A great first half got the job done.
Chelsea opened up a three point gap with Arsenal with a narrow win against Brighton. Sarri selected the exact same lineup from the game against City as Brighton were caught of guard with Hazard starting in the false nine position. Chelsea took a while to get things going but a bit of magic from Hazard led to him squaring it for Pedro who opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Hazard then went clean through on goal as he doubled the lead in the 33rd minute. March got one back for Brighton in the 66th minute but Chelsea held on to seal three tough points at the Amex.
Brighton are a good team and to play them at home is always tough especially this season where the many teams have found it difficult to get points at the Amex. The first half was dominated by Chelsea but both teams were sloppy in possession as there were several misplaced passes in the final third. The lack of a sharp edge led to Brighton scoring but Chelsea still had several half chances in the second half as well with Alonso hitting the post from long range and Loftus-Cheek doing brilliantly to get a shot at goal only for it to be blocked at the final moment. Kepa was great, Azpi seems to be growing into the right back spot, Rudiger and Luiz were great but Alonso was poor in the first half although he did improve in the second. Kovacic was great defensively while Jorginho and Kante were their good selves. Willian, Hazard, and Pedro made up the attack and we might see Sarri continue to use this formation in later games especially until Hazard keeps benefitting from it. Willian also seems to play better on the left although I would much rather still see him leave. Loftus-Cheek had great impact when he came on and I can see him making the third midfield spot a fight between him and Kovacic. Giroud came on for Hazard late on due to a knock while Barkley replaced Kovacic.
Sarri continues to tinker with the formation although the lineup is fairly decided by now. Chelsea now head into the Carabao Cup as we play Bournemouth. We still sit 4th in the league while Brighton drop down to 13th in the table. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!