Premier League: Chelsea’s dip in form continues after draw against Brighton

(Football news) Chelsea’s winless run in the Premier League extended to four games after a 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex Stadium. A victory would have ensured Thomas Tuchel’s team would progress to second place in the league table above rivals Liverpool but the Blues have only won one more game than Norwich City since the start of November and eight fewer than league leaders Manchester City.

The hosts made three changes as Adam Lallana missed out due to injury while Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard found a place on the bench. Tariq Lamptey featured in the starting XI against his former side alongside Steven Alzate and Danny Welbeck. Chelsea made three changes with Malang Sarr, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic being dropped while Jorginho, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi were included in the starting lineup. 

The game had an uneventful start for the first 15 minutes even though Brighton could have taken an early lead when Danny Welbeck flicked the ball into the path of Jakub Moder who failed to hit the target. Chelsea’s first shot came 14 minutes into the match when Robert Sanchez tipped Cesar Azpilicueta's effort over the bar. The Blues took the lead in the 28th minute after some combination play between N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech, the latter swept the ball under Alexis Mac Allister’s leg and beyond Sanchez.

Chelsea could have scored a second goal when Marcos Alonso’s cross from the left flank was punched away by Sanchez and Jorginho failed to hit the target on the rebound. Callum Hudson-Odoi’s effort also went over the crossbar just before the break. Brighton ended the first half without a single shot on target but the tables turned immediately after the break as they shot a warning through Danny Welbeck whose effort went over the bar. 

The hosts then found the target twice at the hour mark with one being the equalizer. Mac Allister won the corner and found Webster completely unmarked and able to head the ball home. Danny Welbeck was substituted immediately afterwards for Neal Maupay who continued to test Chelsea’s defense. With both sides pushing for an important winner, Tuchel made three changes by bringing on Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner but the trio failed to make a significant impact to bring home the three points. 

With this result the Blues remain third in the Premier League with 44 points, one point behind Liverpool who have two games in hand while Brighton are ninth, just three points behind Manchester United in seventh place and will hope to compete for a place in Europe this season. Speaking after the match, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said  "We have to respect the opponent – it's very tough to play at Brighton. They played it like a cup game and the noise at the end of the whistle was like if we lost the game and it can very easily give you the impression that we lost, but we didn't.

"Other teams will struggle to get points here, and even tougher if you're full strength and not tired. There are some obstacles to overcome here and I refuse to be angry because it's not about ambition. We were a bit lucky to be 1-0 ahead and you can take advantage to score a second one, but we struggled to show the quality. We know the reasons behind it and we demand a lot from us. But it's not the moment to be too harsh on the team."

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