César Azpilicueta, Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Story

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Chelsea failed to significantly close the gap on third-placed Manchester City in the Premier League table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion at the AmEx on Wednesday.

Cesar Azpilicueta gave his side the lead after just nine minutes when he tucked away a loose ball after Tammy Abraham‘s effort was cleared off the line, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh rescued a point for the hosts with a brilliant overhead kick in the 84th minute.


Chelsea deserve credit for some excellent work when out of possession, and Frank Lampard’s side were able to nullify the threat of Brighton’s Aaron Mooy, who is so often the heartbeat of the Seagulls.


With such a young team, particularly in the attacking positions, it’s understandable that decision-making in the final third can often go awry, but it meant Chelsea were unable to make the most of some promising openings and create guilt-edged chances.

Manager rating out of 10

6 — Lampard’s tactics forced Brighton into a change of shape after half an hour, but the Chelsea legend will be slightly disappointed he was unable to stem the tide thereafter, as the hosts slowly but surely made their way back into the game and equalised.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 7 – Made two brilliant saves in the second half to deny Aaron Connolly and Neal Maupay, but could do nothing about Jahanbakhsh’s acrobatics.

DF Reece James, 6 — Looks a great athlete with boundless energy on the overlap, but his final ball needs a bit of work. On the end of Brighton boos after an aerial dual with home defender Dan Burn saw the giant left-back subbed off with an arm injury. Yellow-carded in the closing seconds.

DF Antonio Rudiger, 6 — Often cut a frustrated figure and got himself involved with a couple of niggly verbal exchanges with teammates, but he did well when he ushered Leandro Trossard away from danger as the Belgian looked set to shoot at Kepa’s goal in the second half.

DF Kurt Zouma, 6 — The Frenchman played a vital part in the opener as his looping header back into danger caused chaos in the Brighton box, but he didn’t have things completely his own way defensively and was booked for clipping Connelly after the substitute beat him to a 50-50.

Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal
Azpilicueta made the most of his chance in front of goal.

DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — Found himself in the right place at the right time to tuck home a loose ball to put Chelsea ahead inside the opening 10 minutes and, despite playing in his less-favoured left-back role, the Blues skipper was excellent.

MF Jorginho, 6 — It wasn’t vintage Jorginho with the ball at his feet and the former Napoli man began to struggle as Brighton started to get to grips with the visitors. The Italian looks much more effective when he has Mateo Kovacic alongside him in midfield.

MF N’Golo Kante, 7 — As industrious as ever from the World Cup winner, getting the ball back for his side on several occasions, while also playing his part in several counterattacks, particularly in the second half.

MF Christian Pulisic, 6 — Floated in and out of the game, but did look a danger, most notably when he showed quick feet to work himself a chance from distance which he fired just wide in the first half. Came off after 65 minutes and was replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

MF Mason Mount, 6 — He’s always hungry for the ball but never quite did enough with it to make a telling impact on the game. Sat out the final 18 minutes of normal time as Kovacic was brought on to shore things up in midfield.

MF Willian, 6 — The Brazilian will be disappointed he wasn’t supplied with a Tammy Abraham pass when in oceans of space in the penalty area, but the forward contributed to a number of opportunities, linking well with right-back James.

FW Tammy Abraham, 6 — The striker’s goal-bound effort was blocked on the line, but Azpilicueta was on hand to tap home the rebound. Guilty of poor decision-making when Chelsea had men over in support, with the England man deciding to shoot wastefully rather than pass to Willian.


Callum Hudson Odoi, 6 — Had some fleeting moments in the penalty area but failed to make the most of them.

Mateo Kovacic, N/A – Booked for bundling over Brighton forward Maupay after 81 minutes.

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