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Full-time: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea

  • Chelsea move level on points with Manchester United in second and end a run of five successive draws with comfortable lunchtime victory at the Amex Stadium despite missing six first-team players
  • The inspirational Eden Hazard puts the visitors ahead inside three minutes with the 100th league goal of his career
  • Willian doubles the lead shortly afterwards following a sublime team move involving Hazard and Michy Batshuayi
  • Hazard wraps up his side's first top-flight victory of 2018 13 minutes from time after feeding on Willian's pass and finding the bottom corner
  • Victor Moses then adds further gloss to the scoreline, teed up by a wonderful ball from substitute Charly Musonda
  • Ezequiel Schelotto - one of five changes made by Chris Hughton - sees two first-half penalty appeals turned down after challenges from the erratic Willy Caballero and Tiemoue Bakayoko
  • Davy Propper and Willian both strike the woodwork after the interval as Ross Barkley's wait for his Blues debut continues
  • Brighton's record signing Jurgen Locadia watches the match from the stands
  • LIVE - Burnley vs Manchester United, Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Eden Ha
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Chelsea rediscover their scoring touch to end a frustrating sequence of draws and - at least temporarily - leapfrog Liverpool to move level on points with second-place Manchester United, who take on Burnley shortly.

You can join us for live coverage of that match - plus all of the other five mid-afternoon kick-offs including Arsenal vs Crystal Palace - right here.

Goodbye for now.


Brighton 0-4 Chelsea

Murray heads Kayal's cross over the top before the ever-committed Azpilicueta produces an impressive late block.

Three minutes of added time for Brighton to endure.

With the game winding down and the stands emptying rapidly, Musonda plays a superb long ball inside Schelotto and Moses takes a handsome first touch before finishing with his left foot.

Further gloss added to the scoreline.

Victor Moses
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Goal: Brighton 0-4 Chelsea (Victor Moses)

Chelsea's man of the moment celebrates putting this game firmly to bed...

Eden Hazard
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Conte introduces Musonda with under 10 minutes left to play. Willian is the man to go off.

Hughton swaps March with Izquierdo.


Game, set and match Chelsea as Hazard wraps up all three points with his second goal of the afternoon.

Willian plays an excellent pass after Duffy is caught out and Goldson backs off the Belgian, allowing him to coast into the box and finish expertly into the bottom corner.

He has been superb today.

Goal: Brighton 0-3 Chelsea (Eden Hazard)

Luiz rises above Murray to head clear Schelotto's cross. Brighton still tirelessly searching for the goal that could make this a very uncomfortable last 15 minutes indeed for Chelsea.

Batshuayi and Dunk go head-to-head before Conte withdraws Alonso in favour of Zappacosta.

Alonso's left-wing cross is turned away before Schelotto has another shot blocked.

Dunk times his sliding challenge to perfection to stop Batshuayi in his tracks.

A double change from Brighton sees Gross and Hemed make way for Beram Kayal and top scorer Murray.

Rudiger makes a crucial header to prevent Hemed from meeting Stephens' cross.

Alonso is then caught on his heels and Caballero produces a strong close-range save to deny Schelotto.

March finds a pocket of space outside the Chelsea box and chances his arm with a strike that is deflected wide by substitute Luiz.

Duffy joins Schelotto in the book after taking down Hazard. Christensen, still feeling the effects of that knock to the head, signals to the bench that he can't continue and David Luiz takes his place.

Ryan then does brilliantly to push Willian's curled free-kick against the woodwork.


Brighton look to take advantage of their temporary numerical advantage and Propper heads Gross' delivery against the post as Christensen makes his way back onto the field.

Davy Propper
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Christensen clears a free-kick before receiving treatment for a blow to the head.

The second half is underway. No changes from Hughton or Conte just yet.


I don't know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed that first half.

Chelsea raced into a two-goal lead and scored one of the finest team efforts you are likely to see anywhere all season, but Brighton came back strongly and arguably could have had two penalties.

We've seen two different sides to back-up Blues 'keeper Caballero, while Conte's front three - particularly Hazard - have played some lovely stuff. This one is not over yet.


Brighton 0-2 Chelsea

Hazard goes down on the edge of the Brighton box but fails to win a free-kick. That should do it for the opening 45.

Batshuayi shoots wide for Chelsea as the fourth official signals one minute of added time at the end of an engrossing first half.

