Chelsea’s Spanish skipper Cesar Azpilicueta carved out his own little piece of history by scoring the first Premier League goal of the decade during his side’s early New Year’s Day kick-off against Brighton.
The full-back was in the right place at the right time to turn in a Tammy Abraham shot following a Kurt Zouma knockdown from a corner, to hand Frank Lampard’s men an early advantage against relegation-threatened Brighton at the American Express Community Stadium.
The goal prompted a tweet from Match of the Day host Gary Lineker to acknowledge the strike, which came exactly 10,000 days since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.
Hail Cesar. Azpilicueta scores the first goal of the decade.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 1, 2020
10,000 days ago, the #PL began
Who's spent most days at the top❓
How many goals have been scored❓
Which day saw the biggest goal-fest❓
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 1, 2020
Brighton 0-1 Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta taps in after Tammy Abraham's shot is blocked 😍🔥
— Aspirin ❁ (@aspirin_n) January 1, 2020
The goal will leave Graham Potter’s men with an uphill struggle to keep pace with Chelsea for the game, as incredibly they have lost each of their English top flight games against their visitors – and nor have they ever taken the lead against the London powerhouse.
Chelsea will be looking to keep pace with Manchester City and Leicester in the Premier League’s top four, with the title all but certain to be heading to Liverpool for the first time in three decades.
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Lampard’s young team, who recently had their transfer ban reduced to allow them to purchase players in January, had hit a patchy run of form in recent weeks but will be looking to build on their final performance of last year in which they added to Arsenal’s woes by scoring two late goals in the Emirates to claim a late 2-1.
Brighton, meanwhile, currently stand in 14th place, four points above the relegation zone.