Chelsea, rival of Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League, returned to the positions of access to the highest continental competition despite being unable to pass this Monday from the draw (0-0) at home against Brighton, in a match marked by protests from fans against the Super League and that forced the start of the match to be delayed for fifteen minutes above the scheduled time
Hundreds of fans who flocked to the outskirts of Stamford Bridge and forced the London club’s technical director, exporter Peter Cech, out to calm down delayed the club’s arrival at the stadium.
Some protests that stopped with Chelsea’s decision to initiate the procedures to leave the newly created Super League, of which the “blue” team was one of the twelve founding members.
A decision that did not prevent the Brighton players, as Leeds did on Monday, from warming up on the pitch with T-shirts that read: “Champions League, win it. Soccer belongs to the fans ”.
A rarefied atmosphere that did not prevent Chelsea, despite the fears of its coach, the German Thomas Tuchel, who assured that the events of the last hours had “a little distracted” to his pupils, that the locals quickly took over the controls of the meeting.
Chelsea penalized every slightest indecision by Brighton with a blazing counterattack like the one that nearly allowed German Kai Havertz to open the scoring at 20 minutes with a shot that forced Spanish international goalkeeper Robert Sánchez to shine.
If the London team stands out for something since Tuchel’s arrival on the bench, in addition to his defensive strength, it is because of the speed with which he is able to provide his transition game.
Mason, more retarded
It cost Chelsea much more to generate danger when it had to attack in static, weighed down by the delayed presence of Mason Mount, whom Tuchel placed this Monday as a partner of Italian Jorginho in the double pivot, instead of his usual location closer to the area. .
A circumstance that, together with the notable reduction in errors in the circulation of the Brighton ball, prevented Chelsea from generating any clear chance of scoring in the final stretch of the first half.
Brighton comes out of the cave
Problems that continued for Chelsea in a second half in which Brighton was advancing more and more the pressure line, making it extremely difficult for the locals to get the ball out.
A brave approach that, although it served the visitors to short-circuit Chelsea’s offensive game, did not translate into clear scoring chances for Brighton.
The post saves Kepa
And when he managed to approach the goal of Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga with danger, he lacked, as has happened throughout the season, the necessary success to get ahead on the scoreboard.
Sometimes due to his own mistakes, such as a failed shot by Adam Lallana in the 77th minute with everything in his favor to score, and other times the wood, as happened two minutes later in a shot by Danny Welbeck that crashed into the post, they prevented Brighton from taking victory.
Lack of punch that Chelsea was about to take advantage of with five minutes remaining in a shot from French striker Olivier Giroud who narrowly went wide.
Failed chances that did not prevent Chelsea from adding a point that put them back in positions of access to the Champions League, while Brighton will have to continue fighting to seal the permanence.