Well before halftime, Brighton supporters were already taunting the manager they once adored with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning.” Graham Potter may not have to worry about being fired just yet, but his return to Brighton created the closest thing to a crisis he has experienced in his fledgling Chelsea reign. (More Football News)
Brighton beat Chelsea 4-1 in the English Premier League 2022-23 on Saturday to hand Potter his first loss since leaving the south-coast club to take over the Blues in September. After a strong start under Potter, Chelsea have dropped points in three straight league games following draws against Brentford and Manchester United.
And the worst part for Chelsea was that the scoreline wasn’t at all misleading. Brighton was 2-0 up after 14 minutes and added the third before halftime, having looked more confident and ambitious than the visitors who saw forward Christian Pulisic miss their best chance when he somehow shot wide with the goal gaping after a rebound.
Kai Havertz pulled one back for Chelsea early in the second half but Pascal Gross finished off the scoring in injury time for the hosts. “The atmosphere was really intense here, and we didn’t necessarily match that level of intensity from the start,” Potter said. “Clearly, Brighton were better at what they did, so we have to take that as a lesson – even though it’s a painful one for us.”
Brighton have taken just two points from a possible 15 since Potter’s departure but earned a first win under new coach Roberto De Zerbi — and the club’s first over Chelsea since 1933.
The loss means Chelsea dropped eight points behind Manchester City, which took the overnight lead in the standings by beating Leicester 1-0 away thanks to an inch-perfect free kick from Kevin De Bruyne in the second half.
Liverpool is far off thinking about the title after losing at home to Leeds 2-1, the latest poor result in the league in what is proving a difficult season for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Arsenal can reclaim top spot on Sunday by beating last-place Nottingham Forest at home.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte was furious after his team was denied a late winner against Sporting by VAR in the Champions League in midweek, but there was no stopping the team’s celebrations after coming from two goals down to beat Bournemouth 3-2.
Substitute Rodrigo Bentancur scored deep in stoppage time to complete Spurs’ comeback after Kieffer Moore’s double put Bournemouth into a two-goal lead. Ryan Sessegnon started the comeback in the 57th minute and Ben Davies leveled following a corner.
“It was vital to win this game,” said Conte, whose team had lost its last two league games.
Newcastle United’s place in the top four is looking more and more warranted. The Saudi-owned club beat Aston Villa 4-0 for its fifth win of its last six matches, including one over Spurs. Newcastle consolidated fourth place, two points behind Tottenham and three points ahead of Chelsea.
After Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez went off with a concussion in the first half — having initially tried to play on despite looking groggy following a collision — Callum Wilson scored two for Newcastle before Joelinton and the in-form Miguel Almiron added one each.
Crystal Palace beat Southampton 1-0 for a third straight home win while Brentford settled for 1-1 against Wolverhampton, whose striker Diego Costa was sent off for a headbutt in stoppage time. Fulham and Everton drew 0-0.