Chelsea may be too far behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title, but they still have a lot to play for this season.
The reigning Premier League champions find themselves battling for a place in the top four, and they needed a victory against Brighton today to strengthen their chances of finishing amongst the Champions League places.
But they did not have things their own way, with the newly promoted side holding the hosts to a goalless first half.
However, Chelsea's class would eventually tell as they immediately broke the deadlock after half time through Alvaro Morata, before Marcos Alonso doubled their lead on the hour mark.
The hosts would eventually ease to a 2-0 victory, and with that victory are now only one point behind Manchester United in second.
EDEN HAZARD IMPRESSED
Eden Hazard has proven to be Chelsea's most influential attacking player in the past few years, and he was once again superb as his side claimed a comfortable victory.
Although the Belgian did not claim a goal or an assist for his side, his own fans were still very complimentary of his performance.
However, despite putting in another impressive display, Hazard was subbed for Willian in the 77th minute: and fans were not happy.
Many fans were criticising Antonio Conte for bringing off Hazard, with many fans complaining that he is subbed off too regularly.
And they may have a point, with one fan claiming since Conte's arrival, Hazard has been subbed off 29 times more than any other Chelsea player.
He has also only completed the full 90 minutes of a Premier League game just five times this season.
ARE CHELSEA FANS SLIGHTLY OVERREACTING?
Subbing your best player is always going to be frustrating, but Chelsea fans could be slightly overreacting here.
With the game done and dusted, Chelsea were always likely to cruise to an easy victory and it therefore presented an ideal time to give Hazard a rest.
Moreover, December is always a busy period for English sides, and Hazard could do with an extra rest, especially since the Blues play again in just four days time.
Hazard is crucial to Chelsea's success this season, and if subbing him means he will stay fresh and be able to perform to the best of his ability, then that is something Conte must do.
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