Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Chelsea 4 - Who needs Peter Crouch?

Us : Oh my. No Thibaut, no Cahill, no Drinkwater, no Fabregas and of course no Pesto  (silly autospell, silly boy)  and no Morata. That’s...

Us: Oh my. No Thibaut, no Cahill, no Drinkwater, no Fabregas and of course no Pesto (silly autospell, silly boy) and no Morata. That’s six. Conte has, I believe, since said that we were missing five important players today. Did he just exclude the keeper? Or did he mean someone else? There’s something for you to argue over. I'd say the only potential game-changer on the bench was Musonda. Who knows what Barkley would be capable of, as he hadn't played for months, so I felt it really was up to the starting eleven to decide this. 

Them: I couldn't pick any of their players out of a line up if you paid me. I'd heard of Duffy, Kruuuuuuul (you have to say it like he's a super villain) and that was about it. 

Nine passes before we got out of our own half, that didn't bode well, but an early free kick went straight to the keeper. There would be no Blue Lament in A Minor with Morata up front today. He'll have to wait to break his duck. So where would the goals, thus far basically non existent in 2018, come from? 

The team answered that quickly enough. Eden stood completely unmarked in the box, despite Brighton players being in close proximity. A change to three at the back was initially disastrous. Hazard took it past one, then managed to strike a path through three defenders and the goalkeeper to put it emphatically in the back of the net. Oh dear Brighton. I love Caballero, he's bonkers. You'd have thought he'd won the World Cup down the other end with us when the goal went in and he went psycho. He's a consummate team player, always got the right attitude. "We've scored a goal" sang the away fans. (To the tune of that awful "We've Won It All") We'd barely finished celebrating when Willian doubled our lead. Precise play between Hazard, Batshuayi and him ended with a back heel from Michy to lay it off for Willian to leather it into just past the post. Five minutes gone. 0-2 up. "We've scored two goals" was the song now. 

I made one up too:

"You can shove your Andy Carroll up your a*se"

Ten whole people sang it. 

I'd like to point out here that I (ok, and several thousand others) have persistently whined about the need to start at least two of Willian, Hazard and Pesto to be effective going forward. Brighton could do nothing when faced with the first two running at them, but they had joined the game now and were not downhearted. Their first shot came on 13 minutes but it was tame and easily claimed by Big Willy. Our stand in goalkeeper then had his regular match day brain fart. He started well by palming the ball away from another effort, but then when he chased it out he failed to get there first. They half-shouted for a penalty when Schelotto went down and the goal was open, but we got it away. Mowgli was our Virtual W*nk Puppet today and after standing with a dopey look (that comes naturally) on his face and a finger stuck in his ear for thirty seconds he declared that it wasn't a penalty.  There was a modicum of contact, but the theatrical fall didn’t do him any favours. Fair play to Brighton, they could have sagged worse than Sam Allardyce's bitch tits after an awful start but they were giving it a go. On 19 minutes they had two successive corners and the last resulted in a backward header towards the goal that went just wide, and Big Willy and Dave had to combine to shuffle another home attempt clear. Our substitute goalie has got his own song now; the same as Anelka's. 

They definitely had their tails up, if seagulls have tails, but we were not being forced out of it. In the run up to halftime we pinged the ball across the face of goal and Michy hit one wide on the turn. His part in the second goal today was prolific, and spot on, but he was so sloth-like on the ball at other times it was like watching Mikel suffering from bubonic plague, with a hangover, and his feet tied together. He's surely running out of chances now in so far as scoring goals is concerned. Add to that he stropped off the pitch without so much as acknowledging the travelling support and my giveaf*ckometer is just non-reactive to his plight at the moment. He's a nice guy, seemingly, but no matter how well he supports his teammates going forward, he isn’t going to silence his critics. He needs to score more goals. 

