Chelsea 3 -0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Sarri's fringe players impress in easy win

Brighton and Hove Albion were no match for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as Maurizio Sarri's changed side won 3-0 in the Premier League.   Chelsea's fringe players justified their selection as Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud and Ruben Loftus-Cheek played crucial roles in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Maurizio Sarri shuffled his pack from Sunday's contentious 2-1 win at Cardiff City, handing Hudson-Odoi his first league start in the process, and Chelsea rarely looked like dropping points as they produced an excellent display at Stamford Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi certainly made an impact out wide, setting up Giroud with a pinpoint cross to give the dominant Blues the lead just before half-time with his first Premier League goal since November.

Eden Hazard doubled their advantage with an hour played and Loftus-Cheek – who set up the Belgian – wrapped things up three minutes later with a gorgeous 25-yard strike, sending Chelsea above Manchester United and into fifth.

Hudson-Odoi was the first to threaten, as he cut in from the right in the 11th minute and saw his left-footed strike deflected narrowly over.

An even better opportunity fell to Hazard just after the half-hour mark, but he smashed a half-volley over from just inside the area when teed up perfectly by Giroud.

Chelsea did take the lead in the 38th minute, however, as Hudson-Odoi breezed past Anthony Knockaert and played a low cross towards the near post, where Giroud glanced a fine finish in with the outside of his foot.

Hazard increased the lead in the second half, receiving Loftus-Cheek's pass before committing Lewis Dunk and guiding a controlled finish into bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.

Loftus-Cheek went one better shortly after, his long-range effort curling into the top-right corner, leaving Mat Ryan helpless and completing a straightforward win.

Chelsea's depth highlighted before run-in

As the Premier League season enters its final stages, it can surely only be a good thing for Chelsea that their squad players look ready to rise to the occasion.

Hudson-Odoi, Giroud and Loftus-Cheek all impressed against Brighton, and that could be a timely boost in the race to finish in the top four.




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