After the dramatic events of the past 48 hours, and especially earlier tonight with the protest outside Stamford Bridge and the subsequent reports of Chelsea leading the wave of clubs withdrawing from this controversial Super League — not to mention the massive win against Manchester City over the weekend — this match was always going to be a bit of a letdown.
But the first 45 minutes exceeded even the most dour predictions, with the teams playing out a largely inert 0-0 half. Chelsea threatened a few times from Brighton turnovers, messing up several numbers-advantage situations. Brighton kept the ball well at times, but other than a deflected Bissouma shot, did not pose a threat on Kepa’s goal.
The second half … was more of the same, before a flurry of Brighton chances inside the final 10 minutes led to some heart-stopping moments, but no goals.
A late-late Brighton red card didn’t make any difference.
- Several changes and surprises from Tuchel, with Kepa keeping his spot in goal and Mount slotting in as the midfielder next to Jorginho in the center. Azpi got a rest, with Christensen deputizing alongside Zouma in the center of the back-three.
- Chelsea move up to 4th, ahead of West Ham on goal difference. Opportunity missed to put pressure on Leicester City (now a point ahead with a match-in-hand) and Liverpool (now two points behind).
- Next up: massive top-four showdown against West Ham on Saturday