Batshuayi sees a long-range shot blocked before Hazard overhits a back-post ball for Moses.

Handball appeals against Christensen are waved away. Chelsea should be on easy street after those two early goals, but are at sixes and sevens in defence.

Brilliant response from Brighton.

Caballero shaky again as he punches clear a deep Suttner cross under little pressure and fails to get proper purchase on the ball.

Schelotto then has another penalty appeal turned down after tussling with Bakayoko. His subsequent protestations earn him a yellow card - the first of the afternoon.

Duffy, being held by Alonso, heads Suttner's corner wide after Rudiger again gives the ball away deep inside his own half and is then slide tackled by Schelotto.

Brighton have really put Chelsea under pressure during these last few minutes and will be cursing that awful start.

Caballero's early errors are forgiven as the former Manchester City 'keeper makes a terrific one-handed save to keep out Hemer's close-range header after a great right-wing cross from Gross.

Tomer Hemed

Willian picks off a sloppy pass from Schelotto and Hazard dances his way into the box, giving Duffy twisted blood.

He then tees up Batshuayi, who cuts inside and unleashes a powerful drive that is parried by Ryan.

Chelsea's front three have certainly looked in the mood during this opening 25 minutes and they all combine again before Willian's shot from a difficult angle is turned behind by Ryan.

Stephens clears the initial corner and Hazard keeps the attack alive, but overcooks his slip pass to Moses down the right channel and Brighton earn a goal kick.

Gross goes down under minimal contact from Bakayoko. Rudiger does superbly to keep Duffy at bay before Hemed shoots well wide on the turn.

Chelsea's goal-scorers celebrate their early impact on this fixture...

Eden Hazard and Willian
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Bakayoko's low shot is saved by Ryan before Brighton force a couple of corners in quick succession.

The erratic Caballero is caught in no man's land as the ball bounces off Shane Duffy's shoulder and he then tries to swipe it away from Davy Propper, who is flagged for offside.

Hair-raising goalkeeping from Caballero as he palms away a back-post cross before appearing to bring down Schelotto, who is controversially denied a penalty - probably due to his delayed fall.

Chelsea just about keep their clean sheet intact. Let's see if the VAR... oh hang on.


Rudiger concedes possession in a dangerous area and March demonstrates some nifty footwork before forcing Caballero into a comfortable low save.


Shellshocked Brighton attempt to carve out an opportunity before Chelsea win a corner off Schelotto.

The camera pans to Locadia in the stands. What must he be thinking!

Chelsea absolutely rampant early on here after their recent poor run in front of goal.

Willian smashes the ball home after an absolutely sublime team move involving some wonderful touches and a couple of impudent flicks from Hazard and Batshuayi.

Six minutes gone and this game already looks completely beyond Brighton.

Goal: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea (Willian)

Brighton look to immediately restore parity after a strong run from Schelotto. Pascal Gross' long-range drive whistles narrowly over the crossbar.

Well, that certainly didn't take long.

Batshuayi holds the ball up well and finds Moses, whose low cross deflects off Stephens into the path of Hazard.

The former PFA Player of the Year shifts the ball away from Lewis Dunk before rifling an effort past Ryan.

Chelsea ahead inside three minutes.

Goal: Brighton 0-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard)

Dale Stephens fouls Hazard to give Chelsea their first chance to deliver the ball into the Brighton penalty area.

Willian's ambitious curling effort from distance is easily held by goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

Referee Jon Moss blows his whistle and Chelsea get the first Premier League fixture of the weekend underway at a rainy and blustery Amex Stadium.

All Premier League teams will wear black armbands and observe a minute's applause this weekend in memory of pioneering former West Brom, Coventry and England striker Cyrille Regis, who passed away last Sunday night aged 59.


Barkley warming up a few moments ago...

Ross Barkley
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A warm round of applause for Locadia as he is introduced to the crowd before kick-off. It will be interesting to see if he can provide the necessary boost to the Premier League's second-lowest scorers.

An official update from Chelsea on Courtois' injury. Conte's side travel to Arsenal for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie on Wednesday before hosting Newcastle in the fourth round of the FA Cup.


In his pre-match broadcast interview, Hughton explains that his change in personnel and system comes as the result of an attempt to turn Brighton's generally good level of performances against the top Premier League teams into tangible goals and points.

