the second period to mean the spoils were shared. Chris Hughton made ten changes to the side that defeated Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Emirates FA Cup. Dale Stephens was the only individual who kept his place in the starting eleven on the south coast as the Seagulls returned to Premier League action.

Albion began brightly and had a glorious chance to go ahead with little more than 20 seconds on the clock. Murray flicked a long ball forward on to Pascal Gross, and as the midfielder fired the ball across goal and to the back-post, Jose Izquierdo blazed over the bar having been left unmarked. Hughton’s men continued to look menacing in attack, with Gross and Solly March linking up well, while Davy Propper fired over the bar as the home side looked shaky in defence. The Seagulls got their reward for a strong start on 15 minutes when they went into the lead courtesy of a penalty. Izquierdo raced down the left and cut inside before finding March, who was equally evasive with neat footwork – drawing Wesley Hoedt into a foul. Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot leaving Murray to score his second goal in as many matches. Lewis Dunk did well to clear a dangerous cross from the right looking for Shane Long in the centre, before Oriel Romeu fired high and wide as he latched onto a loose ball as the contest reached the halfway point of the opening period. Albion fans then had hearts in mouths as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg chased down a back pass that put Maty Ryan under pressure. The keeper then fired his clearance against the home midfielder and the ball looped up before bouncing off the bar and fortuitously away from danger. Hoedt picked up the game’s first booking when he clumsily brought down Ezequiel Schelotto as the Seagulls looked to counter, before Murray turned and shot low at Alex McCarthy at the home keeper’s near-post. Ryan Bertrand then volleyed over after a corner at the other end. March saw an effort blocked in the final few moments of the half but that was the last of the action in the opening period as Albion went into the break ahead. The home side made a double change at the interval with Romeu and Dusan Tadic being replaced by Sofiane Boufal and Guido Carrillo, and the second half began evenly with both sides squandering possession cheaply. Stephens headed James Ward-Prowse’s cross wide eight minutes into the half but he found the equaliser just after the hour mark – turning home Ward-Prowse’s free-kick from the left to level inside a crowded penalty area. Leo Ulloa then entered the action, replacing Murray with just under 15 minutes left, as Hughton looked to freshen things up in attack with the Seagulls coming under pressure from the hosts. Manolo Gabbiadini was Southampton’s final change as he replaced Long up front and Beram Kayal came on in place for Gross with eight minutes left. Ulloa was inches away from connecting with March’s free-kick in the final few moments but both sides claimed a point as the referee brought an even contest to a close.

 Southampton Subs; Brighton Subs; 
 Carrillo —> Tadic (46)  Ulloa —> Murray (76)
 Boufal —> Romeu (46)  Kayal —> Gross (82)
 Gabbiadini —> Long (79)

SFC [1]-[1] BHAFC; Stephens (64); Murray (15pen);

Att; 30,034 (3,300 Brighton)

Albion MOTM; Izquierdo

SFC v BHAFC (31/1/18) | Match Preview

Brighton travel down the South Coast to face a Southampton side, with both teams in desperate need of 3 points.

Southampton News;

Southampton will be missing Ryan Bertrand and Charlie Austin for the visit of the Seagulls.

Last Time Out; SFC 1-0 WFC

Southampton secured passage to the 5th round of the F.A Cup with a home win over Watford; Jack Stephens with the goal.

Top Scorer; Austin (6)

Form; D, L, W, D, D, W

FACT; Southampton are winless in 11 games, drawing 6 and losing 5.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton are missing Steve Sidwell, Jiri Skalak and Jurgen Locadia for the trip down the South Coast, but new loan signing Leo Ulloa is available.

Last Time Out; MFC 0-1 BHAFC

Brighton scored a 90th minute winner to book their place in the 5th round of the F.A Cup, thanks to Glenn Murray.

Top Scorer; Murray (8)

Form; D, D, W, L, L, W

FACT; Brighton could equal the club league record of 7 consecutive away fixtures without a goal.

Earlier In The Season: BHAFC [1]-[1] SFC (29/10/17);

Brighton were held to a 1-1 draw at home to the Saints; Steven Davis opened the scoring before Murray equalised early into the second half.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 20 of the 67 meetings between the 2 sides, while the Saints have won 32 Brighton have won only twice in the last 14 games, with Southampton winning 7 times in that period.

