Chelsea missed the chance to move up to 3rd in the table as they were held to a drab draw at home. The Blues had struggled to break down Graham Potter’s side on a number of occasions in a very dull affair as it ended Chelsea 0-0 Brighton. However, the result was no doubt overshadowed by the events that unfolded prior to the match.
Hundreds of Chelsea supporters took to Stamford Bridge to protest about the potential European Super League taking place that has dominated the football world over the past few days. Not too long after the protests, it was announced that Chelsea, along with Manchester City, were to pull out of the plans for a Super League with Europe’s biggest clubs.
Thomas Tuchel made five changes to the side that defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. Kepa kept his place between the sticks but there were two changes in the back three as Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma replaced Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta and were joined by Antonio Rüdiger. Meanwhile, in midfield, Reece James started at right wing-back but on the opposite side Marcos Alonso came in for Ben Chilwell.
Jorginho once again started in central midfield and captained the side and alongside him was Mason Mount, who moved into a less attacking role. In the front three, Christian Pulisic started ahead on the left whilst Hakim Ziyech continued to play on the right-hand side. Finally, spearheading the attack was Kai Havertz as the German replaced fellow countryman Timo Werner.
As for Brighton, three changes were made by Graham Potter from their recent game against Everton. Once again, Robert Sanchez was the man to start in goal with Lewis Dunk and Ben White in a back three. There was once change in defence as Adam Webster came in over Joel Veltman, who moved to right wing-back.
Adam Lallana dropped out of the starting eleven as Pascal Groß took his place beside Yves Bissouma whilst Dan Burn replaced Jakub Moder at wing-back. Finally, in attack, one change was made as Alexis Mac Allister started at right wing, coming in for striker Neal Maupay. Danny Welbeck moved into a more central role whilst Leandro Trossard was on the left.
The match got off to a quiet start with neither side being able to threaten in front of goal. The Blues came the closest as Hakim Ziyech lifted the ball through to Kai Havertz as the German got past ‘keeper Robert Sanchez but couldn’t get a shot off. A few minutes later, Chelsea came close again as Ziyech crossed the ball into Marcos Alonso at the backpost, who was unable to find the target.
With 16 minutes played, the home side had their first real effort on goal as Jorginho played the ball to Christian Pulisic as the American turned but could only shoot wide. Thomas Tuchel’s men threatened once again as Mason Mount intercepted a wayward pass by Adam Webster tried slid through Ziyech, before the ball fell to Havertz but Sanchez made a easy stop for the Seagulls. Just seconds after, centre-back Kurt Zouma tried his luck from distance but Sanchez was on hand to catch the Frenchman’s shot.
The Blues were beginning to show their dominance but had not down much to threaten Sanchez in the Brighton goal. Meanwhile, the away side had been limited to any kind of threaten in the Chelsea penalty area but there was still a long way to go in the match. Brighton had a rare chance in front of goal as a curling effort by Leandro Trossard was straight into the arms of Kepa.
Four minutes before the break, the away side were close to breaking the deadlock as Joel Veltman passed the ball to Yves Bissouma, who effort deflected off Jorginho and just over the bar. However, neither side were able to break the deadlock as both went in at the half time goalless in what was a dull half of football. The Blues had struggled to threaten in front of goal but nonetheless, there was still another 45 minutes to find the breakthrough.
HT: Chelsea 0-0 Brighton
The first chance of the second half fell the way of the home side as Ziyech drilled the ball to a Chelsea man in the middle but the shot was blocked. The Blues had again been the more dominant side in the early stages of the second half but were again limited to very little efforts on goal. Brighton made their first change of the evening as Leandro Trossard came off with former Liverpool man Adam Lallana taking his place.
Just like the second half, Chelsea had struggled to break down a stubborn Brighton defence and Tuchel opted to make a double substitution. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced Marcos Alonso at wing-back whilst Kai Havertz came off with Timo Werner taking his place. Up the other end, Brighton had an opportunity from a free kick which was taken by Bissouma but the midfielder’s free kick hit the wall and went out for a corner. A few minutes later, Bissouma had another shot on goal but this time round, his attempt from distance was well off target. Still Chelsea 0-0 Brighton.
The Seagulls made their second change of the match and Neal Maupay came on with Alexis Mac Allister going off. Meanwhile, the Blues made another switch as Hakim Ziyech came off having had a difficult night in attack with Olivier Giroud taking his place. With 14 minutes to go, the away side had a glorious chance to take the lead as Zouma was intercepted off the ball in a dangerous position as substitute Lallana shot wide. It was certainly a huge let off for the hosts.
Brighton again threatened as they intercepted possession with the ball falling to Danny Welbeck, who struck the post before the the follow-up by the forward was blocked. The away side were still not giving up on trying to find the back of the net as second after Lallana’s shot was saved by Kepa. Meanwhile, the home side had a chance to score as Hudson-Odoi’s cross fell to Giroud, who missed from a great position. It remained Chelsea 0-0 Brighton.
Graham Potter made his third and final substitution of the night as he took off Welbeck and brought on Jakub Moder. Deep into added time, Brighton were reduced to ten men as Ben White was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Hudson-Odoi. From the resulting free kick, James’ delivery fell to Giroud, who headed straight at Sanchez. That proved to be the final chance of a very poor match as it ended goalless at Stamford Bridge.
FT: Chelsea 0-0 Brighton
Team Line-Ups: Chelsea 0-0 Brighton
Chelsea (3-4-3): Kepa (GK); Zouma, Christensen, Rüdiger; James, Jorginho (c), Mount, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic
Subs used: Hudson-Odoi (for Alonso, 67 mins), Werner (for Havertz, 67 mins), Giroud (for Ziyech, 77 mins)
Brighton (3-4-3): Sanchez; White, Dunk, Webster; Veltman, Groß, Bissouma, Burn; Mac Allister, Welbeck, Trossard
Subs used: Lallana (for Trossard, 60 mins), Maupay (for Mac Allister, 74 mins), Moder (for Welbeck, 86 mins)
Sent-off: White (90+2 mins)
Chelsea 0-0 Brighton – Post Match Thoughts
It certainly wasn’t the best of performances against a Brighton side fighting relegation but there are of course a number of good reasons for it. The Blues had picked up a great victory in the cup over Man City on the weekend and many players will have been tired from that match. Not only that, the ESL plans may have had a mental impact on the team.
Despite not winning, Chelsea are up to 4th in the table, one point behind Leicester and level on points with West Ham, ahead of them on goal difference. The Blues have a huge match coming on the weekend as Tuchel’s men face David Moyes’ Hammers at the London Stadium, which will be a perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways. Regardless of the game, it has been a brilliant day for the football world in general.
Written by Matt North (@MattNorth_)
Edited by Rob Pratley
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