Maurizio Sarri put out the exact lineup we had all wanted to see, with Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Giroud, Emerson, Christensen all getting the nod alongside usual starters Hazard, Jorginho, Kante, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, and of course Kepa Arrizabalaga.
It took Chelsea a little while to find the breakthrough, as the visitors set out to defend with every player, often dropping all eleven behind the ball and into the defensive third. Chelsea could’ve used slightly faster ball movement, but the idea of the side-to-side switching was good.
Hudson-Odoi was central to many early Chelsea moves before Hazard came into the game and started exerting his own influence as well. But it was the kid who set up the first goal — Giroud getting a foot to the low cross.
The second-half started with a very brief spell of Brighton pressure, before Chelsea turned things up a notch, got the second goal, and after that, there was no doubt about the outcome. Not that there ever really was.
Hey, that was almost fun! Hopefully the first of many, many games with Hudson-Odoi’s and Loftus-Cheek’s names up in lights.
Chelsea move into 5th, level on points with Arsenal (who have a game-in-hand) and one point behind Spurs in 3rd.
Next up will be West Ham United on Monday.
Let’s do it again!