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Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea Live Commentary, 19/1/22

FT
1 - 1
BHA
CHE
A. Webster (60)
H. Ziyech (28)
The American Express Community Stadium

Commentary

Both sides will have an eye on the weekend now - and they face tough tests of their own accord. Brighton must get the better of Leicester, in order to propel an unlikely dream of Europe. Chelsea meanwhile must face Tottenham - again - and old boss Antonio Conte, out for revenge - again. Until then, thank you for joining us and have a great week!
What does Thomas Tuchel do now though? It is a dismal run that his side have embarked upon in the league by their standards. Surely, their focus moves now to the Carabao Cup Final and their Champions League defence. There is much that can still salvage this collapsed league season.
Graham Potter's managerial reputation just continues to go from strength to strength. He may not play the most attractive, continental game out there - but he's looking set to seal another top-flight season with comfortable ease for the Seagulls. On his side go.
A bullet header from Adam Webster seals yet another Seagulls draw - but for the Blues, it might as well be a defeat. Brighton come from behind to hold champions of Europe Chelsea in the Premier League - and with it, likely deal another ultimate blow to their title hopes. Full-time at the American Express Community Stadium, it finishes Brighton 1-1 Chelsea.
90' + 5' FULL_TIME: BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1-1 CHELSEA
90' + 4' In it comes - and Brighton clear their lines! That will surely be that.
90' + 3' Mac Allister twists it in and Chelsea parry. The two sides go back and forth, and Cucurella concedes a corner down the other end.
90' + 2' Alonso is lucky to dodge a second yellow with a lazy foul there as Brighton move down the right wing. There's going to be a free-kick for the hosts.
90' There's going to be four added minutes for someone to seize a winner here.
89' A Blues corner is blazed over by Kovacic. Time is running out for heroes in this contest.
87' Webster does some superb work dealing with a Chelsea breakaway down the right edge. The Brighton man is looking like he's on cloud nine right now, brimming with confidence.
85' Mount drops under pressure in the Brighton box, seeking a spot-kick, but there's absolutely no chance that is being awarded by the referee. The England man should know better than that.
83' Chelsea have picked up the pace these last few minutes. They need the points more than their hosts, at least in the context of a now-fading title challenge. Drop more here and it's another hammer-blow.
A. Rüdiger
Yellow Card
Chelsea
81' Rudiger picks up a yellow card now, for what looks to be a conversation the referee was less than impressed with.
T. Werner
H. Ziyech
Chelsea
80' Timo Werner replaces Hakim Ziyech in Chelsea's third change of the game.
K. Havertz
R. Lukaku
Chelsea
80' Kai Havertz replaces Romelu Lukaku in Chelsea's second change of the game.
M. Kovačić
Jorginho
Chelsea
80' Mateo Kovacic replaces Jorginho in Chelsea's first change of the game.
D. Burn
Yellow Card
Brighton & Hove Albion
80' Burn picks up a booking now which the Brighton man protests for his challenge, allowing Chelsea to make their changes.
78' Chelsea look to be plotting a triple-change punch but so far play has not paused to get their men on the pitch. Tuchel looks a little stressed.
S. March
T. Lamptey
Brighton & Hove Albion
76' Solly March replaces Tariq Lamptey in Brighton's third change of the game.
74' Chelsea have lost their last two away league games played on Tuesdays, against Wolves and Leicester City last season. The Blues had only lost two of their last 21 such games before this (W11 D8).
72' This game is hurling chances about left, right and centre now. Lukaku smashes an effort into the side netting, after almost slipping Brighton's markers with frighteningly muscular ease.
70' Webster with the run! Not content with the goal, he outstrips three defenders from near-halfway, and only a slight defensive deflection carries his ball towards Kepa safely.
68' Maupay! Oh, the Brighton man knows he should do better. A square volley comes to him six yards out and he isn't expecting it, failing to control his first touch and allowing Chelsea to clear.
66' Chelsea are fancying their efforts from distance this match - and Alonso becomes the latest man to attempt to carve Brighton open from distance, pushing over the top from the left edge.
64' Brighton have won just two of their 14 Premier League games played on a Tuesday (D4 L8), with those victories coming against Crystal Palace in December 2018 (3-1) and Manchester City in May 2021 (3-2).
L. Trossard
D. Welbeck
Brighton & Hove Albion
62' Leandro Trossard replaces Danny Welbeck in Brighton's second change of the game.
