Adam Webster’s verdict: “For the whole game we were the better team other than a spell towards the end … On another day we would hopefully get three points.” About his headed goal from a corner, he says: “I had a couple at the weekend with which I should have done better so it was pleasing to get off the mark for the season today.”
It’s a fair result but that’s no good to Chelsea, who have now collected just two points from the last 12 available and can consider themselves title-race also-rans. They had very little spark here but took the lead here out of the blue thanks to a fierce strike by Ziyech. Brighton had most of the ball and were very nimble and clever, but they were blunt up front until Webster nutted the ball into the net from a corner by Mac Allister. The home crowd applaud their team off.
90+2 min: Maupay hesitates when given a chance to shoot from 20 yards. The pause allows Silva to dash over to charge down his effort.
90 min: Alonso’s corner is cleared. Kovacic tries to blast the bouncing ball into the net from nearly 30 yards. Instead he finds someone in Row X.
88 min: Cucurella overhits a pass for Trossard, taking the momentum out of a rapid Brighton counter-attack.
86 min: Werner cuts infield from the right and then tries to curl a left-footer into the far corner. But Burn blocks.
84 min: Chelsea have injected serious urgency into their play but Brighton are holding firm while still looking to counter.
82 min: Rüdiger booked, seemingly for arguing with the referee about something as Chelsea get raedy to take the freekick. Alonso then steps up and drives the freekick straight into the wall.
80 min: Burn gets over-eager and tries to go through Ziyech to get the ball. Instead he gets a yellow card while Chelsea are given a freekick about 25 yards out, central.
78 min: Brighton are good and Chelsea are missing their two first-choice wingbacks: but Chelsea should still be better than they have been for most of this game, and recent games.
75 min: Lamptey robs Jorginho in midfield. Mac Allister sweeps a pass towards Maupay … who again can’t sort out of his feet, otherwise he’d have been clean through on goal!
73 min: Lukaku makes a clever run. Rüdiger spots it and lifts a cute pass over the defence and into his path. Lukaku unloads a powerful left-foot shot at an angle from 10 yards. Sanches beats it behind.
71 min: Webster – or is it Der Kaiser? – steps in to win possession no half-way and then strides forward, gathering pace as he glides past three opponents and into the right-hand side of the Chelsea box. He then lays the ball across the face of goal. Kepa pounces to prevent that turning into a memorable assist.
67 min: Maupay is taken by surprise by a pinged low cross from the right from Lamptey. If the striker had been able to adjust his feet quicker, he’d surely have turned the ball goalward from eight yards. Instead he donked it the wrong way.
66 min: Alonso thrashes a stinger just over the bar from 20 yards. Chelsea appear piqued to have given up a goal and are eager to get their lead back. But Brighton continue to have most of the ball.
63 min: Hudson-Odoi makes an incursion into the box Brighton box but his shot is charged down by Mac Allister.
Webster finds space in the box with a clever run, meaning he does not even have to jump to head Mac Allister’s corner powerfully into the net from eight yards! Chelsea again fail to hold on to a lead.
60 min: Another nice move by Brighton. Cucurella gets to the byline and cuts the ball back to Mac Allister, whoes shot from 16 yards isn’t struck well but is nearly deflected into the net. Kepa flings himself to his right to tip it wide!
59 min: Lamptey charges down a shot by Alonso and then begins hurtling downfield. Alonso chases back, and then shoves Lamptey to the ground near half-way. A well deserved yellow card.
55 min: Cucurella and Alzate combine well down the left. But Alzate’s low cross is cleared by the ubiquitous Silva.
53 min: Webster jumps to meet the corner … with his chest, leaving Kepa with an easy save from eight yards.
52 min: Lamptey skins Alonson down the right, but Silva scoots across to put the ball out for a corner.
50 min: Mac Allister pings another visionary pass into the path of the ever-willing Welbeck. The striker races into the area but Silva keeps pace with him and eventually ushers him off the ball. Welbeck had no support, with nary a Brighton player within 30 yards of him.
48 min:A corner by Chelsea is cleared only as far as Ziyech at the edge of the area. He unwinds another powerful shot … but Veltman charges it down.
46 min: Within 20 seconds of the restart, Gross slides a nifty ball through to Welbeck, racing on to it at the left-hand side of the box. The striker produces an awful finish, wafting the ball wide of the near post from 10 yards! Brighton can be so frustrating to watch.
46 min: As the players await to start the second half, Lukaku and Ziyech are still in talks about something or other.
“What was with the angry, pouting non-celebration by Ziyech?” asks JR in Illinois. “Is there some issue with him I’m unaware of or does he just think he’s some kind of tough guy? The way he played against Man City last weekend he’s lucky to be getting a game today.” Maybe he’s thinking he should be at the Afcon with Morocco, who’ve just finished top of their group by drawing with Gabon today? Mind you, when he came off the pitch at half-time, he and Lukaku seemed to be debating something quite seriously, possibly that loose pass that Lukaku complained about earlier.
Lots of clever play by Brighton but Ziyech’s impeccably struck long-range goal is the difference between the teams at the break. Chelsea are just about doing what they need to do. Brighton probably need to get Maupay and Trossard on soon.