Not quite the explosive start to the second half that we'd enjoyed with the first. In fact it was almost the reverse, culminating in a header from Davy Pröpper that struck the post. At this point we were barely touching the ball. God help us, I'm running out of metaphors about how deep we play when we're ahead. At this point our defenders were as good as tottering on the edge of the Mariana Trench. I consoled myself, because there was no gin, with the notion that one break during all of their attacking endeavour might put this game to bed. We got one on 56 and Eden survived one crunching tackle, scrambled up and was promptly fouled 20 odd yards out. There were inevitable chants of Alonso's name, but in the meantime we lost Christensen, who had suffered a head injury ten minutes before that had required lengthy treatment. Luiz whipped his tracksuit off and scurried forth. He looked like he may even take the free kick but he and Alonso stood aside to make way for Willian, who shot forced the goalkeeper to push it onto the post. My rage levels were rising. I lost count of the amount of times the bloke behind me staccato coughed on me without covering his mouth. It was like that episode of South Park where Paris Hilton walks around coughing up jizz. Mowgli had to wipe green snot off my shoulder. And all the while Brighton appeared to be agonisingly near to getting a goal back. On 65 minutes they came close again. By this time Barkley was making a bid to get on, edging closer and closer up the line towards Conte as if to say: "pick me, pick me!" The boss was too busy going ballistic at Michy for giving the ball away again to notice. It had most definitely become more hairy at the back since Christensen went off. Remember Reading under Rafa anyone? Please don't do this to me Chelsea. In the event, we got Zappacosta for Alonso, who had been put through the ringer. If we want to sign someone, why don't we enquire about Ezekiel Schelotto? Because he tore the artist formerly known as George Michael a new one, and it’s not like we have an abundance of personnel in that position. 

Leave it to Hazard to sort us out. Willian set him off on a run down the left-hand side in acres of space. There were four defenders in the box, but they didn’t really look like they had a clue about how to take him on. Half of them ended up on the floor, along with the keeper (and Michy, who sensibly just lay down and stayed out of the way) and the ball was in the net to secure the three points and a brace for my favourite Belgian export ever. And that includes gin AND chocolate. They just couldn't handle him at all today, and their basic response to him scampering away towards their goal was to bring him down. There were now the inevitable strains of "You've had your day out, now f*ck off home." And they did, to an extent. Little did we know that it was nothing to do with the score and all to do with the fact that getting away from Amex is akin to the nightmare of waking up to find Wayne Rooney naked next to you. (So I'm reliably informed by my nan) 

Barkley was not to get his debut today, as Musonda was now getting ready to come on. When you think about it, he probably deserves a run out at 3-0 more right now, and had Christensen not had to go off, they might have both got on. Charley replaced Willian on 80 minutes and found he has his own song. Pesto is going to have to share the tune from "Oh Pesto Rodriguez." By now we were amusing ourselves with "you're just a sh*t Crystal Palace." They didn't like that. I don't think Brighton deserved to take anything out of this game, but overall they didn't deserve to lose by four. However, I don’t think they would have banked on a beautifully weighted long ball into the box from Charley Musonda. Great take down from Moses, who slotted it home for a fourth with seconds left in normal time for his first goal since August. And just to rub it in, he slid on his knees and ripped up the pitch, leaving the groundsmen in tears. 

Refwatch: Well nothing can be as bad as the Not-So-Admirable-Kryten on Wednesday night. I'm still reeling from his f*ckwittery. Looks like they were blooding in some newer victims this week. But who do we get? Jonathon f*cking Moss, a flaccid old donkey. He’d already waved off one softer appeal for a penalty because he was in a stupid position, before his inevitable demise towards incompetence started on 35 minutes. Have to say it was in front of us the second time and it looked like it should have been one when Schelotto was brought down. (Jesus, as he was affectionately called by some of their fans - no doubt this will be ruled out as politically incorrect and offensive, but it’s based on little more than the fact that he has long hair and a bit of facial fuzz) Obviously it wasn’t given, but note the rabid inconsistency in that there was no yellow for diving and another one for dissent straight afterwards when he kicked off, such as Kryten came up with on Wednesday. Moss eventually yanked a card out. For what transgression, who knows? It's a good job PGMOL don't have to answer to anyone, about anything, ever. Every time we see this official he is a clusterf*ck of faffing about, sh*t decisions and utter buffoonery. Though if we want to set fire to him today I think we'll have to line up behind 25,000 Brighton fans who vehemently booed him off at the end of both halves like the pantomime character that he is. 

So: F*ck we needed that. I still heard people mugging off Bakayoko on the way out of the ground. Just precisely what split-second transgression they've decided to nappy sh*t over during the course of a solid showing from him today is beyond me. This is a good result before heading into yet another interminable fixture against L'Arse where we set up not to get tanked and nothing really happens. Until we inevitably sink so deep that we concede a stupid late goal and go crashing out of the competition within touching distance of another trip to Wembley. Did I tell you I was a glass half empty person? If we retain the formation we started with today, we can win it. If not, it could well be, to coin a phrase from Stamford Chidge, a load of a*se gravy. 


Match report written by Alex Churchill - Owner of the fantastic Chelsea Blog - A Girl Who likes Balls

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