KENYA BROWN - Friday, January 3, 2020
Christian Pulisic returned to the starting line-up and proved to be a threat while on the field, but he could not find his scoring touch as Chelsea shared the points with Brighton.
Brighton 1-1 Chelsea
An acrobatic goal from Alireza Jahanbakhsh ensured Brighton would claim a point as they shared the spoils with Chelsea at
the American Express Community Stadium.
Christian Pulisic, who missed out on the Blues' game with Arsenal through an apparent injury, returned to the starting line-up and played 66 minutes.
The past few weeks have been a struggle for Chelsea compared with their previous form as they only won three out of their seven games before the turn of the year. Head coach Frank Lampard has relied heavily on the players at his disposal during their transfer ban and will certainly look to bring in reinforcements during the January window.
However, the visitors did start of positively as they opened the scoring 10 minutes into the contest through Cesar Azpilicueta. There was a scramble for the ball after Willian's corner kick, and the Chelsea captain would be on the spot to slam it home.
Chelsea have had no problems starting games well, but adding more to their tally has been the problem, thus giving their opponents ample opportunity to respond. Pulisic, for his part, had two good chances to extend the team's lead.
His first chance came before the halftime whistle when Ngolo Kante fed him the ball and with a bit of space open to him in the area, his shot swerved wide of the goal. That was followed by another attempt in the 54th minute that also went just wide of the mark.
Chelsea's lack of further goals kept Brighton in the game and they made their guests pay for it in the end as Jahanbakhsh found the back of the net in the 84th minute. A corner kick from the right side was headed on by Lewis Dunk and the Iranian's overhead kick would leave Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa rooted to his spot at the ball crossed the goal line to the delight of the home supporters.
The Blues did have a chance to win it late, but Callum Hudson-Odoi, who came on to replace Pulisic, sent his shot wide of the mark.
Despite the loss, Chelsea remains in fourth place in the standings with 36 points.
In other Premier League action, DeAndre Yedlin came off the bench for Newcastle United and suffered a suspected broken hand as they went down to Leicester City 3-0 in a bizarre game for the Magpies.
Owen Otasowie watched from the bench as Wolverhampton Wanderers could not gain any further ground in their pursuit of the top four in their 2-1 loss to Watford.
In the Championship, Tim Ream and Luca de la Torre played for Fulham while Matt Miazga did 22 minutes of work for Reading as the Royals came away with the 2-1 win. Fulham are now 10 points back in their pursuit of an automatic promotion spot.
Duane Holmes and Derby County secured a 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic. He played again on Thursday as the Rams booked another three points in their 2-1 win over Barnsley.
Antonee Robinson and Wigan Athletic earned a much-needed 3-2 victory over Birmingham City in their fight to stave off relegation.
Geoff Cameron was in on the action as Queens Park Rangers whipped Cardiff City by a 6-1 scoreline to keep them five points from the playoff places.
Eric Lichaj led Hull City to a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday to maintain their chase for a playoff spot.
Down in League One, Matthew Olosunde and Rotherham United came away with a 2-1 win over Blackpool to put some added pressure on Wycombe Wanderers for top spot.
Giles Phillips and Wycombe Wanderers could only settled for a 1-1 tie with Ipswich Town.
Lynden Gooch and Sunderland could not capitalize on their previous win as they could only share the points with Fleetwood Town following a 1-1 tie.
Charlie Kelman rescued a point for Southend United as he came off the bench to convert a last-minute penalty in their 1-1 tie with AFC Wimbledon.