In Frank Lampard’s first home game as the Blues manager since being reappointed, Brighton came from behind to defeat Chelsea in the Premier League thanks to a remarkable Julio Enciso goal.
Enciso, a 19-year-old attacker from Paraguay, scored from 35 yards out to help Brighton keep up their bid for European qualification.
Substitute At Stamford Bridge, Danny Welbeck equalized Conor Gallagher’s deflected goal that had given Chelsea the advantage.
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Chelsea is currently in 11th place and Brighton is still eighth.
The next big thing in Brighton is Enciso
Enciso is the most recent Brighton prospect to make headlines as their ascent up the table is aided by astute moves made throughout the summer window.
He joined the team in the summer for a reputed £9.5 million from Paraguayan club Libertad Asuncion and has gradually integrated himself into the lineup.
Welbeck was unable to push home the rebound when he had struck the post from a tight position shortly after the restart.
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Brighton’s contentious loss to Tottenham last Saturday halted their seven-match winning streak, but they still outplayed them in west London despite giving up the first goal.
Evan Ferguson, a young player, hit the crossbar in the eighth minute, and midway through the first half, Kaoru Mitoma forced Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into a spectacular low save.
Concerningly for Brighton, Kepa’s tip of Ferguson’s header over the bar caused him to stumble and land awkwardly on his ankle.
When Welbeck took his place in the 39th minute, the former Manchester United and Arsenal striker duly headed Pascal Gross’ long cross in off the post three minutes later.
With two less games played, the victory moved Brighton to within one point of sixth-placed Aston Villa.
On April 23, they play United at Wembley in the FA Cup semifinals.
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Chelsea breaks its goalless streak, but still loses
A goalless streak of four games was broken by Chelsea’s opening goal.
It was a fortunate goal as well because Gallagher’s shot took a vicious deflection off Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who had been back in the lineup to fill in for the injured Jason Steele.
Chelsea made six changes from the team that lost to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday, and the team struggled throughout.
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Their greatest opportunity came at the end of the opening period when Christian Pulisic’s close-range header hit the outside of the post.
With the score tied going into the second half, Sanchez did well to stop crosses from Reece James and Mykhailo Mudryk.
Chelsea, who had never previously lost to Brighton at home, are currently 17 points outside of the top four and are actually closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League berths.
Chelsea’s next fixtures can be headache for Lampard
On Tuesday, they play Real in the second leg.