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

Getty Images

Getty Images

Chelsea headed into the match on the back of a penalty shootout win over Norwich City in the FA Cup that was preceded by three consecutive 0-0 draws in all competitions and Hazard felt their blistering start at the Amex Stadium - it was 2-0 within six minutes - was key.

Morata picked up two yellow cards during Chelsea' s FA Cup replay against Norwich City.

Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT's predicted Chelsea XI, listed in squad number order.

Chelsea's second goal was an absolute gem.

The only concern for Brighton is Steve Sidwell, who has not played all season because of a back injury.

Former Southampton legend Le Tissier believes Chelsea will miss out to Spurs in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk's partnership at the back is as good as any in the league - and the fact they have conceded just 29 times in their 23 matches shows how hard they are to break down, especially for a Morata and Pedro-less Chelsea.

"Pedro's reaction was to stand up quickly (not to appeal for a penalty)".

There are certainly better players in the world than Eden Hazard - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are pretty good, to name two - but when the Belgian is on top form, there aren't many better to watch, as he displayed by masterminding a Chelsea win (their first of 2018) over Brighton.

"This means we are performing important work with these players to win in this way, despite five players less: [Cesc] Fabregas, [Danny] Drinkwater, Courtois, two suspensions in Pedro and Morata".

Flicks, tricks and stunning goals haven't been coming off for Chelsea in recent weeks but Hazard opened the scoring with a brilliant touch and finish in the third minute. While Chelsea have produced only one goal from their last four matches, Brighton have failed to score in six of their previous eight League fixtures.

The Dutchman scored nine goals in 15 league games for PSV Eindhoven this season and once he becomes accustomed to Chris Hughton's system, Brighton could see their goal return increase.

Chelsea know that they can't afford to not leave Brighton without all three points. After Andy Carroll, a top target of Antonio Conte, got injured, they turned to Andrea Belotti and Peter Crouch.

Brighton broke their transfer record to secure the £14m signing of Jurgen Locadia from PSV Eindhoven late last night, but the Dutch striker is now recovering from a hamstring injury. I don't think it is a penalty, I don't think many referees would give a penalty there.

Recommended News

  • Women's March This Year Focuses On The Future

    Women's March This Year Focuses On The Future

    The tensions allegedly have led to split up in the group's leadership , with the creation of a new organization called March On . We believe that Women's Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women's Rights.
    Roger Federer's Australian Open chances just got much better: This is why

    Roger Federer's Australian Open chances just got much better: This is why

    Muguruza saved a first match point in the second set to get back to 5-4 but Hsieh made no mistake in the next game. Juan Martin del Potro , who defeated Karen Khachanov in four sets, also said it was too hot to play.
    Brady scheduled to speak about hand injury today

    Brady scheduled to speak about hand injury today

    Brady also bowed out of a scheduled meeting with the media on Thursday, which had originally been postponed from Wednesday. Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said typical methods of rattling a quarterback don't apply when it comes to him.
  • Police confirm release of US & Canada Citizens Abducted in Kaduna

    Police confirm release of US & Canada Citizens Abducted in Kaduna

    He said no ransom was paid. "All of them are in a good condition of health" and are now in the care of their embassies, he said. At the time, Global Affairs Canada said it could not release further information about the Canadians due to privacy concerns.

    Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP) Analysts See $0.74 EPS

    VLO's financial leverage ratio is 0.95, which indicates that the company's asset base is primarily funded by equity capital. The firm has a market cap of $43,180.00, a P/E ratio of 20.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.20.
    Sports Notebook: Can 'miracle' propel Vikings to Super Bowl?

    Sports Notebook: Can 'miracle' propel Vikings to Super Bowl?

    The Eagles went 7-1 at home during the regular season, while the Vikings were 6-2 in road games. "It's the NFC Championship game". On how he remained motivated after becoming a backup: "I think the big thing is you gotta know where your heart is". "I'm all in.
  • Geekwire: Ranking Amazon's HQ2 short list

    Geekwire: Ranking Amazon's HQ2 short list

    Almost all the cities on Amazon's list already have growing economies, low unemployment and highly educated populations. The retailing behemoth has made clear that tax breaks and grants will be a big factor in its decision.
    Australian Open: Federer, Djokovic eye pre-quarterfinal berths

    Australian Open: Federer, Djokovic eye pre-quarterfinal berths

    Federer initially seemed a bit taken aback when John McEnroe introduced Farrell. But the performance of the day definitely went to Ferrell. "A gazelle .
    He's scared of me - Ferrell reveals Federer fears

    He's scared of me - Ferrell reveals Federer fears

    The Australian Open began yesterday and is set to finish on the 28 January. "You're 36-years-old, you seem ageless". Roger Federer believes it is time for the prize money to be increased for all competitors at the Grand Slam events.
  • Tripura to vote on 18th February; Meghalaya & Nagaland on 27th February

    Tripura to vote on 18th February; Meghalaya & Nagaland on 27th February

    The notification for Tripura will be issued on January 24, beginning the process of filing of nominations. The three assemblies have 60 members each.
    Trump's Harsh Words, Not His Plan for Wall, Dominate Hearing

    Trump's Harsh Words, Not His Plan for Wall, Dominate Hearing

    But you don't just "move forward" after the president reviles African countries and proposes more white immigration. This item has been corrected to show that Nielsen is secretary of DHS, not HHS.
    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reveal the name of their third baby

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reveal the name of their third baby

    So for him he deserves to be able to name his child Chicago for as much as he does for our city and as much as he loves our city. The " Keeping Up With the Kardashians " star also said that she and Kanye West's third child is biologically theirs.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.