Jorginho and WIllian took advantage of two errors as Chelsea beat Brighton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to give Frank Lampard his first home league win as manager.
The hosts had the better of the first half, missing three glorious chances to take the lead, and in the end needed a helping hand from Brighton to open the scoring. Adam Webster fouled Mason Mount after taking a heavy touch in his own box, and set up Jorginho to put his side ahead from the penalty spot.
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Brighton came close when Dan Burn headed against the bar and Steven Alzate's deflected effort flew just wide, but the points were wrapped up when Willian's near-post effort deflected off Burn and wrong-footed Mat Ryan.
Chelsea: Kepa (7), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (7), Tomori (6), Alonso (7), Jorginho (8), Barkley (6), Mount (7), Willian (6), Abraham (6), Pedro (5).
Subs: Hudson-Odoi (7), Kovacic (6), Batshuayi (n/a).
Brighton: Ryan (7), Burn (7), Webster (6), Dunk (7), Montoya (7), Bissouma (5), Stephens (5), Alzate (7), Mooy (5), Maupay (6), Gross (6).
Subs: Bong (5), Connolly (6), Murray (n/a).
Man of the match: Jorginho
Chelsea were far from their free-flowing best but moved up to sixth in the Premier League table courtesy of a third win in five games.
Patchy Chelsea off the mark
Chelsea flew out of the blocks, looking to take Brighton by storm in the opening spell of the game, but, while their build-up play was excellent, they could not pull an organised back three apart.
They were not far from being stunned on the break when Pascal Gross' floated ball towards Neal Maupay caught the home defence flat-footed, but Kepa Arrizabalaga raced off his line and cleared to safety.
Despite dropping their tempo and struggling to find their rhythm, Chelsea produced a hat-trick of chances shortly before the break - first Ross Barkley side-footed straight at Ryan from close range, then Pedro fired into the goalkeeper's body, and moments later Marcos Alonso slipped to balloon his effort wide when well-placed.
After half-time things still did not click into gear for Lampard's side, but a major stroke of fortune handed them the lead. Webster's heavy touch from a pass into the box gave Mount a chance to attack and he clipped the Chelsea youngster after being caught in possession, allowing Jorginho to score his first goal at Stamford Bridge with an exquisite penalty.
The nerves set in for the hosts, without a league win on home soil since May 5, as time ticked on and they were indebted to Burn's wayward finishing from six yards, and the woodwork, to keep themselves in front.
But any worries they had were finally settled 14 minutes from time when lively substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi found Willian on the right, and, with little to aim at from a tight angle, his powerful shot caught out Ryan thanks to a nick off Burn's outstretched boot.
What the managers said...
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: "We've been waiting for it [the first home win]. The reason we haven't won at home is because we haven't put together a 90 minutes at home. We've put together halves of games. Half against Leicester, half against Sheffield United.
"Today the performance was solid, it was comfortable, it was professional. It lacked more goals, because we created enough to score more goals. But I'm glad of the clean sheet, which is what we had been striving for."
Graham Potter, Brighton manager: "We were stubborn and put up a fight but if you look at the first half, we rode our luck. We were lucky to go in at 0-0, if we're being honest. We had some opportunities on the counter-attack but they weren't clean enough.
"To be able to improve you have to be honest in your own analysis of the game to start with. Nothing wrong with the effort, the boys gave everything. But sometimes you have to credit the opposition, because I thought they were good today, Chelsea. Overall, Chelsea deserved to win and we have to accept that and try to improve."
Man of the match - Jorginho
A cool-as-you-like penalty topped a fine performance for Jorginho. With Chelsea's midfield outnumbering Brighton's, he had more time than he sometimes does and took full advantage of it, spraying out passes like a garden sprinkler and completing the most passes in the opposition half of anyone on either side.
Jorginho also claimed a match-high three key passes, and did his defensive duties well too; no-one won the ball back more times than the Italian, who enjoyed one of his best games in a Blues shirt.
Live Renault Super Sunday
- Chelsea have now won all nine of their league meetings with Brighton, making it a new English record for most games played by a side against a single opponent while winning every single one, overtaking Bournemouth's eight games against Wimbledon.
- Brighton have won just one of their last 16 Premier League matches (D6 L9), including winning none of their last six games in the league (D3 L3) since beating Watford 3-0 on the opening day of this campaign.
- Pascal Gross' attempt in the 60th minute was Brighton's first shot of the match; this is the longest the Seagulls have ever had to wait to have their first shot of a Premier League fixture.
Chelsea face a crunch clash in Lille on Wednesday night in the Champions League; Kick-off at 8pm. Brighton host Spurs in the early Premier League game on Saturday October 5; Kick-off at 12.30pm.