A resilient Brighton & Hove Albion performance earned them a well-deserved point against an out-of-form Chelsea side, who now find themselves a dozen points behind leaders Manchester City.
A depleted Brighton needed to be at their very best to stand any chance against a wounded Chelsea side that lost to title rivals Manchester City over the weekend. Despite having never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League, the ‘Seagulls’ could look to their hard-fought draw in the reverse fixture for some inspiration, and they started on the front foot, with Jakub Moder’s early shot going just wide of the post following a well-worked move.
Brighton continued to dominate for the opening 30 minutes but struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances. Chelsea then showed their attacking quality shortly after, when Hakim Ziyech cut inside from the left and hammered the ball into the bottom corner to give his side a 1-0 lead – with their first shot on target – going into HT.
The ‘Albion’ continued to pose an attacking threat and got their just reward on the hour mark when Alexis Mac Allister’s perfectly placed corner found the head of Adam Webster, who thumped past Kepa Arrizabalaga to make it 1-1. For his part, Tariq Lamptey posed a constant threat down the right-hand side, and almost capped a brilliant performance with a goal, stinging Kepa’s hands with 20 minutes remaining.
Up at the other end, Lukaku then reminded a jubilant Brighton crowd that the European champions were far from out of it when he forced Robert Sánchez into a smart save. The visitors dominated the closing stages, pinning the hosts firmly in their own half, but uncharismatically looked devoid of quality, consistently failing to trouble Sánchez.
Both teams kept battling for the win, ultimately playing out an entertaining draw. The result means Chelsea have now only won once in their last seven league games, all but casting them out of the title race. Brighton, who are unbeaten in the league since the 20th of November, remains in the top half of the table.