May 21 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Brighton 3-1 Chelsea
European Champions Chelsea were embarrassed by Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at the Amex Stadium this afternoon.
Frank Lampard opened the scoring on 37 minutes, but the home side struck back quickly through Vincente before taking control of the match and adding two more, the first from Ashley Barnes a minute before the break and the third from Andrew Crofts with four minutes remaining.
Brighton fully deserved their win and Robbie Di Matteo will have a lot of thinking to do to sort out not only his first -choice eleven, but his ideal formation.
It was a very strong looking Chelsea side took to the field.
Chelsea had the first attempt on goal, on eight minutes, but an untypical fluffed free-kick by Frank Lampard which, 25 yards out arrowed straight into the expectant wall and was cleared to safety.
Brighton, to their credit remained calm under pressure and worked their way back into the game, forcing a couple of corners on the 20th minute.
petr Cech, however dealt with them with contemptuous ease.
Torres, alone up front, finally got a touch on the ball on 22 minutes, but was easily dispossessed.
The Blues tried their hand at pinball football just inside the Brighton penalty area, on 26 minutes, as first, Meireles, Torres and Lampard had pop shots at Tomasz Kuszczak’s goal, but none of them got close as the home side’s back four black each effort.
Chelsea broke the deadlock in sublime fashion on 35 minutes.
A quick counter-attack saw the ball fed to livewire Ramires. the Brazil midfielder took one touch before sending a right-sided low drive towards Torres, in a central position, just outside the Brighton area.
The Spain forward dummied the ball, letting it run underneath him, and the in-running Lampard gleefully stroked the ball past Kuszczak.
But defensive frailties, that bedevilled the Blues last campaign, returned two minutes later when Brighton equalised when midfielder Vincente tucked home from just inside the Blues area with a smart left footer which just beat the outstretched left arm of Cech.
Oh dear, a minutes before the break and Meireles fluffs his lens on the halfway line.
instead of a simple clearance he missed the ball allowing Will Buckley to race clear on goal, the ball was slid to Ashley Barnes who rammed the ball past Cech with a fine left -footer from just inside the Chelsea penalty area.
The hapless Meireles was hauled off at half time by boss Roberto Di Matteo, to be replaced by Mikel.
On 52 minutes, just after Torres produced some excellent defensive work, he conspired to make a hash of what he’s in the side to do - and that’s score. He hacked over the bar, when free inside the Brighton area.
Cech was forced into an excellent save when Vincente was allowed to run 40 yards unhindered and let fly a fierce left-footer drive. The Cech Republic stopper dived acrobatically to his right to turn the ball away for a corner.
John Terry left the pitch to the cheers of the Chelsea fans on 60 minutes with Brazil centre-back David Luiz replacing the skipper.
A minute later, Ramires tried a spectacular volley from just outside the penalty area, but, sadly for him, the ball screwed high and wide of the Brighton goal.
This was followed quickly by a Lampard header from 10 yards out which glanced off the midfielder and drifted away to safety.
Reserve goalkeeper got some minutes on the pitch when he replaced Cech on 64 minutes Turnbull was soon in action, tipping away for a corner a fine hear-post header by Barnes.
But this was a result of Luiz going walkabout and when, disspossed of the ball, Brighton launched the almost fatal counter-attak.
Andrew Crofts had the task of finishing off another counter by Brighton, on 71 minutes, but he misread the script and skied over from just inside the Chelsea area.
Ramires then had a right footed drive, from eight yards out, expertly saved by Kuszczak as the away side strove to equalise.
Lewis Dunk did a Meireles on 77 minutes, but his gift of a ball to Lampard in midfield did not end up with a goal, instead the ball was handed to Torres and the the eventual lame shot was cleared.
Romelu Lukaku entered the fray a minute later ending the action for for misfiring Torres
Brighton could have sealed the game with seven minutes remaining when man-of-the-match Vincente saw his 25-yard free kick inch over Turnbull crossbar.
Eden Hazard, had his first effort on goal two minutes later but he lasted over.
A minute later and Chelsea conceded a third, when David Luiz fell to the ground after a robust challenge from Barnes.
Expecting a free kick, Chelsea stopped playing, waiting for the ref’s whistle. The schoolboy error was justifiably punished when Andrew Crofts played on, raced forward and tucked home leaving exposed Turnbull to rue dive haplessly to his right as the ball zipped past him into the net.
Next up for the Blues is the Community Shield at Villa Park next Sunday against Manchester City.
Chelsea, Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Meireles, Hazard, Cahill, Terry.
Subs: Turnbull, Luiz, Obi, Lukaku, Ferreira, Hutchinson, Benayoun, Piazon
Brighton: Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Crofts, Barnes , Calderon, Vincente, Dicker, Bridcutt, Buckley,
Subs: Brezovan, Ankergren, El-Abd, Sparrow, Noone, Harley, Vincelot, Adestein.