Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Chelsea 4
Albion learnt another harsh Premier League lesson this afternoon. Chelsea could have had at least three more goals.
For the first time this season a real gulf in class was evident as the current Premier League champions cut Albion open in the first few minutes.
Victor Moses cut the ball back, Dale Stephens failed to clear and there was Eden Hazard to rifle an unstoppable shot past Maty Ryan with less than three minutes gone.
Albion did launch an attack in response but Pascal Gross was well over with his effort.
Then came one of the greatest moments of collective skill ever seen at the Amex – a series of back heels and flicks from Willian, Michy Batshuayi and Hazard finally saw the ball fall perfectly for Willian whose swerving shot whipped inside Ryan’s far post for 0-2 with just six minutes gone.
With three at the back and Ezequiel Schelotto and Marcus Suttner as wing backs, Albion had set up with the intention of avoiding such a calamity.
Schelotto got forward and the first controversy of the match came as Willy Caballero rushed to meet him. It appeared the Chelsea keeper caught the Albion man’s ankle. Ref Jon Moss said no. Solly March crossed in the loose ball but Gross was unable to connect with Caballero stranded.
Not long after a brilliant Gross cross was met by the head of Tomer Hemed from close range but Caballero was equal to it with a brilliant strong hand to send the effort back into play and away.
Ryan then made a good stop from a Tiemoue Bakayoko shot. Soon after Shane Duffy met a Gross corner unchallenged but headed well wide.
Then another controversial moment as Schelotto pressed forward again and was certainly manhandled by Bakayoko but again Mr Moss waved away penalty appeals.
Schelotto was incensed and let the ref know. At one point it looked like Schelotto might walk off the pitch. In the end he was shown a yellow card.
In the second half Davy Propper hit the crossbar and Schelotto again made his own chances, just being foiled by Caballero.
Hazard seized on a Duffy mistake and ran half the length of the pitch to score a third.
Then in the dying moments Suttner looked like he had given up on tracking Moses, who added a fourth past Ryan unchallenged.
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