Chelsea’s miserable form in the Premier League continued on Saturday when they crashed to Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were coming on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League midweek. But Frank Lampard’s men, who took the lead, surrendered to Brighton 1-2.
FULL-TIME Chelsea 1-2 Brighton
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 15, 2023
It was Brighton’s first win at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea’s second league defeat on the bounce.
There were also boos at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s winless run extended to six games.
Lampard named a much-changed side with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, second leg against Real Madrid.
Conor Gallagher did at least end the Blues’ wait of over 600 minutes for a goal when his shot deflected in off Lewis Dunk after just 13 minutes.
But Brighton were utterly dominant thereafter and should have had more than a one-goal margin of victory to show from their 26 shots on goal.
Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score the equaliser just before half-time.
Paraguayan teenager Julio Enciso then won the game in spectacular style with a thunderbolt into the top corner 21 minutes from time.
Victory lifts Brighton to within seven points of the top four, but with a game in hand over Newcastle, who they are also still to face at St. James’ Park.
At the bottom of the table, Crystal Palace and Wolves joined Bournemouth in closing in on safety, but it was a terrible day for Everton, who lost 3-1 at home to Fulham.
Southampton are starring down the barrel of relegation after Eberechi Eze scored twice for Palace in a 2-0 win at St. Mary’s to clinch a third consecutive victory for the Eagles since Roy Hodgson returned as manager.
Wolves are seven points clear of the drop zone after they beat Brentford 2-0 thanks to goals from Diego Costa and Hwang Hee-chan.
Everton remain outside the relegation zone only on goal difference after goals from Harrison Reed, Harry Wilson and Dan James snapped Fulham’s five-game losing run.
In the race for the title, Manchester City can close the gap on Arsenal to three points when they host Leicester later at the Etihad as the defending champions look to extend their winning run to 10 games.