Brighton and Hove Albion earned a maiden Premier League win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, after coming from behind to beat the Blues 2-1 in their Matchday 31 fixture on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors were the better side in the opening ten minutes, as they went close to breaking the deadlock twice through Alexis McAllister. The Argentine was teed up on both occasions by the enterprising Kaoru Mitoma but his efforts went wide.
Another chance arrived when Evan Ferguson sent a cracker of a shot which cannoned off the crossbar before Chelsea took the lead off the run of play.
A marauding run by Ukrainian international Myhkaylo Mudryk saw him tee up Connor Gallagher who in turn took a first-time shot. His effort deflected off Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk and flew past goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
Brighton were undeterred and went about looking for the equalizer soon afterwards. Kaoru Mitoma dazzled his way into the Chelsea area, only to see his shot saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga while Evan Ferguson did well to power a header on goal which the Blues shot-stopper parried away from close range.
Instead of a goal for their efforts, coach Roberto de Zerbi had to make two forced substitutions as Julio Enciso came on for Joel Veltman who went off due to injury while Danny Welbeck replaced the injured Evan Ferguson.
The Seagulls soon had the equalizer in the 42nd minute. The Blues failed to clear their lines and the subsequent turnover saw Pascal Gross send in an inswinging cross into the area which was headed home by Danny Welbeck. The scores remained level going into the break.
Upon resumption of the second half, Brighton still created the better chances and went into the lead for the first time in the game. Solly March teed up Julio Enciso and the teenager rifled home a stunner from twenty-five yards to register his first-ever Premier League goal.
The result sees the Blues rooted in the bottom half of the table in eleventh position, while Brighton earned a first-ever Premier League victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
🔴 Live Blog:
FULL-TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 1-2 Brighton
GOOOAAALLL!!! Chelsea 1-2 Brighton (J. Enciso)
69′ MIN: What a goal!!! Julio Enciso sends a belter from downtown to give the visitors the lead and register his first-ever Premier League goal.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 1-1 Brighton
HALF-TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 1-1 Brighton
GOOOAAALLL!!! Chelsea 1-1 Brighton (D. Welbeck)
42′ MIN: Danny Welbeck heads in, from a Solly March cross, just three minutes after coming on as a substitute.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Chelsea 1-0 Brighton (C. Gallagher)
13′ MIN: Conor Gallagher’s strike is deflected past Robert Sanchez to give Chelsea the lead.
KICK-OFF AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 0-0 Brighton
The Blues come into this fixture off the back of a miserable run, that has seen them fail to score in their last four games across all competitions. Frank Lampard’s side were soundly beaten 2-0 by Spanish La Liga outfit Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in midweek.
Despite the home side’s poor form this campaign, they have not lost in seven home ties against the Seagulls (5W, 2D) and will be hoping that remains the case at Stamford Bridge.
As for the visitors, a positive result here will keep their European football aspirations alive, as competition for continental slots reaches fever-pitch with the likes of Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Brentford, Fulham, Liverpool and most recently Aston Villa all eyeing a piece of the pie.
Roberto de Zerbi’s men can take solace in the fact that they won the reverse fixture at the Amex Stadium, and that they possess the quality to eke out a big result in West London going by the form and inconsistencies of their hosts.