Chelsea 1 Brighton 2: Lampard suffers third loss in row since taking over as horror season continue after Enciso stunner | The Sun

BRIGHTON humiliated Chelsea for the second time in a season and wrecked Frank Lampard’s homecoming.

Robert De Zerbi’s sizzling side were unable to match the 4-1 thrashing they gave returning Seagulls boss Graham Potter back in October, at least in terms of the scoreline.

But if anything they were even better in a victory that was sealed by substitute Julio Enciso’s second-half scorcher.

Chelsea at least took the lead through Conor Gallagher, their first goal for five games.

It was never going to be enough against the vibrant visitors who could have had a hatful before Danny Welbeck equalised towards the end of the first half.

Brighton had more chances after the break yet could not find the net until Enciso let fly from more than 20 yards. It was a fittingly brilliant way to seal a deserved win.

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So much for the "new" manager bounce.

In Lampard's second coming as Blues boss, they have lost limply at Wolves and been completely outplayed by Real Madrid and then the club from whom they poached poor old Graham Potter.

The first defeat of Potter's wretched reign had come at Brighton and just as at the Amex, the game started fast and furious.

Mykhailo Mudryk, one of six changes to the team beaten by Wolves, caused early problems for the visitors and Joel Veltman was booked inside four minutes for a cynical foul on the Ukrainian.

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But the best chances were at the other end. Kaoru Mitoma roasted right back Trevoh Chalobah and pulled it back for Alexix Mac Allister, only for the World Cup winner to shoot wide from 12 yards.

Seconds later, Chelsea target Evan Ferguson hit the bar from just outside the area.

It was the home side who took the lead, though.

Mudryk made another direct run at the Brighton defence and his cute reverse pass found Gallagher.

The shot was firm enough, but the deflection off Lewis Dunk was crucial, looping the ball out of reach of Robert Sanchez and into the corner of the net.

If anything, Brighton started playing even better and did everything but score, for a while at least.

They believed they should have had two penalties but referee Robert Jones and VAR did not agree. First Enzo Fernandez impeded Dunk at a corner and then Christian Pulisic’s arm stopped a penetrating pass reaching Pervis Estupinan.

After being robbed by terrible officiating at Tottenham the previous week, the Seagulls must have feared the worst.

Even more so as more chances came and went. Solly March fired just wide, Kaoru Mitoma beat three men brilliantly but not Kepa Arrizabalaga, and then the Chelsea goalkeeper made a brilliant save from a Ferguson header.

The Republic of Ireland teenager was caught by Denis Zakaria in the process and had to go off with an ankle injury.

But it proved to be something of a blessing in disguise.

Welbeck replaced Ferguson and finally gave Brighton a fraction of what their first-half performance deserved. Pascal Gross, himself shifted to right back after Veltman had gone off injured, crossed to the back post and the former England striker headed the ball deftly home.

The visitors were totally dominant in terms of possession and territory after the break as well, but could not create the same quality of chance as in the first half.

Welbeck got in the way of March’s effort but Lampard had seen enough before the hour.

The Chelsea boss made four changes at once, the most popular being to withdraw the totally ineffective Raheem Sterling.

The odd home fan made it very clear to Sterling personally what they thought of another below-par display.

Not a lot changed. Julio Enciso made fools of Chalobah and Reece James, but when his shot came back off the post, it did so very and Welbeck put the follow-up over the bar.

Mitoma and Enciso were roasting Chelsea’s right-hand side and a goal seemed inevitable.

But it almost came at the other end. The Blues had done nothing for almost an hour, but James and Mudryk forced two smart saves from Sanchez in quick succession.

Then came Enciso’s moment of magic. After all Brighton’s attempts to pass their way through the home defence, the Paraguayan let rip from 25-plus yards and the ball screamed into the top corner where not even Arrizabalaga could reach it.

The away bench celebrated wildly and the travelling support was soon enjoying itself.

“You’re getting sacked in the morning” and “You’re just a s*** Graham Potter”, Lampard was told.

Chelsea at least kept trying.

Gallagher exchanged passes with substitute Mason Mount but could not quite collect the return.

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James sent a cross fizzing across the six-yard box, but as usual there was no centre forward in Blue to put it into the net.
The home side had six minutes of added time to find an equaliser. Mudryk fired over the bar in the fourth of them, and justice prevailed.

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