Premier League
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion1ChelseaChelsea1

Brighton 1-1 Chelsea: Albion further damage Blues' title hopes

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Adam Webster heads in for Brighton
Chelsea have kept only two clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League matches

Brighton provided another huge blow to Chelsea's dwindling hopes of winning this season's Premier League title by coming from behind to claim a well-deserved draw at the Amex Stadium.

Adam Webster found all the space he needed to head in from a corner in the second half and give the home side a point to reward a display full of energy and endeavour.

Thomas Tuchel's side started poorly and lacked authority throughout, opening the scoring against the run of play through Hakim Ziyech's well-struck low drive from outside the box.

But they failed to build on the moment, never looking assured, and for all their desperate intent simply could not find a way to restore their lead and claim the vital win.

The gap between the third-placed Blues and imperious leaders Manchester City is 12 points, with Thomas Tuchel's side having played a game more - surely an insurmountable gulf.

Brighton are now unbeaten in six games in all competitions and continue to grow in confidence and class under Graham Potter.

Lifted by their equaliser, they looked the side far more likely to win the game in the final 30 minutes, instead having to settle for a point that leaves them on 29, three short of a European qualification spot.

Albion again demonstrate their progress under Potter

Brighton 1-1 Chelsea: Seagulls boss pleased by team's spirit against European champions

Brighton can take great pride in being the bookends for a 21-day period that has seen Chelsea's title hopes dwindle.

The two points Albion have claimed from those games will do less for their own league standing than the four they have denied the Blues will do to damage theirs, but they are symbolic of the huge strides this side is taking under Potter.

In both of those games, Brighton have had to come from behind, but each time a draw was the least they deserved against a side packed with elite talent, managed by a coach Fifa consider the best in the world and with fresh memories of European glory.

At Stamford Bridge they managed 18 efforts at goal before Danny Welbeck nodded in the last of them in injury time.

The stats say they had eight shots in total at the Amex, but this barely does justice to the pressure they applied, the territory they claimed and the promising openings that went begging but for a misplaced pass or a last-gasp interception.

Despite having first-choice forward pair Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard on the bench until the latter stages, the Seagulls looked a constant threat. Jakub Moder fired just wide early on, Welbeck fluffed a couple of shots, crosses flew regularly through the box as the European champions dug in.

Webster's equalising header from Alexis Mac Allister's corner was as good as any you will see - powerful and precise after a run to evade a marker and into space.

The harshest critic might suggest that Albion have once again failed to make their dominance count - something Potter's side were booed off the pitch for here not too long ago.

But this is a side punching way above its weight and on the up.

Chelsea a shadow of their former self

The last 21 days have been punishing for Chelsea. Seven games played in all competitions, three league points taken from a possible 12.

Tuchel reiterated afterwards the physical and mental tiredness that his injury-depleted side are suffering, showing that even one of the biggest, most expensively assembled squads is not immune to human frailty.

At their best last season, the Blues were a machine, strong-arming opponents into submission through a dominance of possession and tactical superiority. Here they struggled to match the intensity of their opponents and never looked in control.

It was telling that Ziyech did not celebrate his goal against the run of play, a reflection perhaps of the the fact the result was far from a foregone conclusion.

And so it proved, with Webster evading sloppy marking to level and deny the visitors another clean sheet. They have now kept just two in their past 13 games.

The Blues have now also failed to win any of the past four Premier League games in which they have scored first - hardly the trait of potential champions.

Player of the match

WebsterAdam Webster

with an average of 8.09

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    8.09

  2. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    7.96

  3. Squad number3Player nameCucurella
    Average rating

    7.80

  4. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    7.46

  5. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating

    7.38

  6. Squad number17Player nameAlzate
    Average rating

    7.11

  7. Squad number15Player nameModer
    Average rating

    7.05

  8. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    7.04

  9. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating

    6.95

  10. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    6.88

  11. Squad number1Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    6.86

  12. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    6.84

  13. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    6.72

  14. Squad number9Player nameMaupay
    Average rating

    5.74

Chelsea

  1. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva
    Average rating

    5.86

  2. Squad number1Player nameArrizabalaga
    Average rating

    5.70

  3. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta
    Average rating

    5.42

  4. Squad number7Player nameKanté
    Average rating

    5.19

  5. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger
    Average rating

    5.15

  6. Squad number22Player nameZiyech
    Average rating

    4.88

  7. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    4.54

  8. Squad number19Player nameMount
    Average rating

    4.50

  9. Squad number11Player nameWerner
    Average rating

    4.43

  10. Squad number3Player nameAlonso
    Average rating

    4.25

  11. Squad number29Player nameHavertz
    Average rating

    4.19

  12. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi
    Average rating

    3.97

  13. Squad number5Player nameJorginho
    Average rating

    3.89

  14. Squad number9Player nameLukaku
    Average rating

    3.42

Line-ups

Brighton

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Sánchez
  • 34Veltman
  • 4Webster
  • 33BurnBooked at 80mins
  • 3Cucurella
  • 17Alzate
  • 2LampteySubstituted forMarchat 76'minutes
  • 13GroßSubstituted forMaupayat 62'minutes
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 18WelbeckSubstituted forTrossardat 62'minutes
  • 15Moder

Substitutes

  • 9Maupay
  • 11Trossard
  • 16Scherpen
  • 20March
  • 25Caicedo
  • 28Roberts
  • 38McGill
  • 42Leonard
  • 58Ferguson

Chelsea

Formation 4-2-2-2

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 2RüdigerBooked at 81mins
  • 3AlonsoBooked at 59mins
  • 7Kanté
  • 5JorginhoSubstituted forKovacicat 80'minutes
  • 22ZiyechSubstituted forWernerat 80'minutes
  • 19Mount
  • 9LukakuSubstituted forHavertzat 80'minutes
  • 20Hudson-Odoi

Substitutes

  • 8Kovacic
  • 10Pulisic
  • 11Werner
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 17Saúl
  • 29Havertz
  • 31Sarr
  • 75Hall
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
30,880

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home10
Away15
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away5

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Chelsea 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Chelsea 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Marc Cucurella.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Marcos Alonso (Chelsea).

  6. Post update

    Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Solly March with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Neal Maupay (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Webster.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Neal Maupay.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Neal Maupay tries a through ball, but Leandro Trossard is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mateo Kovacic.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Booking

    Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Timo Werner replaces Hakim Ziyech.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Mateo Kovacic replaces Jorginho.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Romelu Lukaku.

  18. Booking

    Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Dan Burn (Brighton and Hove Albion).

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