Brighton thoroughly dominated the first half, from the first few seconds to all but the last few seconds, but things were somehow level on the scoreboard, with Chelsea getting a bit unlucky even as Christian Pulisic’s diving header clanged off the post in the last action of the half.
But before then, it was all Brighton, with at times as high as 70 per cent possession and plenty of chances. Kepa made at least two tremendous saves, while they also hit the crossbar through young striker Ferguson. But it was Ferguson’s injury-prompted replacement, Danny Welbeck who finally made all of the visitors’ pressure and possession count, after he was somehow allowed to get his head to a coss despite being sandwiched by Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah.
That goal leveled proceedings after Conor Gallagher had opened the scoring early on after his shot took a big looping deflection and beat the scrambling goalkeeper, who probably should’ve done better.
The second half was more of the same, with Brighton well in control and creating plenty of danger. Kepa was called into action yet again before Enciso smacked an effort off the post and Welbeck missed the empty net on the rebound.
Lampard made a line change just before the hour-mark, and those changes briefly created some positive play, with Mudryk forcing a good save and Kovačić letting a chance go begging after making a good interception high up.
And just when it looked like we might settle in and maybe get something out of the game, Enciso, in acres of space in central midfield, hammered a shot into the top corner to win the game.
There were still 20 minutes to go, but Chelsea never really looked like scoring.
- Chelsea back to a back-four, with a three-man midfield. No recognised striker despite three forwards. Quadruple change around the hour-mark, with Félix going up top and Chalobah moving into the back-two.
- Our first goal in over 6 hours of play
- Six straight without a win
- Welbeck scored in this fixture last season, too
- Next up: the second leg against Real Madrid