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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at The Amex Stdium

Chelsea are feeling the blues and luckily snatch a point in 1-1 draw at Brighton

By Paul Lagan at the Amex Stadium

Brighton 1 v Chelsea 1

Chelsea let slip an underserved lead to snatch a point in a 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex Stadium tonight.

This was another poor display from the west Londoners who, while they stay in third place in the Premier League, they are vitally 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City with the chasing pack of West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham coming up fast on the rails.

There is a mood among the vocal fans that the Chelsea train is slipping on those rails with it difficult to understand why.

Romelu Lukaku was anonymous and was duly substituted - he never had a serious chance, but he never had a serious ball to play with.

The midfield was alarmingly overrun at times, while only the imperious Thiago Silva at the back looked confident and assured.

A terrible clearance by Cesar Azpilicueta on three minutes almost cost the Blues a goal - Jakub Moder screwed his low, right-footer from just inside the penalty area inches wide of Kepa’s right post.

Generally, Chelsea looked disjointed and a tad afraid, hoping not to concede early.

But on their first attack, on 16 minutes, Azpilicueta forced Robert Sanchez into a one-handed save to tip the Spain defender’s edge-of-area chip over the crossbar.

Ex-Arsenal Danny Welbeck got behind a static Chelsea defence on 28 minutes but couldn’t grab hold of the clever chipped ball and Chelsea escaped again.

But then out of nowhere Hakim Ziyech found a bit of space outside the Brighton area. N’Golo Kante touched the ball back to him - he took a touch before letting fly with a venomous left footer which arrowed to the corner of Sanchez’s left post. The stopper got a fingernail to the ball but it was too powerful and the ball nestled in the back of the net to give the visitors an undeserved 1-0 lead.

Callum Hudson-Odoi had a great chance a minute from the end of the half to put the game to bed, but after receiving the ball from Romelu Lukaku, he skied the ball high over Sanchez’s crossbar from the edge of the Seagulls’ penalty area.

There were no. Ganges by either side, at half-time, but within seconds of the rest a slide rule pass found Welbeck on the left but he smashed a left-footer wide of the Chelsea goal.

The home side were in total control of the game, and very much like the defeat at Manchester City at the weekend, there was a growing sense that the Blues would concede

Kepa parried away a deflected goal-bound effort by Alexis Mac Allister for a corner on 60 minutes, but from the resultant kick, up popped an unchallenged Adam Webster to smash home a powerful header to deservedly level the match.

Alonso’s booked a little bit earlier for hacking down Lamptey tried his luck from 25 yards out on 66 minutes - it wasn’t that far out.

Brighton were cutting through the Chelsea rearguard seemingly at will, but their lack of clinical finishing preventing them taking the lead.

Lukaku finally got a ball worthy of the name by Toni Rudiger, but the Belgium could not control it quick enough and had to settle for n angled shot that was deflected for a corner.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel decided to bring in Mateo Kovacic, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in an attempt to arrest the poor display - off came, Lukaku, Jorginho and Ziyech.

That seemed to settle Chelsea down and they finally managed to make a few passes and look quite assured.

The home side cheered the final whistle s if they had won. Truth is they should have.

Next up for the Blues is a little matter of Spurs coming to the Bridge on Sunday in the league.

Teams: Chelsea, Kepa, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Lukaku, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Azpilicueta

Subs, Bettinelli, Kovacic, Pulisic, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Havertz, Sarr, Hall

Brighton: Sanchez, Lamptey, Cucurella, Webster, Mac Allister, Grob, Moder, Alzate, Welbeck, Burn, Veltman

Subs, Scherpen, McGill, Maupay, Trossard, March, Caicedo, Roberts, Leonard, Ferguson

Referee: Kevin Friend


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