Yet the weakened side still proved far too potent for Brighton with the Blues pulling ahead by two goals inside six minutes.
With the video assistant referee (VAR) system Chelsea felt so hard done by in midweek not in place, referee Jonathan Moss waved away both appeals and booked the Brighton full-back for his protests after the second one.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton makes five changes after their defeat at West Brom last time out.
A late second-half salvo put a dominant gloss on the scoreline as Hazard added his second of the game latching on to Willian's through ball and driving into the box before slotting in Chelsea's third.
They did not slow down as N'Golo Kante sent a ball forward which Hazard smartly flicked onto Michy Batshuayi and the forward then managed to find Willian, who let loose a great effort from 20 yards out to double their advantage.
The first goal was bit less tidy.
Brighton's first claim came in the 16th minute when Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero - Thibaut Courtois was ruled out with an ankle problem -- weakly palmed a cross away and appeared to trip Ezequiel Schelotto as he attempted to recover from his mistake.
Brighton were denied a penalty nine minutes before the break when Tiemoue Bakayoko appeared to have brought down Ezequeil Scheletto.
Chelsea flew into a two-goal lead before Brighton barely had time to catch their breath.
The Australia worldwide also denied Batshuayi before Caballero displayed astonishing reactions to keep out Tomer Hemed's 30th-minute header at the other end. Centre-half Shane Duffy - again with a header - should have done better as he glanced just wide following a corner less than a minute later.
The hosts made the flawless start to the match when Hazard gave them the lead four minutes in. The Belgian ace went unchallenged from the halfway line all the way to just inside Brighton's 18-yard box and slotted home easily.
Liverpool FC now find themselves in third place in the Premier League table after they became the first team to beat Manchester City as they claimed a thrilling 4-3 win over the Citizens at Anfield on Sunday. Subs: Krul, Huenemeier, Kayal, Murray (Hemed, 68), Baldock (Gross, 68), Izequierdo (March, 83). Subs: David Luiz (for Christensen, 58) 6, Davide Zappacosta (for Alonso, 75) 6, Charly Musonda (for Willian, 81) 7.