Meanwhile, Conte backs the oft-maligned Batshuayi - linked with a move away from Chelsea as the club search for a new back-up striker - to remain calm and show his qualities in the absence of Morata.

He seems quite dismissive of the fact that Chelsea have scored the most headed goals in the top-flight so far this term and Brighton have conceded the most.

A wet and gloomy winter afternoon beckons on the south coast. Let's hope the football can brighten things up a bit...

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Here is what Locadia had to say about that lofty price tag after completing his move to England on Friday...

I don't really think about it. That's something between the two clubs and all I can do is show my qualities every day.

It's a different kind of pressure here. In PSV, they expect you to play for the title and at Brighton they expect you to stay in the Premier League. It's a new experience for me.

I am someone who has always enjoyed watching football. I have always preferred to watch the Premier League and it's a dream to play here. I'm very happy to sit here and show the world that I have signed for Brighton.

He'll presumably be watching Brighton's 150th game at the Amex from the stands.


Hughton, meanwhile, makes five alterations to the team deservedly beaten at West Brom.

Connor Goldson, Ezequiel Schelotto, Markus Suttner, Solly March and Tomer Hemed replace Bruno, Gaetan Bong, Anthony Knockaert, Jose Izquierdo and Glenn Murray.

Indeed, captain Bruno, Bong and Knockaert do not even make the bench.

Anthony Knockaert

Conte makes six changes to the side that eventually overcame Norwich, with Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Victor Moses, Marcos Alonso, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard all restored to the starting XI.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian retain their places, while Willy Caballero and Michy Batshuayi continue at either end of the pitch with Courtois and Morata unavailable.

Ethan Ampadu, David Luiz and Davide Zappacosta drop to the bench, where they are joined as expected by Barkley. Dujon Sterling, Eduardo and Charly Musonda remain in the matchday squad as a result of that lengthy list of absentees.


Official lineups are imminent. Stand by...


Barkley's return to action comes at a good time for Chelsea, with Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) still unavailable.

Pedro and Alvaro Morata are both suspended after each picking up two yellow cards in extra-time against Norwich, while Thibaut Courtois and Danny Drinkwater have also emerged as real doubts.

While Brighton will have to wait a little longer to see their new man, Ross Barkley could make his Chelsea debut - and a first appearance of the season - in East Sussex after Conte confirmed that he would be included in the matchday squad for the first time since his £15m switch from Everton.

He notched a brace and got through 70 minutes of a specially-arranged behind-closed-doors friendly against QPR on Thursday and will no doubt be itching to get involved in competitive action.

Ross Barkley

Brighton broke their transfer record to secure the £14m signing of Jurgen Locadia from PSV Eindhoven late last night, but the Dutch striker is currently recovering from a hamstring injury. He would not have been registered in time to play today anyway.

With Izzy Brown having now returned to parent club Chelsea after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee ligament problem, Steve Sidwell remains Hughton's only confirmed absentee.

The veteran former Blues midfielder fractured his ankle in training earlier this month while attempting to build his match fitness after a back operation.

From a highly-controversial FA Cup penalty-shootout victory over Championship Norwich that sparked endless debate and criticism of the the VAR system to a bizarre target man search that has gone from Andy Carroll to Peter Crouch to Edin Dzeko, it's certainly not been a dull week to be a Chelsea supporter.

There will be no video assistant referee to chastise today as last season's champions, notably shorthanded with up to six first-team players expected to be sidelined, switch their attention back to the Premier League and attempt to put an end to a first run of five successive draws across all competitions since 1969.

The Blues, now fourth and only three points ahead of in-form Tottenham, have won just one of their last five away league matches and could go winless on the road in a trio of successive top-flight encounters for the first time under Antonio Conte.

Antonio Conte
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It has been 23 years since they failed to pick up all three points in any of their first three league fixtures of a calendar year, but they may fancy their chances against a Brighton side that have lost only twice in 11 home contests but have not even managed a draw against any of the current top six since being promoted.

Just one win in 12 in the league has seen Chris Hughton's Seagulls, who helped to end West Brom's miserable run last weekend, slip to 15th and three points above the relegation zone.

Chelsea won the first meeting 2-0 on Boxing Day thanks to goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso to chalk up a sixth straight triumph, though their momentum has obviously slowed considerably since then.

Stay tuned for all the latest team news and live updates after kick-off on the south coast at 12.30 GMT.