Morata & Alonso Guide Blues To Boxing Day Win
English Premier League Report: Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion 26 December 2017
English Premier League
Result: Chelsea 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Date: 26 December 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridg
Chelsea eased to a 2-0 Boxing Day win over Brighton in a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge with Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso getting on the scoresheet.
The game got off to a slow start, with Chelsea dominating possession, but struggling to break Brighton down.
Antonio Conte’s men had their first clear chance in the 19th minute, when Antonio Rudiger headed a Cesc Fabregas cross into the path of Tiemoue Bakayoko. However, the Frenchman was unable to react in time to control his close-range effort properly and ultimately fired wide.
In the 26th minute, Cesc Fabregas lofted an aerial pass into the box, picking out the run of Victor Moses, but the Nigerian failed to connect cleanly with the ball and his close-range shot was saved by Mathew Ryan.
As resolute as Brighton were in defence throughout the first half, Chelsea ripped them to shreds within seconds after the break. Cesar Azpilicueta picked out Alvaro Morata from deep and the striker diverted his header past Ryan.
That goal changed the complexion of the game and Chelsea heaped pressure on the Seagulls. Ryan made two fantastic saves to deny Marcos Alonso — first from a free-kick and then from a header following a corner.
However, at the third attempt, Alonso finally beat the Australian keeper in the 60th minute with a fabulous header after meeting a Cesc Fabregas corner.
Chelsea nearly made it 3-0 in the 67th minute following a swift counter-attack, but Eden Hazard’s shot was cleared off the line by Lewis Dunk.
The Belgian had another chance moments later when he took the ball around Ryan, but Brighton threw bodies back to prevent him from getting the decisive shot away.
Brighton showed flashes of promise towards the end, with late substitutes Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross causing problems for the Chelsea defence. The latter’s free-kick delivery in stoppage time was met by Shane Duffy, who headed just wide of target.
However, Chelsea were ultimately too strong for Chris Hughton’s side and held on to move one point behind second-placed Manchester United.