Player ratings as Potter’s return ends in disaster


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Graham Potter’s return to Brighton could hardly have gone worse as the Seagulls tormented his Chelsea side to the tune of a 4-1 victory.

Leandro Trossard opened the scoring inside three minutes before Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah turned into their own net in a catastrophic first half, after which Kai Havertz’s consolation header meant very little.

Thiago Silva was both villain and hero in the first few minutes. A poor pass gifted Trossard with a chance which the Brazilian had to clear off the line, before he again repelled Pervis Estupinan’s strike from the corner that followed.

Not learning his lesson, Silva lost possession once again and Trossard made no mistake this time, rounding Kepa and firing into the bottom corner to put Brighton ahead just five minutes in.

The Seagulls kept pressing and bagged a deserved second ten minutes later. Solly March’s corner found its way to the knee of the unsuspecting Loftus-Cheek, who could only watch on as the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Robert Sanchez made two excellent saves to prevent two separate Conor Gallagher goals, the first of which was followed by a huge miss from Christian Pulisic, before the stopper did well to keep out another effort from Havertz.

The third came shortly before half-time. Estupinan found some space in the box and his cross was turned into the net by Chalobah, whose unbeaten run as a Chelsea starter came to an end in an emphatic fashion.

Chelsea pulled one back inside three second-half minutes. Gallagher’s cross landed on the head of Havertz, who guided the ball into the net to set up an interesting half of football.

The Blues were much-improved and dominated the ball as the clock ticked on, but apart from the odd glimpse, they couldn’t find a way through an incredibly stubborn Brighton defence, who were just as prepared to do the dirty work.

The Seagulls held on relatively comfortably and added a fourth before the final whistle as Pascal Gross tapped home a rebound in stoppage time to seal a famous victory in style.

Leandro Trossard

Trossard was sensational / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

GK: Robert Sanchez – 7/10 – Made some excellent saves in the first half when Chelsea were threatening to get back into the game.

RB: Pascal Gross – 8/10 – No idea why he was playing right-back but can’t deny that it worked. Even coped when under immense pressure after the break.

CB: Lewis Dunk – 7/10 – Some unreal passing from the back. Think there was a Trivela at one point.

CB: Adam Webster – 6/10 – Not always perfectly comfortable. Lost Havertz for the goal.

LB: Pervis Estupinan – 8/10 – Absolutely breezed down the left all game long. Flashed his defensive skills after the interval as well.

DM: Alexis Mac Allister – 8/10 – Bullied Chelsea’s midfield in the first half. Hard to pinpoint what position he was actually playing because he was just everywhere. Absolutely ran the show.

DM: Moises Caicedo – 8/10 – Some superb passing to pull the strings in midfield.

RM: Solly March – 8/10 – Gifted the freedom of the right wing as he charged through on Chelsea’s goal with ease. Such a threat.

AM: Adam Lallana – 6/10 – Probably the least dangerous of Brighton’s forwards but that is by no means an insult.

LM: Kaoru Mitoma – 8/10 – Benefited from all the space but did an outrageous job of creating his own at times. The ball was glued to his feet.

ST: Leandro Trossard – 8/10 – His energy was far too much for Chelsea’s centre-backs to cope with. Deserved his goal and could have easily had a few more.

SUB: Julio Enciso (64′ for Lallana) – 7/10 – Buzzed around with terrifying energy.

SUB: Tariq Lamptey (72′ for Mitoma) – 6/10 – A calm introduction to the game.

SUB: Jeremy Sarmiento (87′ for Trossard) – N/A

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi – 9/10 – Brighton were still a little open at the back but that is the only minor issue with what was an otherwise perfect setup.

Kaoru Mitoma, Trevoh Chalobah

Chalobah had a tough game / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10 – The odd nice save but was helpless for everything that went past him. No help from those in front. Very unfortunate to be hooked at the break but had been limping a bit in the first half.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah – 2/10 – Left on an absolute island for far too long during this game but didn’t cover himself in glory even when he did get the help.

CB: Thiago Silva – 2/10 – His sloppy passing set the tone for this nightmare early on. Fair play for two goal-line clearances but maybe try not giving the ball away in the first place.

CB: Marc Cucurella – 1/10 – Met with a chorus of boos from the home supporters and the away fans were probably joining in by half-time.

RM: Christian Pulisic – 2/10 – Isn’t a wing-back and should never have been asked to play as one. At least looked more comfortable when moved forward after the break but still did nothing.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 4/10 – Lost his head a bit as he tried to drag Chelsea back to this. Gets this rating purely because you could sense his effort.

CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 4/10 – Struggled in midfield but wasn’t the worst right-back you’ve ever seen in the second half. Unfortunate with his own goal.

LM: Raheem Sterling – 1/10 – Stale in attack and shocking in defence.

AM: Conor Gallagher – 6/10 – Made some impressive runs early on and undoubtedly unfortunate not to get a goal when this game was still up for contention. A great cross for Havertz.

AM: Mason Mount – 3/10 – Didn’t do anything wrong but didn’t do anything right.

ST: Kai Havertz – 5/10 – Took his goal well and grew in influence in the second half but was just anonymous in the first.

SUB: Edouard Mendy (46′ for Kepa) – 5/10 – Uncomfortable with the ball at his feet. Can see why Potter has preferred Kepa to him.

SUB: Ben Chilwell (63′ for Cucurella) – 5/10 – Didn’t provide the defensive stability that he was supposed to.

SUB: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (63′ for Sterling) – 2/10 – Not convinced he touched the ball. Certainly felt like he didn’t.

SUB: Armando Broja (79′ for Pulisic) – N/A

SUB: Hakim Ziyech (79′ for Gallagher) – N/A

Manager: Graham Potter – 1/10 – Potter was prepared to hook Cucurella early against Man Utd when his system wasn’t working but inexplicably opted against doing so here. Watched on as this game flew away from Chelsea, by which point his minor tactical switch at half-time was pretty meaningless.

Player of the Match – Pervis Estupinan



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