3 Things we learned from Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Brighton

Chelsea eased to victory at Brighton to finally kick off the new year.

The Blues have been struggling for goals of late but ran riot on the south coast with Eden Hazard the star of the show.

Hazard opened the scoring inside three minutes at the Amex and Brighton barely had time to react before Willian made it two after a stunning move.

The excellent Hazard added a third after the break before Victor Moses wrapped it up in the closing stages.

Here are five talking points.

1. Chelsea off the mark properly in 2018

It has taken a while but Chelsea finally have a proper win to celebrate this year.

At the sixth attempt the Blues bagged their first win in 90 minutes at Brighton after blowing the Seagulls away with two early goals in three first-half minutes and two late ones.

Some of their football, especially in the opening period, was thrilling as they carved the hosts apart.

At times Conte’s forwards played like they were on a back-heel bonus.

This was a timely win for the Stamford Bridge side going into Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Arsenal.

2. Hazard the star of the show

Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard shoots to score their third goal (Image: Getty Images)
Reducing “tired” Eden Hazard’s workload looked to have done him wonders.

He was hooked after just 58 minutes against Leicester last week, a decision that raised eyebrows, and only played the final 20 minutes against Norwich in midweek.

But against Brighton he was back to his very best. On this form few teams could live with him, let alone an out of form one sliding worryingly towards the bottom three.

Hazard thrived back in a front three and relished being able to roam around the pitch into areas Brighton’s defenders didn’t want to follow him.

He scored the first – the 100 league goal of his career – had a hand in the second and added a solo third as he tormented Brighton in a sparkling display.

He was at the centre of all of Chelsea’s best work.

3. Brighton shake it up

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Chris Hughton shook things up significantly for Brighton.

Just one win in 12 games left Hughton with little choice other than to do something different.

There was a formation change to three at the back, in a bid to match Chelsea up, and missing were some big Brighton names – Glenn Murray, captain Bruno, previous record signing Jose Izquierdo and Anthony Knockaert.

The changes didn’t lead to the right result but at least Hughton hasn’t just sat on his hands while his side struggle.

You certainly can’t fault him for trying.

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