Chelsea started energetically and on the front foot, but couldn’t really establish any sort of control, alternating dangerous passing sequences at the back with watching Brighton possess the ball. But for a solid portion of the first half, we found success with key interceptions in midfield and in defense, and most tellingly, on corner routines.
Both of our goals came as a result of corners hit long to the far post by Gallagher, where Badiashile would head (or volley) back into the middle for Enzo Fernández and Levi Colwill to finish, in quick succession.
Unfortunately, Chelsea’s response to going 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes was to lose focus and start playing far too casually in possession and take far too many risks out of possession. And what should’ve been a nice, comfortable early lead quickly turned into disaster before the half, conceding a goal and then Gallagher collecting a second yellow for a third yellow card-worthy challenge of the opening 45 minutes.
It seemed inevitable that Brighton would go on to win this in the second half ... but against the run of play, it would be Chelsea who would get the next goal.
After surviving 15 solid minutes of pressure, Sanchez plucked a corner out of the air and quickly started a 3-v-2 counter: Sterling to Jackson to Mudryk. Mudryk was not able to finish the 1-v-1 after taking a slightly long touch, but was bundled over from behind by Milner. The referee waved play on, but VAR intervened and called for a review. Enzo dispatched the penalty with the coolness of Palmer.
We did slightly better with this two-goal lead, but made things interesting by conceding in the first minute of added-on time on a corner.
And there would be a dozen more minutes of added-on time, turning a bit VAR-farcical in the end ... but we would hang on for all three points! There were some emotions after the final whistle, but eventually everyone calmed down.
- Disasi and Colwill at full back with the suspensions of James and Cucurella and the injuries to Gusto and Chilwell. Maatsen only on the bench.
- Palmer dropped, but does come off the bench for the final 25. Maatsen also on for the final 20, as we switch to a back-five: Colwill and Maatsen at wing-back and Badiashile-Silva-Disasi in the center. Mudryk furthest forward, Enzo-Moi-Palmer the center three.
- Broja on for the final ten minutes to run up top
- VAR saves us from two bad Pawson calls on the field (not giving the Mudryk pen and giving a pen against Colwill at the end)
- Chelsea continue to lead the league in yellows
- First win against Brighton in the league since 2020
- Next up: Manchester United away, on Wednesday night