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Graham Potter said on Brighton vs Chelsea and Chelsea player ratings as Kai Havertz nets and Sterling struggles

Chelsea suffered their first defeat under Graham Potter as the Blues were beaten 4-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium

Last weekend against Manchester United, the opposing manager had the tactics right from kick-off, but you clawed it back. This week you couldn’t because they punished you first half…

“Yeah, you could say that, especially if you see the game. As I said to the players, if you lose, you have to look at it, and if you’ve made a mistake or got things wrong, you have to analyse it and do better. That is part of our job, part of the process, and if we’ve got that wrong, I have to take responsibility and do better. I’d rather look at it from that perspective.

“You have to congratulate Brighton as well. They did what they do well. We had some opportunities ourselves, and the scoreline makes it feel a little bit worse that it was in terms of us having opportunities and touches in the box that were similar to them. They have a couple of own goals. We have a couple of chances. In the end, it felt probably a little bit too open for us, and that is my responsibility.”

What was it like for you on the touchline today coming back to Brighton?

“Like I said before the game, I didn’t have any expectations. I have nothing to say sorry for or apologise for. I did a good job. You can see the team is a good team. I took over when they were fourth from bottom in the Premier League and were probably the third-worst team. There is a lot of money been raised in terms of player sales and a lot of good players on the pitch. I hope for their sake, the next managers do as good a job, and that’s brilliant for them.”

What’s the issue with Kepa? Is it anything majorly concerning?

“He felt the bottom of his foot, so I don’t know, it’s too early yet. It was too bad for him to carry on. So that is disappointing for him because he is in a really good moment.”

Had you planned to use Edouard Mendy anyway in midweek against Dinamo Zagreb?

“We hadn’t thought about it, to be honest. The full focus was on this game. But if he [Kepa] is injured, it gives Mendy a chance.”


You used Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic as wing-backs again, but did you feel someone had to be taken out of that environment at half-time?

“The responsibility for those two wasn’t to defend against their wing-backs, but I understand that whenever you do something, and it doesn’t work, you look a bit of a fool. That is how it is. I have to accept that, deal with that, do better, and I’ll learn. That’s the process.”

Are you looking for what we would conventionally call a shape and team, and is your best team, or is it always going to change?

“It’s not about change. You need to find a way to win and perform. We’ve had a lot of games in October and an incredible schedule. So for different reasons, we’ve lost key players in terms of Reece [James], [Kalidou] Koulibaly, [Wesley] Fofana and [N’Golo] Kante. So there is a constant challenge in how to set up. We tried today, and again, it can be tactical, or it can be the intensity, and the opponent do what they do better. I have to analyse the game and look at how I can improve.”

When Chelsea lost at Leeds, the same problems arose against a team who played with intensity and high tempo. Is there an issue against those teams?

“No, but it’s the Premier League and everywhere is difficult. Brighton are a good side, I know that. And with the crowd and atmosphere they created, they put us under pressure. We made a couple of unforced errors to start everything off a little bit, but that can happen. Like I said, I’m not going to throw the players under the bus at all because they’ve been brilliant for us and given everything for me.

“So I have to take responsibility and try to find a way for us to do better. We’ve had an incredible schedule, this was our ninth game and sixth away match. We’ve had three wins in the Champions League to qualify, tough matches away at Brentford and Aston Villa, so this isn’t to complain, but it’s what we’re up against. We met a really good opponent today, and they did really well.”

What are your thoughts on Roberto De Zerbi, and did he surprise you?

“I wouldn’t say surprise. He should be congratulated because he’s done a really good job. As I said in the pre-match press conference, I can see the ideas and what they are trying to do. I think they have been a little bit unlucky in their games in terms of results, but the performances have been good.

“I think he is going to have an exciting time here. It’s a really good club with some good players and players that suit how he wants to play. So congratulations to him and the team today. They did well.”


Chelsea player ratings as Kai Havertz nets and Sterling struggles and Blues hammered by Brighton

Chelsea scored two own goals on their way to a 4-1 defeat to Brighton as Graham Potter suffers his first defeat as Blues boss

Kepa Arrizabalaga – Perhaps came a little early for Leandro Trossard’s opening Brighton goal but was ultimately helpless as Chelsea fell 3-0 behind at half-time. He was replaced at the break, having picked up a knock in the opening period. 5.

Trevoh Chalobah  Unfortunately, he put the ball in his net for Brighton’s third and had a difficult afternoon as Chelsea’s back three were put under considerable pressure. 5.

Thiago Silva – The Brazilian gifted Brighton the ball before swiftly clearing the resultant effort off of the line in the opening five minutes and added another from the corner that came afterwards. It was the veteran defender that gave the ball away in the build-up to the Seagulls’ opener; however, he produced some excellent defending as the lone defender against Julio Enciso and Leandro Trossard in the second half. 5.

Marc Cucurella – The former Brighton defender had a tough afternoon with the Seagulls putting him under significant pressure, while the crowd were equally on his back from the off. 5.

Christian Pulisic – The US international had a huge chance to pull a goal back for the Blues but could not direct his shot on target from 10 yards out. Probably one of Chelsea’s more involved attackers. 6.


Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Often found himself almost becoming a central defender in the opening half as Chelsea were put under pressure before being redeployed as a right-back during the second period. Probably one of the Blues’ better players after taking on that role. Unfortunately scored an own goal for Brighton’s second. 6.

Mateo Kovacic – The Croatian found himself in positions where he was forced to give away fouls too often but showed his quality on the ball, as always, to drive up the pitch. 5.

Conor Gallagher – Had his shot saved when he really should have scored after 18 minutes but almost redeemed himself moments later when he headed across goal, but Robert Sanchez produced an excellent save. Provided an excellent second-half cross to assist Kai Havertz. A little unfortunate to be subbed. 6.


Raheem Sterling – Had a couple of moments of creativity but was often too ponderous when trying to find space with the ball. Another difficult outing for the former Manchester City man. 4.

Mason Mount – A very quiet afternoon by the Chelsea star’s standards as he struggled to impact the game in a meaningful way. 5.

Kai Havertz – Sparsely involved during the opening half but headed in Gallagher’s cross with ease to open the second period. His contribution quietened after the introduction of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 6.


Edouard Mendy – He was a safe pair of hands when called upon to make a save but a little shakey in terms of his distribution. He produced some good saves in the build-up to Pascall Gross’ goal but could not direct the ball away from the Brighton star. 6.

Ben Chilwell – A solid outing though the left-back dragged a disappointing shot wide when afforded an opportunity in the Brighton box. 6.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – The striker saw his curling effort saved shortly after being introduced at the Amex Stadium. He did not find himself with many opportunities. 5.

Armando Broja – Not enough time to make a significant impact. 5.

Hakim Ziyech – He could not make an impact in the short time he was on the pitch. 5.


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