N. Maupay
P. Groß
Brighton & Hove Albion
62' Neal Maupay replaces Pascal Gross in Brighton's first change of the game.
A. Mac Allister
Assist
Brighton & Hove Albion
60' Mac Allister slips a wonderful delivery in there, but Chelsea switched off far too easily. Some Brighton changes are incoming too - and they look to be with attack in mind.
A. Webster
Goal
Brighton & Hove Albion
60' GOAL! ADAM WEBSTER LEVELS FOR BRIGHTON! 1-1! It's arrow-straight for the Seagulls man, with a superb free header! He runs unmarked in from the back, around the defence, and buries it past Kepa to put his side back in the hunt!
60' Kepa to the rescue! He may not have needed to make the save but the goalkeeper takes no chance after a swift Brighton attack sees Mac Allister's shot take a wild deflection off a Chelsea defender. Corner to the Seagulls.
Marcos Alonso
Yellow Card
Chelsea
59' Alonso gets flashed with the first yellow card of the game for a sharp foul to hack down Lamptey before he can get away from the chasing defence.
58' Mac Allister flicks on for Welbeck and Kepa and Silva fall over each other in their attempts to defuse the danger. They succeed but it does mean that the latter takes another nasty knock.
56' Some lovely silken play from the Seagulls forces Silva into inventive defensive positions once more, this time to deal with Moder and a tempting ball from out wide.
54' Sanchez is forced to dart out to the edge of his box to mop up a long ball, with Mount - relatively quiet in comparison to his better days - lurking in pursuit.
52' Much as they did in the first half, Brighton are showing a willingness to take the match to Chelsea. This time however, they're struggling to push as deep - and when they do, they open up opportunities to be picked off easily behind.
50' Welbeck crashes through the Chelsea defence, only to find no-one in support. Silva muscles him out of various avenues before the cavalry rolls up in support.
48' Ziyech tries for a volley once more in the wake of a Chelsea corner, but the defence shuts him down sharply, rushing him in order to defuse his strike.
46' We're back underway for the second half in Brighton - and Welbeck burns an early chance, to show that the hosts are not going away. Can they force an upset in this clash, or will Chelsea see it through?
Chelsea have scored in all 10 of their away games against Brighton in all competitions now. Only Wigan (11) have they faced more often on the road while scoring in every game.
Hakim Ziyech's surprise strike from range is the difference in the first half of this Premier League tie - and you'd be hard-pressed to call it much less than a cracker too. Chances may not have been dime-a-dozen but the Seagulls and the Blues have taken this match to each other, and it hangs in the balance. At half-time, it is Brighton 0-1 Chelsea.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-1 CHELSEA
45' + 1' Silva is forced to defuse a burst of pace by Lamptey but concedes a late corner in the process. It swings in after a moment - and it is cleared away to earn the half-time whistle.
45' Hudson-Odoi! That should be two for Chelsea - but the Blues man, free on the right, fires wayward despite Mount screaming for it on his inside. There's one added minute coming.
42' Both sides are continuing to throw themselves at each other as half-time creeps up. A second goal will likely turn the trajectory of this game on its head, regardless of which way it goes.
40' Welbeck helps carve up the pitch again as Brighton burst to life once more, but the final effort is less than acceptable, blazed comfortably over the crossbar.
38' Chelsea will be looking at this scoreline fully in the knowledge that this contest is far from other. Brighton's sterling record when it comes to not losing games is very good. They'll be tough to keep down.
36' Brighton have had more shots than Chelsea in each of the last three Premier League meetings between the sides. Since we have detailed shot data (2003-04), Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United are the only teams to have outshot Chelsea in 4+ consecutive meetings in the competition.
34' Veltman is flagged for a hand-ball and Chelsea pop up with the ball as a result. The Blues are harrying well across the width and breadth of the field right now.
32' A spell of sustained pressure around the Brighton box finishes up with a rampantly wild finish from Jorginho, typically more disciplined with his action. The Euro 2020 winner remains a dangerous man however,
30' Brighton have had marginally less ball in this contest, but they've had greater position and number of duels won. But that finish has bolstered Chelsea's confidence. The Seagulls have a lot of work.
N. Kanté
Assist
Chelsea
28' Is that against the run of play? There is more than a case to say so. It is a narrow finish from Ziyech - though Kante's little return delivery to tee it up is a neat piece of work rather than opting for the square ball inside.
