Chelsea 3 Brighton 2
Ten-man Chelsea returned to winning ways with Enzo Fernandez scoring his first two Premier League goals for the club in a controversial clash at Stamford Bridge.
Fernandez opened his account early in the first half when he escaped his marker to nod past Jason Steele after Benoit Badiashile hooked Conor Gallagher’s corner back across the six-yard box.
The Blues then extended their lead midway through the first half when Levi Colwill, who enjoyed a successful loan stint with Brighton last season, rose to meet another Gallagher corner for his first goal for the club.
But Brighton dragged themselves back into the game through Facundo Buonanotte’s curling effort two minutes before halftime.
Chelsea were then reduced to 10 men when Conor Gallagher picked up a second booking for a lunging challenge on former Blues midfielder Billy Gilmour.
Boosted by the extra man, Brighton dominated the early exchanges in the second half but it was Chelsea who extended their lead in controversial fashion after James Milner muscled Mykhailo Mudryk off the ball after he was put clear by Raheem Sterling.
Referee Craig Pawson waved away the home side’s appeals but was advised to check the pitch-side VAR monitor and then awarded a penalty which was calmly dispatched by Fernandez.
Brighton dominated possession but didn’t really look like scoring until the first of 10 added on minutes when Joao Pedro rose in front of Colwill to flick home Kaoru Mitoma’s corner.
The Seagulls laid siege to the Chelsea goal in stoppage and looked to have been awarded a spot kick when Pawson ruled the Colwill used his arm to prevent Mitoma’s ball into the box.
Once again he was asked by refer his decision to the pitchside monitor by VAR official Jarred Gillett and after a lenghty review he correctly changed his mind with the ball hitting Colwill in the face not the arm.
Chelsea: Sanchez, Disasi, Badiashile, Silva, Colwill, Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher, Mudryk (Broja 81), Sterling (Palmer 66), Jackson (Maatsen 71). Subs not used: Petrovic, Bergstrom, Madeueke, Washington, Gilchrist, Matos.