Unfortunately, the Blues once again failed to live up to the billing and had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw. It marked the club's second 1-1 draw with Brighton in three weeks, with Danny Welbeck's injury-time goal canceling out Romelu Lukaku's first-half opener on 30th December.
At the Amex Stadium, Thomas Tuchel fielded a strong XI, hoping to get an early lead. The hosts, however, had other ideas and started the match with poise, power and precision. They could’ve easily been ahead inside three minutes had Jakub Moder's low drive been on-target.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's first shot came around the 15-minute mark through Cesar Azpilicueta, but it wasn’t convincing enough to breach Brighton’s resistance.
Despite being the second-best side at the Amex Stadium, it was Tuchel’s team that went ahead just before the half-hour mark. Chelsea broke against the run of play and Hakim Ziyech dispatched a fine left-footed shot to beat Albion keeper Robert Sanchez.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, the hosts were back on level terms, courtesy of a smart, powerful header by Adam Webster. Both sides tried to find the winning goal in the last half-hour but they barely had any juice left in the tank. The draw leaves the London outfit in third place, two points behind second-placed Liverpool, who have two games in hand.
Here are five Chelsea players who disappointed in their 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night:
#5 Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku, who was recently in the eye of controversy following his controversial interview with Sky Italia, was expected to make a telling impact against the midtable unit. But the Belgian flattered to deceive once again.
Brighton marked him closely and did not let him get many touches in and around the penalty box. The former Everton man had only two shots, one of which was blocked and the other saved.
The Blues' midfield maestro endured an uncharacteristically sloppy night at the Amex Stadium.
His passing, although accurate, did not generate any momentum, and his movement was far from what we’ve come to expect from him.
Jorginho had only one shot, which was off-target, and did not make a single key pass on the night. He also lost six duels and was dribbled past a whopping four times.
#3 Marcos Alonso
With Ben Chilwell still recovering from his knee ligament injury, Chelsea have had to rely on Marcos Alonso for service down the left flank.
The Spaniard is still capable of producing impressive football, of course, but nothing went in his favor against the Seagulls on Tuesday night.
Going up against former Chelsea academy player Tariq Lamptey, Alonso spent the entire night chasing shadows. He was beaten for pace time and again and eventually got booked for dragging the 21-year-old down.
Alonso’s attacking play was also pretty unconvincing, as all of his crosses (7) were easily dealt with by the home defense. The Real Madrid academy product also lost possession 25 times, lost four duels and had zero shots on target.
#2 Mason Mount
Having benched Mason Mount against Manchester City, Thomas Tuchel decided to start the Englishman on Tuesday night, handing him another shot to impress. Mount started brightly as well, pressing brilliantly and doing all he could to help his team in the middle.
His passing was sharp in the opening minutes and there was a sense of urgency about his play that was undeniably impressive. Unfortunately, that was the extent of his impact against Brighton, which, for a player of his caliber, is not good enough.
The England international rarely got into the opposition box and failed to pose a threat to their goal. Mount did not attempt even a single shot on Tuesday and looked content simply passing the ball around.
The 23-year-old made one key pass, lost possession 10 times, and completed 29 passes. Given his poor display against Graham Potter’s side, we won’t be surprised to see him back on the bench again on Sunday.
#1 Callum Hudson-Odoi
On his day, Callum Hudson-Odoi can be a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately for the visitors, their academy graduate was in no mood to wreak havoc at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday night.
In hindsight, calling Hudson-Odoi Chelsea’s worst player at Albion would hardly be fair, especially because none of the visiting players were impressive. However, given the clear-cut chance he squandered in the first half, we had no choice but to hand him the unpleasant title.
Just before half-time, Hudson-Odoi found himself in space on the right. Instead of squaring the ball to Mount, who was in a central position, the forward went for goal and embarrassingly blazed it over.
He tried to get in the game in the second half, but Brighton suffocated him effectively with close marking. All in all, a disappointing outing by the Blues’ prized asset.