Chelsea fans may have been optimistic at the return of super Frank Lampard as their temporary manager till the end of the season, however after his first two games ending in losses, it seems it’s going to be a difficult to reverse the job Graham Potter did. Brighton will fancy themselves to get three points while Chelsea are arguably having their worst season since in decades. Reece James, Kovacic and Joao Felix all drop to the bench; while Chelsea fans would be distraught at the unavailability of Kante.
CHE: Arrizabalaga, Chalobah, Fofana, Badiashile, Chilwell, Gallagher, Fernández, Zakaria, Pulisic, Sterling, Mudryk
BHA: Sánchez, Veltman, Dunk, Webster, Estupiñán, Groß, Caicedo, March, Mac Allister, Mitoma, Ferguson
It appeared it would be more utter misery for Chelsea as Brighton started off the brighter of the two teams, with Mac Alastair narrowly passing the ball wide from a Mitoma cut back on the 8th minute and a minute later Ferguson would strike the bar from outside the 18 yard box with a beautifully curled effort. Yet despite this early pressure, it was an unlikely Chelsea goal that hit the back of the net first, with a Gallagher effort deflected looping over Sánchez unfortunately for Brighton after those earlier chances. The goal was excellently worked out passing out from the back to eventually get to Mudryk who exploited the space in the middle of the park, driving into it much like the speed of a Lamborghini before laying it off for Gallagher.
The goal changed nothing from Brighton’s desire to get a goal, with Mitoma majestically shifting past three players before having his shot denied by Arrizabalega. Ferguson had another chance after playing the pass and receiving a beautiful dink into the box from Enciso (who came on). Ferguson was injured after jumping for the header and on came Welbeck. Chelsea were penned into their own half for the majority of the first 45 and barely had an attempt at goal with only the one being on target. Therefore, it came as no surprise that the seagull’s dominance would finally pay off, as the blues defence collapsed when Groß whipped the ball into the box. Due to Chalobah and Fofana getting in each other’s way it made it possible for Welbeck to glance a header into the top corner. Chelsea against the run of play, would have another chance towards the end of the half, with Pulisic unlucky not to be rewarded for his headed effort as it smacked against the post.
To start off the second half Brighton’s mass of possession continued with Chelsea still unable to get a sniff of the ball. A mistake occurred when Reece James and Chalobah both failed to sheperd the ball out of play, Caicedo got around the back of them took the ball to then strike the inside of Kepa’s post. Welbeck blasted over the snap rebound and the score remained level. Mitoma shortly after had another effort denied by Kepa but there was not much power on it. Frank Lampard’s side had a half chance response with Mudryk firing straight at Sanchez after a lovely pass and go move with James and Zyiech.
There wasn’t enough conviction in Chelsea’s four second-half substitutes where you thought the tide of the game would change. This was proved when March slid the ball into Enciso who had acres of space in the middle of the pitch, he rifled a shot that lifted into the top corner from at least 25 yards out. These wonder strikes against the blues are becoming a formality, with the opponents having the time to pick their spot like it’s a training drill. Chelsea had at least three moments where they got in behind the defence over the next ten minutes through some nice passing, although none of these chances resulted in anything with good recoveries all around from Roberto De Zerbi’s side. There was even a moment where James put a wonderful ball across the goal but as usual, the Stamford Bridge faithful was left in agony with not a single player even attempting to get to it. Mudryk had an attempt that was just over, and the damage was done ending in defeat yet again for Chelsea.
Brighton deservedly got their first-ever win at Stamford Bridge, there wasn’t a moment where they didn’t feel in control of the contest. They were content to sit back after Enciso’s wonder strike as Chelsea didn’t cause them any trouble in this game. They’ll be happy with the three points as Europa League football looks very likely for the seagull’s next season
Looking ahead for Chelsea, there is no hope that they can get a win against Madrid for their upcoming second-leg tie in the Champions League if they perform as they did today. Chelsea have managed to produce comebacks in a season after sacking a manager and at least salvage some pride, but I’m sure any of the Chelsea fans will agree it doesn’t feel like that type of season.