Sunday, January 5, 2020

Brighton 1-1 Chelsea

Alireza Jahanbakhsh stunned Chelsea with a late overhead-kick to earn Brighton and Hove Albion a hard-fought 1-1 draw on New Year's Day.

The Iran winger ended his long wait for a first Brighton goal against Bournemouth on Saturday, celebrating with joyful tears, and his second quickly followed in a stylish start to 2020.

Chelsea looked to be easing towards a third straight Premier League away win after Cesar Azpilicueta's early strike, failing to add to their lead but largely comfortable at the other end.

However, Jahanbakhsh leapt into an outstanding volley with six minutes of normal time remaining, and Frank Lampard's fourth-placed side were clinging on by full-time.

Chelsea had made a confident start - in stark contrast to the awful early display in Sunday's smash-and-grab at Arsenal - and soon led through their captain.

Tammy Abraham's low shot on the turn following a corner was blocked by Aaron Mooy in front of the goal line, but the loose ball fell kindly for Azpilicueta to prod past the grounded, helpless Mat Ryan.

First-half chances were hard to come by thereafter, although Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had to be alert to palm clear a Leandro Trossard effort two minutes before the break.

Not until the 80th minute was Arrizabalaga seriously tested again, scrambling to keep out half-time introduction Aaron Connolly's finish.

It was another substitute who came up with the decisive moment, though, Jahanbakhsh executing a sensational strike that left Arrizabalaga rooted.

Callum Hudson-Odoi blasted just over as Chelsea chased a winner, but they were again grateful to their goalkeeper as a point was preserved, Neal Maupay's powerful drive well blocked.

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