Chelsea consolidated fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday that became harder work than had seemed likely in the first half.
Having won 4-0 at the Amex Stadium last season, they were on course for a repeat after taking a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Eden Hazard set up the first goal for Pedro after 17 minutes and scored the second himself before halftime following a defensive error.
Brighton came back into contention through Solly March’s goal midway through the second half and Lewis Dunk went close to an equalizer.
The home side have not beaten Chelsea in any competition since 1933 but they stayed 13th in the table, nine points clear of the bottom three places.
Chelsea moved three points clear of London rivals Arsenal, who were beaten at Southampton.