Chelsea got three important points against Brighton & Hove Albion in a game that was made slightly more difficult than it needed to be when Conor Gallagher was sent off for a second reckless tackle in the same half. Mauricio Pochettino’s men dug in and kept their heads, seeing the game through with a win, despite a goal scored by the seagulls in extra time to make it 3-2. This is how the Pride of London rates their performances.
Sanchez was good though he was shaky for some parts of the game. He nearly caused a goal when he let the ball roll under his feet as Thiago Silva played a straightforward back-pass to him. He made seven saves, despite conceding two goals, meaning that he had a lot to do, especially after Gallagher’s sending-off.
Disasi was good generally, though he was unnecessarily aggressive in his tackles later in the game. This was confusing because Chelsea was 3-1 up. According to Sofascore, he won 3/6 ground duels and 4/6 aerial duels. He was solid.
Silva was also very good, all things considered. He contested seven duels in the game and won six of them. his passing was good as well. His reading of the game was particularly impeccable.
Badiashile ended up creating the most chances for Chelsea in this game. The Frenchman also created the only big chance in the game. Badiashile’s composure, reading of the game, and distribution were excellent. He didn’t look like it was his second Premier League game in six months, other than the fact that he went 0/2 for aerial duels.
Colwill was good. He was a threat in set pieces as usual. His passing was not good but he put himself in an excellent position to head home Chelsea’s second goal.
Caicedo showed good positioning to make some key interceptions, but overall he wasn’t great. Caicedo lost the overwhelming majority of the duels he contested, and Chelsea’s midfield didn’t do much to repel Brighton, most of the work was done by the defenders. It didn’t help that the Blues played with 10 men for half of the game.
Fernandez’s distribution was quite poor, especially by his high standards. He completed 70% of his passes, but to his credit he made very good runs into the 18-yard-box several times and got on the end of very good chances, including the overhead cross by Badiashile to find him for the header that put Chelsea 1-0 up. Fernandez went on to convert the penalty awarded to them to put the Blues 3-1 up, effectively sealing the victory.
Mudryk was somewhat underwhelming, but he did make significant contributions to the game like winning a penalty, which ultimately put the Blues 3-1 up. Other than the penalty, it was just a day of the Ukrainian generally trying things that didn’t come off.
Gallagher was poor. He had been flying into tackles long before he was given the first yellow card. He went on to make another bone-headed decision to lounge into another tackle, earning himself a red card, and making it the second consecutive game the Chelsea captain is sent off for a second yellow card.
Sterling, simply put, was inefficient. His dribbling was poor. No one lost possession of the ball more than Sterling, but he created zero chances.
Jackson didn’t do much, which was not particularly surprising because, with Chelsea down to 10 men Brighton had nearly full control of the game.
Palmer was not effective as most of the time he was on the pitch he had to do defensive work. He created one chance, but no dribble completed, cross completed or long ball completed for Chelsea had Palmer’s name on it.
The Maatsen substitution was quite a confusing one. He was ineffective, but no one knows why he was on the pitch in the first place and what effect he was supposed to have. Whatever the effect, he didn’t work
Broja, of course, did nothing – you can expect when a striker is subbed into a game where his team has not touched the ball in the last five minutes.
Pochettino made some funny substitutions in the game, but his starting lineup was very good. He has finally reintegrated Badiashile into the side, which is good. ‘Poch’ still has to show that CFC can be this comfortable against teams that aren’t as brave on and off the ball as BHAFC is. Pochettino’s game plan was a good one because the west London side was comfortable until Conor Gallagher’s sending-off.