Chelsea 1-2 Brighton: highlights as Enciso wonderstrike gives De Zerbi’s men stylish win

Chelsea 1-2 Brighton: highlights as Enciso wonderstrike gives De Zerbi’s men stylish win

STAMFORD BRIDGE, LONDON — A stunning strike from substitute Julio Enciso gave Brighton a deserved 2-1 victory at Chelsea.

Frank Lampard was making his first return to Stamford Bridge since stepping in as interim manager until the end of the season and his side ended a run of four games without a goal when Conor Gallagher’s 13th-minute effort took a decisive deflection off Lewis Dunk

Either side of the goal, Brighton were comfortably the better side before halftime, with Evan Ferguson hitting the crossbar before he departed through injury. Alexis Mac Allister and the excellent Kaoru Mitoma also went close, with the latter denied by a magnificent Kepa Arizabalaga save.

It was left to the experienced Danny Welbeck to level matters as Ferguson’s replacement stole in between Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah to convert Pascal Gross’ in-swinging cross from the right.

It was a similar story of one-way traffic after the break and Paraguayan teenager Enciso scored his second Premier League goal in sensational fashion, drilling into the top corner from almost 30 yards.


Chelsea vs. Brighton final score

1H 2H Final
CHE 1 0 1
BRI 1 1 2

CHE — Conor Gallagher (Mykhailo Mudryk) — 13th minute.
BRI — Danny Welbeck (Pascal Gross) — 42nd minute.
BRI — Julio Enciso (Solly March) — 42nd minute.

De Zerbi masterstroke highlights gulf between Brighton and Chelsea

By the time Gallagher scored fortuitously, Ferguson and Mac Allister both missed very good chances and the Republic of Ireland striker rattled the crossbar as Mitoma tormented Chelsea right-back Trevoh Chalobah.

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But De Zerbi had a problem with another livewire winger he knows well. The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss said he hoped Mykhailo Mudryk wouldn’t start and the much-maligned Ukraine international offered a timely reminder of his quality. Joel Veltman was booked for an almost impressively scruffy foul, where he eventually brought Mudryk down with his upper back.

Injury meant Veltman did not see the half hour. On came Enciso to add extra verve to a Brighton attack already brimming with creative intent. So much so, playmaker Pascal Gross was able to drop into right-back, masterfully dictate attacks and set up Welbeck’s equaliser.

A career attacking midfielder marking the most dangerous opposition attacker should be a shrieking klaxon of a problem. But not for this Brighton team. They are so wonderfully in step with their manager and each other that it was an opportunity to be even more irresistible with the ball and launch another breakout Premier League star for good measure.

Who is Julio Enciso?


A little over a month after Todd Boehly wrapped up his takeover of Chelsea and embarked upon hundreds of millions of pounds of eye-watering mayhem, Brighton signed then-18-year-old forward Enciso from Paraguyan club Libertad for a fee in the region of £9.5m on a four-year deal. With his ill-fated arrival at Chelsea still a few months away, Graham Potter gushed over the potential of his new recruit

“Julio is an exciting young talent, and he has had a great start to his career in Paraguay, as well as being a regular in the Paraguay national squad,” he said of a player who scored 11 goals and supplied three assists in 17 games for Libertad in 2022

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“He’s a young guy who is moving away from his home country for the first time, so we will help him to adapt to new surroundings and settle here in Brighton and Hove.We’re really looking forward to helping him develop and working with him, and he will complement our existing attacking options this coming season.”

As you’d expect, there’s been an adaptation process. Prior to the World Cup, his cameos showed a player who was a box of tricks but obviously raw when it came to end product. De Zerbi has spoken of Enciso taking steps forward since the mid-season break and he scored his first Premier League goal from the bench in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the start of this month. He is still yet to start a top-flight game in England, but it’s surely only a matter of time after a thrilling outing in the capital that he will never forget.

Mudryk shines as Sterling and Pulisic toil

Mudryk’s early roasting of Veltman is about all Chelsea can take out of this game. They also worked very hard as they did in Madrid midweek, but that should be a bare minimum if you’re getting roundly outplayed.

The €100m winger was the driving force behind Gallagher’s goal but as Brighton started to dominate, he was forced to try and create something from nothing and got increasingly ragged.
Chelsea’s expensively assembled forward line are an easy target at the moment, but there is only so much they can do when those behind them spend a good portion of 90 minute chasing shadows.

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Christian Pulisic headed against the outside of the post from an attack where the offside flag was raised and was otherwise anonymous, while Raheem Sterling made a mess of a first-half header and was harangued by one particularly voluble Chelsea fan when he was substituted.

On came Joao Felix and Hakim Ziyech to not score, much like Kai Havertz did in Madrid. Without a reliable centre-forward, Chelsea’s parade of attackers end up in this unhappy, fruitless rotation. Mudryk won himself so plaudits today, but he’ll be back on the chopping block soon enough. It’s a thankless mess.

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