Southampton Likely Line-Up;

McCarthy;

Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Pied;

Ward-Prowse, Lemina;

Carrillo, Hojbjerg, Boufal;

Gabbiadini;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Ryan;

Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong;

March, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo;

Gross;

Murray;

Prediction;

Southampton 0-0 Brighton

MFC v BHAFC (27/1/18) | F.A Cup 5th Round Match Review

Brighton & Hove Albion booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round, after Glenn Murray’s 90th-minute winner ensured the Seagulls edged out Middlesbrough 1-0 on Teesside. Murray’s fortuitous effort was enough to settle an otherwise cagey and lacklustre fourth round tie, as Chris Hughton’s side claimed their place in the last 16 of the competition. The Seagulls boss made seven changes to the side that lost 4-0 against Chelsea the previous Saturday, with only Connor Goldson, Markus Suttner, Dale Stephens and Tomer Hemed retaining their places in the starting line-up.

Boro had their first chance inside the opening couple of minutes when Ashley Fletcher took advantage of some indecisive Albion defending on the edge of the box but fired his long-range effort wide. Albion worked their first opening when Jiri Skalak cut inside off the left flank and drifted in a ball towards Sam Baldock, but the striker couldn’t make a decent connection. Boro had another chance when George Friend delivered an enticing cross into the box, but Martin Braithwaite couldn’t divert his header on target. Adama Traore then got the better of Suttner and Beram Kayal to tee up Fletcher, but the forward fired wide from deep inside the box. Daniel Ayala was next to come close for the hosts after meeting Braithwaite’s looping corner, but his header was straight at Tim Krul. The hosts came closer to breaking the deadlock moments later, as Patrick Bamford’s overhead kick from Ryan Shotton’s long throw hit the roof of the net. Traore then took advantage of some indecisive Albion defending only to see his fierce strike clip off the outside of the post. After a quiet start to the second half, the game sprang to life when Kayal’s strike was punched by Darren Randolph into the path of Skalak. His attempt was blocked while Baldock saw his subsequent shot cleared. Hughton freshened up the left flank with the introduction of Jose Izquierdo in place of Skalak, and he looked to make his mark after a surging run forward, only to see his shot go wide. The Colombian was involved in the thick of the action again moments later when he fed in Kayal down the right, who took a touch before firing an effort over from a tight angle. The livewire Traore continued to pose a threat and he sent a low drive just wide of Krul’s near post. But just as the game looked to be heading for a replay, Suttner’s ball into the box was cleared by Friend, only to ricochet off Murray and back beyond Randolph, to send the away end into raptures. Brighton have since been drawn at home to Coventry City in the 5th Round.

Middlesbrough Subs; Brighton Subs;
Assombalonga —> Fletcher (56) Propper —> Stephens (46)
Downing —> Braithwaite (56) Izquierdo —> Skalak (61)
Fry —> Ayala (65) Murray —> Hemed (72)

MFC [0]-[1] BHAFC; Murray (90);

Att; 20,475 (911 Brighton)

Albion MOTM; Murray

MFC v BHAFC (27/1/18) | F.A Cup 4th Round Match Preview

Brighton travel to Teeside for their 4th round match against Middlesbrough; their first time back since their heart-breaking last day draw which saw them lose out on automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Middlesbrough Team News;

Tony Pulis have no injury concerns, but is expected to rotate his squad to keep key players fresh.

In The Last Round;

Middlesbrough beat rivals Sunderland 2-0 to progress to the 4th round; Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite with the goals.

Top Scorer; Assombalonga (12)

Form; W, L, W, W, L, W

FACT; Have been eliminated in 7 of their last 8 F.A Cup ties against PL opposition, failing to score in 4 of the last 5.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton have new signing Jurgen Locadia and Steve Sidwell out for the trip north, but Chris Hughton is expected to rotate his squad with the game at Southampton just 4 days later.

In The Last Round;

Brighton knocked out rivals Crystal Palace in the 3rd round; Dale Stephens and Glenn Murray scored either side of Bakary Sako’s goal to seal the win.

Top Scorer; Murray (7)

Form; L, D, D, W, L, L

FACT; Have won just 2 of their last 8 away F.A Cup games, losing each of the last 2.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 9 of the 46 games played, while Boro have won 24. Boro are unbeaten in the last 5, winning 3 of them. Brighton last win was at the Riverside Stadium back in 2013, and have drawn both times they have been there since.

