Chelsea player ratings against Brighton: Hazard untouchable but supporting cast also shine


A masterclass from two-goal hero Eden Hazard helped Chelsea stylishly return to winning ways with an entertaining 4-0 Premier League triumph at Brighton and Hove Albion.

As is so often the case with the match odds market in Premier League games, it's a bit of a landmine.

But if Hughton's intention were to bolster Brighton's defence, his plans backfired disastrously in the opening six minutes when Chelsea, who have struggled in front of goal in recent weeks, twice carved open a reconfigured backline.

The Spaniard was one of two players sent off in their FA Cup third round replay with Norwich on Wednesday evening.

This significantly weakens Chelsea's attacking options, and means Michy Batshuayi could be in line for back-to-back starts, or could also mean a change of system.

With 12 days remaining in the January transfer window, the Seagulls have yet to add any new players to their first team squad.

Brighton have the best defence out of the bottom 13 clubs in the top flight, and the seventh best in the whole league.

The 27-year-old Belgian star - who had lost his goal touch of late after a blistering start to the season - scored after Brighton's Dale Stephens failed to properly clear Victor Moses's cross.

There are stats to suggest this one could be goalless at half-time.

The hosts have the luxury of being able to call on a almost full squad, with only Steve Sidwell unavailable as he faces a sustained period on the sidelines with a long-term ankle injury.

January signing Ross Barkley could be set to make his much-awaited debut for Chelsea, as he was named on the bench for the clash by Conte.

Caballero 9, Azpilicueta 8, Christensen 6, Rudiger 7, Moses 7, Bakayoko 6, Kante 8, Alonso 4, Willian 9, Hazard 9, Batshuayi 7.

"When you're playing a top side, you have to take it for what it is now and look at the quality they have - not their form or absentees because our approach would still not be any different".

At home, Brighton has been a hard team to beat.

Conte's side was also looking to end their goal drought, after failing to score in their last three outings.

Scoring goals has been Brighton's problem all season - they have just 17 in 23 league games this term as they've found it tough to find the net on their first campaign in the Premier League.