90+4min: Chelsea keep the ball and win! FULL TIME.
90+2min: Brighton win a corner, Barkley clears but not very far. Giroud then clears a bit farther but Brighton have it back. Dunk beats Rüdiger on a header, but it’s wide.
90min: Kepa gets a yellow for time-wasting, which is pretty funny. 4 minutes added on.
86min: Alonso collects a yellow for pulling back March who was chasing after a through ball. Borderline red for DOGSO? Brighton certainly thought so. March’s free kick is well over.
82min: Chelsea chance goes begging after good work from Hazard and RLC.
78min: Barkley launches one out of the stadium after solid build-up from RLC and then Alonso and Willian and Hazard. The latter still hobbling around a bit after the Stephens reducer on his right ankle.
75min: Barkley replaces Kovačić in a standard move. Stephens commits Brighton’s 13th foul, hacking down Hazard who stays down.
72min: A Hazard flick for Kovačić does not come off and Brighton counter, but Chelsea wise to it.
71min: RLC takes on a couple and looks to be in for a goal until a desperate lunge from a Brighton defender averts the danger.
68min: Alonso shields the ball out of play, but also slaps Knockaert in the face in the process, who ends up with a bloody lip. Tempers start to flare and Andone leaves one in on David Luiz. Andone gets a yellow for his troubles.
67min: Loftus-Cheek on for Pedro after some sock trouble delayed the substitution (RLC had to put extra yellow tape on to cover the white bottom sock)
66min: GOAL, Brighton! Chelsea unable to clear another deep cross, then unable to clear the second ball, and March gets to it first. 2-1.
64min: Brighton press forward and win a corner. It’s taken long and headed back across from the far post, but Chelsea then are able to clear.
62min: David Luiz called for a foul near the half-way line. Brighton pump the ball in the box a couple times but Chelsea head clear both times then spring forward through Pedro and Willian but the latter checks back. Eventually a shooting opportunity is created for Alonso, who spanks one off the far post! Unlucky.
59min: Brighton switch tactics as Murray makes way for Andone.
58min: Kovačić accelerates through midfield and feeds Willian, but he runs out of space down the left touchline.
55min: Dunk finally goes in the book, this time for a foul on Kovačić. Willian takes the free kick, but Brighton clear.
50min: Brighton give the ball away, but Willian waits for Pedro’s pass and Brighton have a chance to clear. Kepa called into action a bit later as he takes a low cross well.
49min: Somehow Chelsea manage to make it not 3-0 as Willian and Hazard both whiff on their shot from a fantastic Azpilicueta low cross.
46min: Rüdiger steps across to win the ball against Bernardo as the second half gets underway.
45+1min: Half-time, with Chelsea in full control. In the other game, Southampton lead Arsenal 2-1, which makes things even better at the moment.
43min: Pedro has taken a knock; replays show Dunk stepping on his right ankle. No foul call coming. Chelsea maintaining easy possession to see out the rest of the half.
41min: Rüdiger heads just wide from a Willian corner, won by Pedro.
38min: Good work from Kanté creates a half-chance for Willian to shoot, but his touch lets him down and Brighton clear.
36min: Another misplaced pass from Chelsea as the attack breaks down.
33min: GOAL!!! Balogun gives the ball away for Brighton; Willian intercepts and plays Hazard through who beats the backline for pace and finishes 1-v-1. 2-0, CHELSEA!
32min: A couple uncalled fouls on Pedro and Hazard in the final third as Brighton’s physicality is not being matched.
30min: Kovačić with a dreadful square pass gifts a shooting chance for March, but Kepa’s equal to the effort and holds the ball.
29min: Good combination between Kovačić, Willian, and Hazard gives the latter the chance to run at a few players inside the area, but the way forward is eventually blocked.
25min: Hazard’s bundled over from behind by Dunk, but apparently no foul.
23min: Rüdiger’s ball over the top is just a bit long for Hazard. Brighton have a spell of possession, but Chelsea defend well.
20min: Chelsea make a slight mess of clearing a free kick, but Willian’s back to mop up David Luiz’s weak-ish header.
17min: GOALLL!! Eden Hazard at work. Takes the ball past 2-3 and lays a perfect ball across the six-yard box for Pedro to finish with ease. Good work by Alonso to NOT touch the ball and thus avoid the offside. 1-0, CHELSEA!
15min: Alonso again at the center of things, first with a terrible pass to Hazard, then by being on the end of a good move from Willian and Hazard. Ryan saves, but Chelsea have the ball back. Willian’s fouled just outside the corner of the penalty area. Alonso takes the free kick with his weaker foot; it’s easily blocked by the wall. Chelsea have the ball back quickly however and look to build again.
12min: Alonso plays Murray onside and Brighton are in with numbers. Rüdiger with a desperate block, then a Kepa punch avert any further danger. Sloppy from Chelsea.
10min: Alonso gives the ball away cheaply with a poor square pass and Brighton flow forward. March tries to find Murray with a cross but Azpilicueta blocks.
8min: Brighton win the ball from Chelsea in midfield twice in quick succession, but nothing serious comes of either.
6min: Hazard wins a free kick 30 yards out, which David Luiz blasts towards goal with his usual dipping, knuckling technique. Ryan holds and gives no rebound.
4min: Chelsea establish early possession
KICK-OFF: And we’re underway with Hazard as center forward.
Burnley tried to help us yesterday by doing what they could to prevent Tottenham from winning at Wembley. They failed.
So it’s up to Chelsea to repeat the 4-0 victory here from last season.
Here we go!
Brighton starting lineup (4-4-1-1):
Ryan | Bernardo, Dunk, Balogun, Montoya | March, Stephens, Propper, Knockaert | Gross | Murray
Substitutes from: Steele, Bruno, Bong, Kayal, Bissoune, Andone, Locadia
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Willian, Hazard, Pedro
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Emerson, Fàbregas, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Giroud
Date / Time: Sunday, December 16, 13:30 GMT; 8:30am EST; 7pm IST
Venue: American Express Community Stadium, Falmer, England
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