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Who did it better against Brighton, Eden Hazard or Ruben Loftus-Cheek?

Goals and banter

It’s been a rather frustrating and annoying few months around Stamford Bridge, but last night, spirits were raised by a most welcome starting lineup from head coach Maurizio Sarri, with the expected outcome and performance to match from not only the youngsters but some of the more veteran players as well. Chelsea’s four most attacking players combined for all three goals and all three assists, all from open play, which was especially impressive against a massed wall of 11 Brighton players.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the first-half from one of the many good crosses from the right flank by Callum Hudson-Odoi. And then, in the second-half, Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek went to work on the left and in the center, and combined for two nearly identical goals barely three minutes apart.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to call them nearly identical finishes as the build-ups were slightly different. So, who did it better?

Exhibit A: Eden Hazard

The play starts with Jorginho, as it always did given his 169 touches. Loftus-Cheek comes short and one-touches it on to Hazard. He turns towards goal, destroys one poor Brighton soul who goes sliding out of the way, and bends it around another defender and the goalkeeper into the net.

Exhibit B: Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The play starts with Jorginho, as it always did given his 169 touches. This time Eden Hazards shows for the ball and one-touches it on to Loftus-Cheek. No one’s closing him down, unlike in Hazard’s case, so he simply turns and bends the ball perfectly into the top corner.

Hazard gets bonus points for making the extra move before the shot, but Loftus-Cheek hit it from farther out and placed it perfectly into the top corner.

Let’s call it a draw.

(That’s from the Cardiff game, obviously)

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