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Brighton 1-2 Chelsea: Blues hold on after late red card

Chelsea are a point away from returning to Europe after Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku helped the Blues to a 2-1 win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday.

The three points send Chelsea sixth with 60 points while Manchester United and Newcastle play out a Wednesday game of their own at Old Trafford. The Red Devils entered that game with 54 points and Newcastle 57.


Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls drew 1-1 at Newcastle on Saturday to help the Blues and weren’t at their sharpest on Wednesday, but Reece James’ late red card gave them hope as Joao Pedro ruined Djordje Petrovic’s clean sheet in stoppage time.

Brighton will not finish higher than their current 10th place standing, and could drop as low as 13th after Championship Sunday.

Blues are well on their way (if Pochettino stays)

Just one man’s opinion here, but Chelsea would be bonkers to cut ties with Mauricio Pochettino with this young team healthier and looking like a real team for first time in ages. It’s one thing if Pochettino doesn’t want to come back to Stamford Bridge, but watching the Blues on Wednesday gave off a feeling we haven’t felt about Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel left. And you have to think the Blues would want that back if they were remaking the decision today. You want to do well in Europe? You want your young team to feel there’s something reliable? Getting rid of the guy who rode out this storm doesn’t seem like the right call.

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea player ratings (from

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea player ratings (from

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea player ratings (from

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea player ratings (from

What’s next?

Chelsea host Bournemouth at 11am ET Sunday, when all 10 games kick off for the season’s final matchday. Brighton finish their part in the top-six fight by hosting Manchester United.

How to watch Brighton vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2:45pm ET Wednesday (May 15)
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Online: Premier League on Peacock

Brighton vs Chelsea live updates — By Nick Mendola

Brighton vs Chelsea live score: 1-2

Goalscorers: Palmer (34'), Nkunku (64'), Welbeck (90+7')

Red card: James (88')

Danny Welbeck goal! Brighton 1-2 Chelsea (90+7' minute)

Joao Pedro drives in from the left in the seventh of 10 minutes’ stoppage time, sending a low hard pass into traffic for Danny Welbeck to poke over the line.

Welbeck gives Brighton late hope against Chelsea
Danny Welbeck pulls one back late in injury time to give Brighton a lifeline against 10-men Chelsea at the Amex.

Chelsea red card! Reece James

VAR has had a long look at Reece James’ kick-out at Joao Pedro, and the Blues captain’s day is going to be a short one?

Yep. James is off and Chelsea will have to play the final two minutes plus stoppage with 10 men.

James sent off for kick out on Pedro
Following a lengthy VAR review, Chelsea go down to 10 men after Reece James receives a straight red card for his reckless kick out on Brighton's Joao Pedro late in the second half at the Amex.

Chelsea goal! Brighton 0-2 Chelsea (64th minute)

Malo Gusto zips around the right corner and laces a hard low pass into the mix

Nkunku snaps it home for his third Premier League goal of the season, taking a blue balloon out and inflating it in celebration.

Nkunku doubles Chelsea's lead against Brighton
Malo Gusto finds his fellow Frenchman Christopher Nkunku inside the box for an easy finish to give Chelsea a two-goal cushion over Brighton at the Amex.

Blues keep knocking at the door

Chelsea are knocking the ball around outside the box and Noni Madueke cues up a Malo Gusto chance.

The French international misses wide of the goal and Chelsea are still waiting for their insurance goal.

Chelsea chance!

Jackson plays Nkunku toward the 18, and the Frenchman drags a shot wide of the far post to start the second half.

Halftime — Brighton 0-1 Chelsea

Brighton gets some danger on Petrovic before half but the Serbian makes a goos ave.

Chelsea deserve their lead even if their seven shots haven’t been massively dangerous.

The xG favors them and possession does, too.

Nicolas Jackson goal ruled out

Jackson has the ball in the goal but he shoved the leaping Tariq Lamptey to win the ball and won’t get to count it.

Chelsea injury

Tariq Lamptey blocks Mykhailo Mudryk with a shoulder to the head and it looks ugly. VAR, however, has decided the views aren’t conclusive, which is surprising.

Mudryk will come off with a concussion substitution and it’s Christopher Nkunku taking his place.

Chelsea goal (a pretty one)! Brighton 0-1 Chelsea (34th minute)

Cole Palmer pushes the ball left to Mykhailo Mudryk, who gives it to Conor Gallagher.

Marc Cucurella’s run into the box is well-spotted and the Catalan fullback spins a pretty cross toward the spot.

Palmer is sprinting toward goal and meets the ball to turn it across the frame and inside the far corner.

Very pretty. 1-0 on Palmer’s 22nd of the season.

Palmer heads Chelsea in front of Brighton
Marc Cucurella's cross finds Cole Palmer, who lofts his header into the back of the Brighton goal to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead over the Seagulls at the Amex.

Verbruggen save, corner kick

Malo Gusto forces Brighton keeper Bart Verbruggen to keep up his fine recent play with a leaping left-hand save for a corner kick.

That leads to a corner, but Chelsea are unable to do anything with it.

Penalty review! Overturned

Marc Cucurella drives into the box and Facundo Buonanotte chops him down. There’s a point to the spot but did Buonanotte first catch the ball.

A long review requires screen review, and the penalty will not be awarded to Chelsea.

Gallagher intervenes early

The Seagulls are setting up shop in the Chelsea end and nearly go ahead before a Conor Gallagher intervention leads to a corner kick for Brighton.

The set pieces come to nothing, and we stay 0-0 after seven minutes.

Brighton and Hove Albion lineup

Verbruggen, Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Buonanotte, Julio, Gilmour, Gross, Enciso, Adingra, Pedro

Chelsea lineup

Petrovic, Gusto, Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella, Caicedo, Gallagher, Palmer, Maduele, Mudryk, Jackson

Brighton focus, team news

The Seagulls will be hoping Pedro and Veltman have recovered from knocks, while the likes of experienced trio Welbeck, Gross and Dunk will be the spine of the team.

OUT: Kaoru Mitoma (lower back), Jean Paul van Hecke (thigh), Evan Ferguson (ankle), Solly March (knee), Jack Hinshelwood (ankle), James Milner (thigh), Pervis Estupinan (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Joao Pedro (ankle), Joel Veltman (knock)

Chelsea focus, team news

Chelsea’s injury issues have finally calmed down and both Sterling and Nkunku could have a big impact off the bench once again, while Palmer, Gallagher and Caicedo are having a huge impact on games.

OUT: Enzo Fernandez (groin), Romeo Lavia (hamstring - out for season), Wesley Fofana (torn ACL - out for season), Robert Sanchez (illness) | QUESTIONABLE: Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Ben Chilwell (knee)