Middlesbrough Likely Line-Up;

Dimi;

Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend;

Leadbitter, Howson;

Traore, Clayton, Downing;

Braithwaite;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Krul;

Bruno, Goldson, Hunemeier, Bong;

Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, March;

Murray, Baldock;

Prediction;

Middlesbrough 1-1 Brighton

BHAFC v CFC (20/1/18) | Match Review

Brighton & Hove Albion fell to a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. Goals from Eden Hazard and Willian in the first few minutes put the visitors in the ascendency, and despite Albion’s spirited efforts to get back into the contest, it was the champions who sealed all three points from a game full of talking points when Hazard added gloss to the scoreline with a second goal in the 77th minute. Midfielder Victor Moses then made it 4-0 in the last minute of normal time. Chris Hughton made five changes to the side who fell to defeat at West Brom with Ezequiel Schelotto, Markus Suttner, Connor Goldson, Solly March and Tomer Hemed all coming into the team.

The visitors had the first chance of the game when Willian curled a free-kick straight into the arms of Matthew Ryan, before Chelsea took the lead moments later. Moses’s cross was deflected by Dale Stephens into the path of Eden Hazard, and the Belgian midfielder fired into the net. The Seagulls then produced a good counter as Schelotto made ground on the right-hand side. The full-back found Davy Propper who laid it out to Solly March, but the midfielder’s cross was snuffed out by the visiting defence before the ball reached the middle. Chelsea soon doubled their advantage with a superbly worked goalas Willian picked up possession in the middle of the Albion half and exchanged passes with Hazard and Batshuayi before rifling the ball past Ryan in the home goal. Willy Caballero  gathered a low effort from March before flapping at Suttner’s cross with Gross in attendance at the far post, but the midfielder’s chipped delivery was eventually cleared as the hosts responded well to falling 2-0 down so early in the game. Ryan did well to parry Tiemoue Bakayoko’s low effort away from danger and Propper flicked wide after more hesitant goalkeeping from Caballero from a corner allowed the ball to break free in the area. Batshuayi then stung the palms of Ryan just before the half hour mark and Caballero was down quickly to thwart Hemed as he headed towards goal from Gross’ stylish cross. Duffy headed Suttner’s inswinging corner wide of the mark before Hughton’s men had strong shouts for a penalty turned away as Schelotto looked to have been fouled by Bakayoko as he surged the area. Moses was inches away from meeting Hazard’s cross at the far post moments before the break and it was the Londoners who went into the interval with a two-goal advantage. Suttner’s dangerous free-kick shortly soon after the restart nearly found the head of Duffy in the centre, before the Seagulls went agonisingly close to halving the deficit. Gross found Schelotto down the right and as the ball was cutback to the former, Propper crashed his header against the upright as the home side continued to look for a route back into the contest. Duffy was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Hazard and David Luiz came on in place of Andreas Christensen in the first change of the game, before Willian curled a free-kick against the post as both teams continued to create good opportunites. Schelotto forced Caballero into another smart stop from close range with 25 minutes left to play, and Albion then made a double switch as Beram Kayal and Glenn Murray were introduced for Gross and Hemed. Murray was straight into the action as his shot from Kayal’s assist was blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta, and Alonso was replaced David Zappacosta for Chelsea as they made their second switch. Hazard put the contest beyond doubt with his second goal of the game. Chelsea counter-attacked well and the Hazard weaved his way to the edge of the area before firing past Ryan. Charly Musonda replaced Willian with ten minutes left to play and March was replaced by Jose Izquierdo as the respective teams made their final changes of the afternoon. Chelsea wrapped up victory in the final minute when Moses latched onto a ball over the top to beat Ryan with a composed finish. The margin of defeat was harsh on Albion, who contributed much to an entertaining game, but there was no doubting the quality of Chelsea’s finishing.

Brighton Subs; Chelsea Subs;
Kayal —> Gross (68) David Luiz —> Christensen (58)
Murray —> Hemed (68) Zappacosta —> Alonso (75)
Izquierdo —> March (83) Musonda —> Willian (80)

BHAFC [0]-[4] CFC; Hazard (3), (77), Willian (6), Moses (89);

Att; 30,600 (3,028 Chelsea)

Albion MOTM; Schelotto