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5 Things Learned: Chelsea 1-2 Brighton | Premier League



(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Chelsea fell to a third successive defeat under Frank Lampard after a wonder strike from Julio Enciso clinched a deserved 2-1 win for Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard made six changes to the side that fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Brighton began the game in confident fashion, creating three strong chances within 10 minutes of the kick off. Alexis Mac Allister fired wide before teenager Evan Ferguson hit the woodwork with an effort from the edge of the box.

The home side opened the scoring against the run of play when Conor Gallagher’s shot took a heavy deflection and found the corner of the net on the 13th minute. Chelsea’s first goal in five games.

The Seagulls continued their dominant showing however and equalised through a Danny Welbeck header. The Englishman scored with his first touch of the game after Roberto De Zerbi’s side were forced into two injury induced substitutes.

Christian Pulisic struck the post with a header late on to bring to an end an eventful first half.

The second half continued in similar fashion to the first and Brighton got their deserved lead with 20 minutes to go. Teenager Julio Enciso scored a wonderful goal from 30 yards out, firing the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner in front of the ecstatic traveling fans.

Frank Lampard made use of his strong bench but left striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang waiting for a rare appearance as the home team struggled to create any meaningful opportunities in the latter stages of the game.

The full time whistle was blown with Brighton taking all three points and leaving Chelsea to deal with more misery.

Here are five things Absolute Chelsea learned from Saturday’s defeat against Brighton.

1) A club in disarray

Three games into Frank Lampard’s managerial return and Chelsea’s team performances seem to be getting worse. Three back to back defeats has very quickly nullified the excitement of Lampard’s return and “sacked in the morning” could be heard around Stamford Bridge as Chelsea failed to show any signs of improvement.

The club looks as though it’s ready for the end of the season and players seem to have lost all hope which has lead to fans feeling disconnected from their team. The ownership group has a-lot of work to do to turn things around.

2) Fresh look to starting XI but Chelsea continue to struggle

Chelsea’s starting XI saw six changes from the previous game with opportunities being given to Christian Pulisic, Trevoh Chalobah and Denis Zakaria.

The home side’s performance difficulties continued though with Brighton very much the better of the two sides, dominating possession and causing the Blues back line trouble with every attack. Lampard is still finding his consistent starters and the loss will have only added further questions in the interim managers mind.

3) A mixed game for captain Kepa raises eyebrows

With players being rested ahead of the vital upcoming Champions League fixture, Kepa Arrizabalaga was handed the captain’s armband against Brighton. After questionable performances in recent weeks and talk of Edouard Mendy retaining his place when fully fit, Kepa with the armband raised eyebrows among fans. The Spaniard stood up with the responsibility and made some important saves but continued to ship goals, managing just one clean sheet in five games.

4) Mykhailo Mudryk’s glimpses but where was Noni Madueke?

With changes made to the team, Mykhailo Mudryk was given a start after being an unused sub in the trip to Madrid mid week. The Ukrainian produced one of his better performances in a Chelsea shirt since his debut against Liverpool in January. Exciting fans with pace and driving at the Brighton defence, Mudryk completed his second assist since arriving, setting up the opener for Conor Gallagher.

There was no place in the squad however for 21 year old Noni Madueke. With no apparent injury, Madueke will be disappointed with his exclusion from the match day side having produced positive performances when making an appearance. Questions have been raised suggesting a loan move for the second half of the season could have been a better option for the winger.

5) One last chance to make something of the season

Sitting 11th in the table, Chelsea’s hope for any success this season now falls to the second leg of the Champions League tie against Real Madrid on Tuesday. The tie looks to be all but over, the Blues needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit against the current holders.

Fans will be expecting players to give their all to get a positive result out of the quarter finals and Chelsea are not shy of a famous night at the bridge but after the defeat to Brighton, chances of something special happening seems unlikely.