2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Solly March (66')
  • Pedro (17')
  • Eden Hazard (33')

Eden Hazard ends goal drought as Chelsea win at Brighton

Eden Hazard scored his first goal in more than two months to help Chelsea retain their place in the Premier League's top four with a 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Hazard set up Pedro for his side's opener before doubling Chelsea's lead himself with his first goal since the Oct. 7 win at Southampton. Solly March pulled one back for Brighton midway through the second half, but it was not enough to salvage a point for the hosts.

The victory keeps Chelsea fourth in the Premier League table, three points above Arsenal following the Gunners' 3-2 loss at Southampton, and Maurizio Sarri's side moved to within two points of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Hazard started up front in a false No. 9 role with Olivier Giroud on the bench and Alvaro Morata missing out through knee trouble, while Willian was the only player to retain his starting berth from the Thursday's 2-2 draw at Vidi in the Europa League.

With 17 minutes played, Hazard had a strike from the edge of the area blocked but the ball rebounded to him. The Belgium international drove into the area and squared a ball for the unmarked Pedro to tap home at the far post.

That was Hazard's ninth league assist of the season, more than any other player across Europe's top five leagues, and just after the half-hour mark he got on the scoresheet himself.

Brighton defender Leon Balogun's sloppy pass out of defence gifted the ball to Willian, who played Hazard through on the halfway line. The forward raced away from the pursuing defenders with ease before hitting a clinical low finish past Mathew Ryan to end a 12-game goal drought for club and country.

Glenn Murray returned to the Brighton starting XI as one of three changes from last weekend's 1-0 loss at Burnley, but the striker was replaced after an hour by Florin Andone after failing to register a single shot.

The Seagulls did pull a goal back on 66 minutes, when Bernardo headed the ball back across the area for March to hook in a finish for his first of the season, but Chelsea held on for the win.

Chelsea host Leicester City in the Premier League next Saturday before making short trips to Watford and Crystal Palace over the Christmas period.

English Premier League Standings

1 Liverpool 12 +18 34
2 Leicester City 12 +21 26
3 Chelsea 12 +10 26
4 Manchester City 12 +22 25
5 Sheffield United 12 +4 17
6 Arsenal 12 -1 17
7 Manchester United 12 +4 16
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 +1 16
9 AFC Bournemouth 12 0 16
10 Burnley 12 -1 15
11 Brighton & Hove Albion 12 -2 15
12 Crystal Palace 12 -6 15
13 Newcastle United 12 -7 15
14 Tottenham Hotspur 12 +1 14
15 Everton 12 -5 14
16 West Ham United 12 -6 13
17 Aston Villa 12 -3 11
18 Watford 12 -15 8
19 Southampton 12 -18 8
20 Norwich City 12 -17 7