A sublime performance from Eden Hazard solved Chelsea’s recent scoring problems in their first victory this year conjuring two goals in a 4-0 win away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Two goals in the opening six minutes at the Amex Stadium — Hazard’s opener followed by a Willian strike put the team in control, with Hazard adding the London side’s third goal in the 77th minute before Victor Moses wrapped up the win two minutes from time.
This success moved Antonio Conte’s reigning Premier League champions above Liverpool and into third place, 48 hours before the Reds travel to Swansea.
Nine-man Chelsea booked their place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup following a 5-3 penalty shootout win against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Nigeria star Victor Moses was rested for the match, not included in the matchday squad.
The game finished in a 1-1 draw and penalties were needed to separate both teams after 120 minutes of football.
Chelsea finished with nine players after both Pedro Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata were sent off in extra time.
Michy Batshuayi opened scoring for the Blues the 55th minute following a low near post cross by Kenedy.
Jamal Lewis equalised for Norwich City in the final minute of stoppage time, nodding home Timm Klose’s cross.
In the shoot out, Chelsea scored all five kicks, while Norwich City were only able to convert three.
The Blues will host Newcastle United in the next round.
At the Liberty Stadium, Swansea beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 to progress to the next round where they will meet Notts County.
Jordan Ayew bagged the opening goal in the 11 minutes, while Diogo Jota levelled scores for Wolves in the 66th minute.
Ivorian forward Wilfred Bony scored the winner three minutes later.
Wigan also progressed to the next round courtesy of a 3-0 win against Bournemouth at the DW Stadium.
The Latics will face West Ham United in the fourth round.
Egyptian midfielder Sam Morsy, Dan Burn and Callum Elder were all on target for Wigan in the encounter.
Manager Antonio Conte has called on Chelsea to rediscover their ruthless streak after Arsenal left Stamford Bridge with a goalless draw in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.
It was the second consecutive 0-0 draw, coming four days on from Championship side Norwich City restricting the Premier League champions to a scoreless stalemate.
“We shot 20 times. We created chances to score, but we didn’t take them,” Conte lamented at a post-match news conference.
“I think in the last period we must be more clinical, better offensively. Otherwise, if you don’t score, if you’re lucky the game finishes in a draw.
“After Norwich it’s the second 0-0 in a row. We have to reflect on this and try to improve during training sessions and try to improve in this situation.
“Honestly, I think you must be worried if you don’t create chances to score and it becomes very difficult to score. This team in every game creates chances to score.
“This season maybe we’re a bit unlucky. We’re not so good to take these chances. My speech is not for the strikers. For example, Christensen had two fantastic opportunities to score.
“I think we have to improve with all the players, not only the strikers or midfielders. When you have the chance you have to score, especially in these games.”
Alvaro Morata’s personal goal drought extended to four matches, while defender Andreas Christensen proved ill-suited to the task when two golden headed opportunities fell his way after half-time.
Former Chelsea and West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo insists he wants to return to management.
The 47-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Aston Villa last year.
“You feel it after a while – you feel you want to have that fire in your belly again,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m going to manage again, it’s just a question of time.
“I’ve had loads of offers; in fact, the more you tell people you’re not really interested in a coaching position, the more offers you get it seems.
“I speak a few languages and I’m always looking to learn and expand my horizons so I’m open-minded.”
Source: Tribal Football
Chelsea’s new signing Alvaro Morata believes he was destined to play under manager Antonio Conte at a club good enough to compete with Europe’s elite.
Morata had joined Juventus ahead of the 2014-15 season, shortly after Conte had left the side to take charge of the Italian national side.
The pair has now been united at Stamford Bridge and the Spanish striker was confident he can adapt to Conte’s tactics.
“I know Antonio wanted me in the past and I really want to work with Antonio, and final destiny put us together,” Morata told the club website.
“It was disappointing in 2014 when he went to Italy, but I played well and had a good year at Juventus, but I really want to work with this coach and finally I can.
“I know his work, the staff. I know it is a lot of tactics and I really like this game and I know how to play with this system.”
The 24-year-old Spain international backed the defending Premier League champions to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s top sides, including his former club Real Madrid, who won their second successive Champions League title last season.
“There are very good players here and I think we can do something amazing this year,” the Spaniard added.
“It is hard to leave Madrid but it is not so hard when you come to a club like Chelsea, with these players and with this coach, and I think we can play against Real Madrid and Barcelona and win.”
Morata took the vacant No 9 jersey and is expected to make his Chelsea debut in a pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich in Singapore later on Tuesday.