H. Ziyech
Goal
Chelsea
28' GOAL! HAKIM ZIYECH NETS A CORKER FOR CHELSEA! 1-0! What a wonderful goal from the Blues - and the goalscorer seems almost as surprised as Robert Sanchez that it goes in! He plays a one-two with Kante, and sizes it up after a back-pass just outside the right of the box. It sails towards the bottom corner and just nestles in off the goalkeeper's glove. The visitors strike first!
27' Welbeck is continuing to bounce around like he's got springs in the soles of his boots. He nearly wrestles an overcooked delivery back on the flank, but it just gets away from him at the last second.
25' Brighton have never led in nine Premier League meetings with Chelsea. In the competition’s history, only two sides have faced an opponent more without leading for a single minute – Sheffield United against Manchester City (10) and Portsmouth against Chelsea (14).
23' Welbeck sees a shot blocked now and Chelsea respond by sailing down the wings, like a pirate ship blown forth in a gale. They're marauding for goals - but Brighton run them to ground and counter themselves!
21' Thiago Silva appears to have shrugged off those earlier issues. That will be of great relief to the rest of his team - though Welbeck almost pries them open for a brief lapse in concentration.
19' On the sidelines, Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter are watching their two sides throw the kitchen sink. This has been a fast contest, racing from one end to the other with aplomb.
17' Are Brighton on course for greater things this term? A European challenge still seems like something of a pipe dream but the way they are playing now suggests a top-half finish. That would be historic in itself for the Seagulls.
15' Sanchez with the save! Chelsea bring up their first champion attack of the night and it is Azpilicueta of all who lashes a lovely volley towards the top-right corner. A full-stretch denies him - it's great work from the goalkeeper.
13' Half-hearted shouts for a Brighton penalty come up after a man goes down in the box but the Seagulls can have little complaint about a clean, if hefty, challenge there.
11' Veltman pulls the foul from Hudson-Odoi as he moves down the right wing, looking to get the edge on the Blues star. The Seagulls may not have a goal yet, but they're playing their part in a thrilling encounter.
9' It's a rowdy Tuesday night down south and both sides are looking more than up for this contest. Chelsea might relish the tough workout from a mid-table side, bizarrely - providing they get the points.
7' A minor concern for Chelsea - Thiago Silva took a knock early on. The Brazilian has been relatively fragile in his later years, and the Blues won't want to lose him.
5' Brighton have shown their muscle plenty of times this year and the decision to start Welbeck is looking inspired so far today. Whether they can keep the heft up is another matter.
3' Close from Moder! It's almost the perfect start for Brighton who build some superb pressure around the box before the forward latches onto a backheel delivery and drills just wide.
1' We are underway in this Premier League clash between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea!
The teams have emerged at the Amex Stadium and we're moments away from kick-off.
Chelsea have never lost in 13 league meetings with Brighton (W10 D3) – it’s the most the Blues have faced an opponent without ever losing in their league history.
Brighton have drawn their last two league games against Chelsea, picking up more points from these two games than they had in their first 11 league meetings with the Blues (D1 L10).
Subs: Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Mateo Kovacic, Saul Niguez, Malang Sarr, Marcus Bettinelli, Timo Werner, Lewis Hall.
CHELSEA (3-4-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Callum Hudson-Odoi, N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso; Hakim Ziyech, Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount.
Subs: Evan Ferguson, Solly March, Marc Leonard, Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay, Kjell Scherpen, Moises Caicedo, Thomas McGill, Haydon Roberts.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (3-4-3): Robert Sanchez; Joel Veltman, Adam Webster, Dan Burn; Tariq Lamptey, Pascal Gross, Steven Alzate, Marc Cucurella; Jakub Moder, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Mac Allister.
There's a minor surprise for Brighton today, as Steven Alzate and Danny Welbeck both come into the starting line-up, ahead of Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard. Jorginho, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount headline the returnees for Chelsea.
They'll have to do so against a Seagulls side who have proven deceptively hard to down this term. Only Chelsea, City and Liverpool have actually lost fewer games than them in the top-flight, despite their mid-table placement. They'll be tough to top on their own turf.
The Blues endured a tough weekend when they were felled by champions Manchester City, to effectively signal the likely end of their challenge for the crown - but at the very least, Thomas Tuchel's side know a win can keep them in the theoretical hunt.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2021-22 Premier League season, as Chelsea look to throw themselves a lifeline in the title race against Brighton & Hove Albion at the American Express Community Station.