Following the Blues’ 4-1 loss to the Seagulls in Saturday’s Premier League encounter at Sussex, we take a look at the numbers and patterns for the first defeat of the Graham Potter era…
The poor start to the game, with goals conceded in the 5th and 14th minutes, inevitably made it very difficult for Chelsea to get anything out of the game afterwards.
It’s the first time this season that we have conceded more than once in the first quarter of an hour and only in the loss to Dinamo Zagreb and the away game against Crystal Palace, when we recovered to win 2-1, had a goal entered during that opening period.
Brighton, adopting a 4-2-3-1 and 3-0 form in the interval, had more possession in the first half, 53 per cent possession and more shots – nine to Chelsea’s six. Graham Potter, speaking after the game, noted that both teams had a similar number of touches inside the box during the first half, but that Brighton did better to get something out of it – and all nine efforts on goal for the Seagulls came from inside. surface to repair. Chelsea had four.
Although both sides had four shots on target before the break, our ‘big chances’ were nil as Brighton’s had two, one of which was taken.
For the first half, the Blues set up Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling as the wider players, as they had in the previous game, the away win at Salzburg. The average position map for the whole match shows that there was a tightness in Chelsea’s attack on Saturday.
For the second half, although the only change of personnel at half time was that imposed by Kepa’s injury, Ruben Loftus-Cheek moved to right-back with Marc Cucurella at left-back.
From this position, Loftus-Cheek was able to play a ball carrier role before Conor Gallagher switched for Kai Havertz to head Chelsea’s goal. Ruben was also the most fouled player of the game with five offenses against him.
Second half improvement
In the second half, as the Blues were looking for more goals, possession swung 70-30 in our favor and there were five more even goal attempts from inside the box to Brighton’s six, with the Seagulls catching us at the end to score their fourth and tie us on goals in the second half. We reduced Brighton to four crosses after half-time after 13 forwards.
Looking at the xG rating throughout the game, Brighton exceeded expectations by scoring four goals, helped by two own goals from the visitors.
Brighton won more tackles (18-8) and dispossessed their opponents more often (8-5) but we won more aerial battles (10-8). Pulisic contributed the most to that tally with three and he earned two tackles, matched by Trevoh Chalobah.
Havertz led the way for Chelsea’s shots, his four (two on target) being two behind Brighton’s top scorer Leandro Trossard.
Mateo Kovacic was the player on both sides with the most touches on the ball – 78 and the most assists, 64. Thiago Silva blocked five Brighton shots, twice from the line.
The result is Brighton’s first win over Chelsea in 15 league games, after four draws in the previous five.
That means Potter’s unbeaten start in charge of Chelsea ends at nine games (six of them won). It is the common best debut of an Englishman at the helm.