Brighton dents Chelsea’s title hopes as Adam Webster goal forces 1-1 draw

Chelsea's winless run in the Premier League stretched to four matches on Tuesday, as a 1-1 draw away to Brighton, and Hove Albion saw its slender titles hopes suffer yet more damage.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Webster celebrates scoring his team's first goal as Chelsea's Thiago Silva reacts.   -  REUTERS

Chelsea's winless run in the Premier League stretched to four matches on Tuesday, as a 1-1 draw away to Brighton, and Hove Albion saw its slender titles hopes suffer yet more damage.

Hakim Ziyech's opportunist strike gave Thomas Tuchel's side the lead against the run of play in the 28th minute.

But Brighton was rewarded for its endeavour when Adam Webster thundered a header past Kepa Arrizabalaga on the hour after some intense home pressure.

Chelsea began to dominate towards the fag end but could not force a winner as Brighton dug deep to preserve its point.

Having been title contender a few weeks ago, Chelsea has managed only three points from the last 12 available and remains in third place with 44 points, 12 behind leader Manchester City having played a game more.

 

It is also one point behind Liverpool, having played two games more, and unless it starts to get back on the victory trail soon, it could find its top-four place under threat.

Ninth-placed Brighton has now drawn 11 games this season, and Webster said it was disappointed not to get all three points against the European champion.

"I think for the whole game, we were the better team. They had a spell at the end, but other than that, we were the dominant team and on another day hopefully get three points," he said.

Brighton struggled early on to land a telling blow and was stunned when Ziyech took aim from 25 yards and rifled a low shot past keeper Robert Sanchez.

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Brighton began the second half on the front foot and Danny Welbeck was played in by Pascal Gross. But the striker got his angles wrong and blazed wide.

Just before the hour mark, Alexis Mac Allister was picked out by the lively Marc Cucurella. But his deflected shot was clawed away by Arrizabalaga.

From the resulting corner, Webster thundered a header into the net after finding space in the area.

Romelu Lukaku had a chance to restore Chelsea's lead from a clever lobbed pass by Antonio Rudiger but could not beat Sanchez, and the Belgian was substituted soon after.

Tuchel sent Kai Havertz and Timo Werner off the bench, and Brighton was hanging on at the end, but a Chelsea victory would have been undeserved after another frustrating display.

"We looked tired," Tuchel said. "We tried everything, but you could see we are mentally and physically tired."

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