Football Features

Brighton 4-1 Chelsea: Blues self-destruct on Potter’s return

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:22, 29 October 2022

Brighton & Hove Albion ended a five-game winless run at the expense of former boss Graham Potter who saw his Chelsea side humbled in a 4-1 defeat.

This afternoon’s showdown was the earliest into a Premier League season (by date) that a head coach has managed for and against the same team. Potter’s final game presiding over the Seagulls was an entertaining seven-goal thriller against Leicester City, running out 5-2 winners on that occasion, so goals were on the menu but not many could have foreseen the half-time score.

Heading into this weekend’s fixture Brighton was able to muster one goal across their previous league outings, with three of those games ending in defeat, and it was Leandro Trossard — who had netted their most recent four Premier League strikes — who put the hosts in front. Incredibly, this is the first time a player has netted a team’s opening five goals under a new manager. He would remain Brighton’s most recent Premier League goalscorer under Roberto De Zerbi until the second minute of stoppage time when Pascal Groß snapped a personal seven-game scoring drought. Sandwiched in between was a pair of unfortunate own-goals netted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah.

This was a new experience in the Premier League for Chelsea who consequently became the first side to put through their own net twice in the opening 45 minutes since Everton against Southampton in April 2014. By going into the break 3-0 up it was the third such occasion in their brief Premier League history with neither of the previous two instances coming in their 120 games in the competition under Potter’s leadership. Robert Sánchez, though, would not keep another clean sheet as Kai Havertz pulled one back for the visitors early into the second half. It ended up being a mere consolation despite Chelsea having the upper hand in the final stretches.

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Ultimately this was Chelsea’s first Premier League defeat under Potter, conceding double the number of goals today (4) as they did in their first five league matches under the Englishman (2). As for Brighton, they secured their first-ever league victory over Chelsea at the 15th attempt of trying. Indeed, this was the first time the Seagulls scored more than one goal in a league match against the Blues.

“I’m really pleased. We knew it wouldn’t be as easy in the first half as they would try to come and score a goal. I thought we did really well then finished it off at the end,” Trossard said afterwards.

“I think the team has had a good start to the season. We played really well but needed that win. Four goals as well. Let’s enjoy tonight.

“Yes of course. I had a few really good years under Graham Potter. There will be a bit of time [before chatting] after this performance but it’s up to us now to celebrate it as we were the better team so need to enjoy it. Another thing to celebrate for us.”