Twice during the 90 plus nearly 20 minutes of total stoppage time yesterday, Levi Colwill got his head to the ball in crucial situations. First, he rose high at the far post to nod in a goal and give us a two-goal lead. Then, late on, he blocked a cross with his face to help preserve Chelsea’s narrow, and, yet again dramatic, 3-2 win against Brighton.
That latter action led to a fair bit of confusion as referee Craig Pawson got another big decision wrong initially and pointed to the spot, only to then correct the obvious mistake thanks to VAR — the system works! Though it’s still unclear to me why exactly the outcome then was a goal kick to Chelsea (instead of a corner to Brighton), but apparently there is a rule about overturned decisions resulting in a drop ball or some such ... even though it seems unlikely that this would be the first such application of this rule after several years of using VAR.
Clarification on Brighton's injury-time appeal for penalty. Ball clearly hit Levi Colwill in the face but Craig Pawson gave the penalty. He was then sent to the monitor to review and rightly correct the decision. Because the call was reversed it's a drop ball not a Brighton… pic.twitter.com/SYqeZAK5sx— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) December 3, 2023
Anyway, we can sort out the technicalities later. For now, we can be happy and proud of the win, just like Colwill himself.
“I’m not sure what happened with the penalty, to be honest, as it clearly hit me in the face. I knew that straightaway and was even showing people the mark on my face! It hit me so hard, I didn’t know where the ball had ended up and some of the boys were telling me that a penalty had been given. Thankfully, VAR overturned it and the right decision was awarded in the end.”
“I’m super proud of the team performance today, especially in the second half playing with 10 men. It shows what we can do as a team, we really stuck together and fought for one another and we’re all delighted with the result. It’s something for us to build on now and hopefully we can take that into Wednesday against [Manchester] United.”
The last time Colwill had scored a goal, it was in the wrong net; and of all games, in the Champions promotion playoff final for Huddersfield Town against Nottingham Forest. Thankfully, this one, his first for Chelsea, and his first in the Premier League, was in the right one — including in the sense that there’s certainly a timeline out there in the multiverse where the 20-year-old ends up staying at Brighton after his loan last summer.
But in this timeline, he’s all ours, and all they get is a muted celebration.
“I’m buzzing to get my first Premier League goal and my first goal for Chelsea, in fact. I guess it’s somewhat slightly bittersweet for me in the sense that it’s come against Brighton, a club that means so much to me, but I’m really pleased to help the team get the three points.
“The goal meant a lot to me but I also wanted to show respect to Brighton. We needed that victory and that’s what matters the most, so I’m really pleased. I’ve got so much respect for Brighton as a club. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them, so I’ve got a lot of admiration for them and for the manager there.
“There’s no hiding from that but listen, I play for Chelsea and this club means so much to me as well. I had a job to do and I’m just glad we got the win as a team.”
-Levi Colwill; source: Chelsea FC
An important win for the collective, and an important win for the individual self. It wasn’t pretty and it was far from smooth, but after all the questions about character and mentality last weekend, it was an excellent response in the end.