Premier League: Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion 29/12/21 – Full Match Report

Chelsea end 2021 on a sour note as they play out a disappointing draw with a resilient Brighton.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

After drawing three of their previous four Premier League home games, Chelsea looked to set the record straight in the last game of 2021 against Graham Potter’s Brighton.


Although the Blues remained without a number of first team regulars, they would have been boosted by their previous two results, which saw victories at both Brentford and Aston Villa. Their opponents on the other hand – who had a solid start to the season – had won just one game in all competitions since September.


Before the game, Thomas Tucel made four changes to his starting line-up which included Romelu Lukaku – who started his first Premier League game since October. Blues skipper


César Azpilicueta also returned to the starting eleven, making his 450th Chelsea appearance.


First half:

The first attack of the game for the hosts almost resulted in a glorious chance for the hosts. However, Mason Mount’s pass was crucially intercepted, denying Callum Hudson-Odoi the opportunity.


The Blues began the game well and only increased their tempo with every move. On the 16th minute, Robert Sánchez flapped at a cross from a corner with César Azpilcueta picking up the loose ball, only to be denied by the post.


Antonio Rüdiger had a header on target moments later, which was a symbol of Chelsea’s determination in the early stages.

The German also showed off his defensive abilities minutes later by shutting down a Brighton counterattack. Mason Mount went on to bring Sánchez into action down the other end, with Chelsea knocking on the Seagulls’ door.


On the 28th minute, Tuchel’s side finally had their goal with Romelu Lukaku converting with a clean header to grab his second goal in as many games. Initially, it looked from here that it would be the first of a few for the Blues.

However, the goal ignited the visitors with Yves Bissouma, Adam Lallana, and Alexis Mac Allister all bringing Édouard Mendy into action.


Brighton ended the first half on a positive note after an encouraging last 15 minutes.

Second half:

Chelsea’s injury concerns continued to grow, with Andreas Christensen replaced by Trevoh Chalobah at half-time. Alongside this, Reece James was also forced off in the first half with a hamstring problem.


To make matters worse, Brighton continued their onslaught in the second half with Moder, Mac Allister and Bissouma all looking to beat Mendy on his 50th Premier League appearance. However, the Senegalese international was equal to all of the efforts.

After not having a notable attack since the goal, Chelsea’s best chance for a second game on the 55th minute with Hudson-Odoi leading a two-on-one attack. The 21-year-old could have gone alone but opted to pass to Mason Mount, with Joël Veltman coming to Brighton’s rescue with an invaluable interception.


There were chances at both ends from the hour mark onwards, with the vast majority falling for the visitors. Potter’s side remained in the game until the 90th minute, when Danny Welbeck climbed highest to head home Brighton’s equaliser and seal an important point at Stamford Bridge.

After the whistle:

Although Chelsea will be gutted not to win, a point was the very least that Brighton deserved given their performance throughout the game. The Blues looked lethargic and second best after going a goal up, with the Seagulls eventually being rewarded for their efforts.


The result may just be the least of Thomas Tuchel’s worries. The London club will begin the New Year with a month stacked with tough games – albeit without a number of first team regulars.


The January transfer window will be an important one for the Blues, who will perhaps rely on recruitments to aid them for the rest of the campaign.


Back in action on Sunday, Chelsea begin January with a blockbuster fixture against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

Brighton on the other hand will take a trip to Merseyside as they take on Everton at Goodison Park.


Final score:

Chelsea 1-1 Brighton.

- Lukaku (28’).

- Welbeck (90+1’)


BBC Sports Player of the match:

Danny Welbeck (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Line-ups:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta ©, Christensen (45’), Rüdiger; Pulisic, Kovačić, Jorginho, James (27’); Mount, Hudson-Odoi (67’); Lukaku.

- Subs: Alonso (27’), Chalobah (45’), Kanté (67’).


Brighton & Hove Albion (3-4-2-1): Sánchez; Veltman, Burn, Cucurella; Lamptey (66’), Lallana ©, Bissouma, March; Moder (88’), Mac Allister (80’); Maupay.

- Subs: Mwepu (66’), Welbeck (80’), Alzate (88’).


Referee:

Mike Dean.


Attendance:

40,080.


Possession:

Chelsea (48%) vs Brighton & Hove Albion (52%).


Shots:

Chelsea (11) vs Brighton & Hove Albion (18).


Shots on target:

Chelsea (5) vs Brighton & Hove Albion (6).


Corners:

Chelsea (10) vs Brighton & Hove Albion (8).


Fouls:

Chelsea (14) vs Brighton & Hove Albion (7).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | Chelsea Football Club).

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