When captain Conor Gallagher was given his marching orders just before the break at Stamford Bridge, it was easy to think that this was going to be another one of those days for Mauricio Pochettino's side. However, instead of self-sabotaging themselves out of another three points, Chelsea held firm against a sloppy Brighton side on Sunday, grinding out a desperately-needed three points with a 3-2 win.
The Blues took control of proceedings midway through the first half when headers from Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill in a frantic four-minute period put them 2-0 up. They seemed in little danger of having their lead dented, only for Facundo Buonanotte to net a worldie against the run of play and Gallagher to brainlessly get himself dismissed before the interval.
But, after repelling a series of Brighton attacks early on, Chelsea pieced together a scintillating move on the counter, which was only halted when James Milner clattered into Mykhailo Mudryk in the penalty area. After consulting VAR, referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot and the ice-cool Fernandez - who missed a spot kick against West Ham earlier in the season - placed the ball into the net.
Joao Pedro's deft header made the 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time nervy - particularly when a VAR review overturned a penalty given against Levi Colwill for handball - but the Seagulls could not find an equaliser, ensuring the Blues picked up just their fifth Premier League win of the campaign.
GOAL rates Chelsea's players from Stamford Bridge...