Many Chelsea fans remain mindful and respectful of Brighton, given they are one of the few teams able to beat Emma Hayes’ thoroughly dominant side in recent year. We did what we could to keep Brighton at bay while making the most upfront. But at the end of the 90 minutes, the Blues did not find a goal to take all three points from their trip to Brighton, leaving the pitch with a 0-0 scoreline in their Women’s Super League return.
The Blues started out with great offensive intent at Broadfield Stadium, trying to make as little room for surprises from the hosts in Brighton. The Seagulls themselves could only retreat to their own defensive third and hope to catch the Blues off-guard, unlocking the flanks to strike Chelsea back in transition.
It was ours the first proper goalscoring chance, with Erin Cuthbert delivering a nice corner to Pernille Harder in the box. Her header however floated a bit above the crossbar.
This likely set Brighton’s alarms off a bit, as they increased pressure on their end. A great long-distance attempt from striker Danielle Carter showed Brighton were in it to win it, forcing goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger to make a great intervention.
Chelsea answered a few minutes later in what was the best chance of the entire match thus far. Harder infiltrated the final third on the left flank, centering the ball to Fran Kirby. While the English international might have tried to score what would have been a great goal with her backheel, the attempt did not have enough power to become a proper shot. But it still fell to Guro Reiten, who almost got the ball in the back of the net but was stopped by opposing stop-stopper Megan Walsh.
Late in the first half, after a bit of a slowdown from both sides, Chelsea once again increased the heat. Kirby broke away from marking and found herself on a 1v1 with Walsh. Unfortunately she did not do well in the spot, shooting straight at the goalkeeper before the end of the half.
The second half started out well for the Blues, with a couple of great chances right after its start. But after that, Brighton did their best at limiting Chelsea to playing and shooting from not so dangerous areas, thus reducing our chances of doing harm to the hosts.
Little by little, we undid their work. We almost got the breakthrough with Erin Cuthbert, whose powerful shot inside the penalty box ended up hitting the crossbar.
A couple of changes were introduced by Hayes, and striker Beth England almost made a great impact from the bench. But even with five minutes added to the clock, the Blues failed to find an opener to leave Brighton with all three points in dispute — thus not taking full advantage of league leaders Arsenal’s surprising 2-0 loss to Birmingham in their last WSL match, in early January.
- Another chance to impress given to Aniek Nouwen in the backline, while midfield sees some interesting changes with Jonna Andersson and Drew Spence in the “pivot”. Meanwhile Jessie Fleming slots in the right wing, next to Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby.
- Subs are Niamh Charles for Guro Reiten, and Beth England for Drew Spence.
- We really miss Sam Kerr.