- Chelsea defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in the third round of the EFL Cup, snapping a three-game losing and scoreless drought.
- Nicolas Jackson’s goal sent Roberto De Zerbi’s team home, giving Mauricio Pochettino’s team their first victory of the month.
- Chelsea now hopes to end their Premier League losing streak as they prepare to go to Fulham on Monday.
Chelsea defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in the third round of the EFL Cup, snapping a three-game losing and scoreless drought.
After surviving a few scares in the first half, Nicolas Jackson’s goal sent Roberto De Zerbi’s team home, giving Mauricio Pochettino’s team their first victory of the month and their first since defeating AFC Wimbledon in the second round.
Pochettino gave opportunities to Lesley Ugochukwu, Cole Palmer, and Ian Maatsen among others. It took the Blues just three minutes to create their first opportunity, but Bart Verbruggen’s curling shot from Mykhaylo Mudryk was meat and drink.
After a frenzied start in which Brighton tried to fight fire with fire, they did little to test former goalkeeper Robert Sanchez. However, in the 24th minute, the Spaniard almost provided the impetus for the visitors’ demise when he passed the ball to Joao Pedro on the edge of the box and sighed with relief as the striker’s chip settled on the roof of the net.
With 33 minutes gone, Sanchez continued to try his best to aid his former team until, under intense pressure from Carlos Baleba, he threw the bad pass away from his goal, finding Moises Caicedo.
Ansu Fati was one-on-one with Sanchez after calls for a foul went unanswered, but the Catalan loanee failed to put enough force behind his effort, allowing the Chelsea goalkeeper to make a relatively easy save low to his right.
In extra time, Chelsea moved to the other end of the field in an effort to remove their goalie from the firing line. Mudryk cut back for Palmer, but the Englishman was unable to find the goal from a tight angle.
De Zerbi brought on Solly March to start the second half, ending Fati’s night early. However, the away team fell behind just five minutes later when Palmer connected an easy ball through the feet of Jan Paul van Hecke into the direction of Jackson, whose first-time shot trickled past Verbruggen and into the bottom corner.
In the 62nd minute, just before Baleba was forced off due to injury, Verbruggen had to make a deft save to keep Jackson from scoring again. Billy Gilmour was then introduced to a standing ovation from the Stamford Bridge supporters.
Palmer and Jackson connected again for Jackson to score in the 72nd minute, but Brighton were spared by the offside flag. A minute later, Sanchez atoned for his errors in the first half by making a great stop on March’s diving header.
De Zerbi, who was getting more and more animated, encouraged Brighton to keep up the pressure in the seven minutes of added time, but Pervis Estupinan and Pedro both missed open goals in the closing seconds, and Chelsea held on for a little spell with 10 men as Ben Chilwell gently walked off.
Chelsea now hopes to end their Premier League losing streak as they prepare to go to Fulham on Monday. Brighton, who failed to score at Stamford Bridge for the first time this season, will play at Aston Villa on Saturday at noon.