Chelsea 1-0 Brighton: Hosts finally end goal drought in cup win

Chelsea 1-0 Brighton: Hosts finally end goal drought as striker Nicolas Jackson slots home in the second-half to secure much-needed win in Carabao Cup

  •  Nicolas Jackson’s first-time finish from Cole Palmer’s cheeky pass secured win
  •  Chelsea striker was denied a second late on by offside flag at Stamford Bridge
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Chelsea have been crying out for some game-changing craft and clinical finishing in this slow burner of a start to the season.

Against Brighton, they got one from Cole Palmer and the other from Nicolas Jackson to earn their place in round four.

Thanks to Palmer’s cheeky pass through Brighton defender Paul Van Hecke’s legs and Jackson’s first-time finish Chelsea claimed the spot in the next round.

And perhaps some bragging rights too. These two have become rivals of sorts after Chelsea plundered the south coast club for players and staff in the last year.

Chelsea did not look any better for it last season, losing convincingly both times they met Brighton in the league, but got one back on Wednesday night.

Nicolas Jackson slotted home in the second-half to secure a much-needed win for Chelsea

Chelsea broke the deadlock with Jackson’s first-time finish from Cole Palmer’s cheeky pass

It was an especially notable occasion for two of Chelsea’s signings who were bought from elsewhere.

Palmer, who joined from Manchester City, made his full debut and was Chelsea’s standout player, working hard throughout, taking responsibility to make things happen and producing the all-important pass which unlocked Brighton.

Jackson’s goal was just his second since his summer move from Villarreal.

He collected far more bookings, being shown his fifth in just six league games on Sunday against Aston Villa to earn himself a ban for Monday’s trip to Fulham. This was a far better contribution.

Roberto de Zerbi made seven changes but his Brighton side were as slick as ever in possession.

Initially, though, it was Chelsea who did most of the threatening, Mykhailo Mudryk having a shot saved at the second attempt by Bart Verbruggen and Jackson having a couple of nearly moments.

Brighton’s travelling supporters were enjoying taunting their old boys Marc Cucurella, who started out of position at right back, Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez while former loanee Levi Colwill seemed to be spared.

Solly March had chance to level but his header was straight at Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez

Sanchez almost gifted his former side a goal by passing ball to Joao Pedro but he chipped over

Jackson was denied a second goal late on by an offside flag on Wednesday night

Sanchez seemed to be unsettled. His kicking was questionable on a number of occasions, much to the delight of the away fans but not ideal opposition for that to happen against as it was an issue at the heart of his fallout with De Zerbi.

And midway through the half he almost gifted his old club the opening goal.

Inexplicably, he passed the ball straight to Joao Pedro and would have been relieved to see the Brazilian clear the bar with his chip.

Sanchez was then involved in Brighton’s next chance but slightly less at fault.

He passed to Caicedo who was dispossessed by Carlos Baleba. The ball ran to Ansu Fati who appeared had plenty of goal to aim at but Sanchez recovered to redeem himself for his part in another Brighton chance.

The half ended with Palmer skewing a Mudryk cross just wide but, before that, both sides felt they might have been unlucky with referee Thomas Bramhall’s decisions.

Firstly Igor Julio flew wildly into a challenge on Mudryk in the box but missed the ball.

Fortunately for Julio, Mudryk stayed on his feet but his reward for his honesty was eventually just a corner.

Meanwhile the Brighton bench were up en masse after Lesley Ugochukwu left Baleba in a heap, not long after being booked for a previous foul.

Brighton started the second half well but five minutes in fell behind. It was a neat Chelsea move that involved Caicedo and Maatsen helping the ball to the edge of the Brighton box.

Roberto de Zerbi made seven changes but his Brighton side were as slick as ever in possession

Palmer made his full debut for Chelsea following his summer switch from Manchester City

Palmer picked up possession, nutmegged Van Hecke with his pass to Jackson who finished first time.

Jackson could have put Chelsea firmly in control with a second when Mudryk poked him through but Verbruggen was off his line quickly and stuck out his left foot to deny the Chelsea striker.

With 18 minutes left Palmer and Jackson combined again for the latter to score only for the assistant referee to cut short his joy this time.

The value of a nerve-calming second was underlined soon after when Sanchez was forced into action to push out Solly March’s header before Pedro volleyed over in injury time but Chelsea held on to go through.


CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Sanchez 5; Cucurella 6.5, Disasi 6, Colwill 6.5, Chilwell 6; Ugochukwu 6, Caicedo 7, Chilwell 7; Maatsen 7 (Gallagher 75, 6) , Palmer 8 (Fernandez 75, 6) , Mudryk 7 (Sterling 68, 6); Jackson 7.5 (Broja 87).

Subs not used: Petrovic, Washington, Gilchrist, Brooking, Matos.

Scorer: Jackson 51

Booked: Ugochukwu

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 7

BRIGHTON (4-4-2): Verbruggen 7.5; Lamptey 6, Van Hecke 6.5, Julio 7, Estupinan 6; Buonanotte 6.5 (Lallana 78), Baleba 6.5 (Gilmour 64, 6), Dahoud 7 (Hinshelwood 70, 6) , Mitoma 5.5 (Welbeck 64, 6); Fati 6 (March 46, 6), Pedro 7.

Subs not used: Steele, Dunk, Adingra, Veltman

Booked: Baleba, Estupinan

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi 6

Referee: Thomas Bramhall 6

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