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Chelsea vs Brighton final score: Seagulls swoop to steal late draw

Chelsea nearly survived a second-half onslaught, but Danny Welbeck's stoppage-time header canceled out Romelu Lukaku's opening goal to grab a late point for Brighton.

Chelsea vs Brighton: The Blues got an early goal from Romelu Lukaku, but Danny Welbeck bagged a stoppage-time equalizer to make it a 1-1 final score at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in USA ]

The result sends Chelsea 2nd in the Premier League table (for the time being), though they could finish matchweek 20 back in 3rd place and potentially eight points behind leaders Manchester City, pending their result against Brentford on Wednesday. Three draws in four games (while Man City refuse to drop so much as a point) have effectively ended the Blues’ title hopes.

Brighton, on the other hand, climb one place from 11th to 10th.

Chelsea vs Brighton final score, stats, results

Final score: Chelsea 1, Brighton 1

Goal scorers: Chelsea (Lukaku 28'), Brighton (Welbeck 90'+1)

Shots: Chelsea 11, Brighton 18

Shots on target: Chelsea 5, Brighton 6

Possession: Chelsea 47%, Brighton 53%

3 things we learned - Chelsea vs Brighton

1. Brighton have an almighty go, get their reward: It would be easy to confuse the Seagulls for the “bigger” side, had someone never watched or heard of the Premier League before, given the way they controlled possession and frequently camped out in Chelsea’s defensive third where oftentimes seven and eight royal blue shirts converged to desperately see danger away. This was the case before Lukaku’s opening goal, and even more so afterwards. Brighton are fearless with technical skill to match their bold ideas, but too often their failures in the final third have cost them an untold number of points the last two and a half seasons. Always a scare, lots of moral draws. This one feels more like a win.

2. Returning stars provide boost, impact: Lukaku is officially back in the starting lineup (more on that in a moment); N.Golo Kante is now officially back from injury after appearing in back-to-back games; and Kai Havertz has been cleared to return following his bout with COVID-19 (unused substitute), though Timo Werner remains unable to rejoin training due to lingering effects. Lukaku scored the goal on Wednesday, and Kante came off the bench (after starting on Sunday) to try to help close the game out in the final 25 minutes. Obviously it didn’t work out as such, but this is clearly a side whose future fortunes are improving by the day, as they get healthier and fitter. The Premier League title is likely out of reach, but another run at Champions League glory could be in the cards.

3. Another injury at full back: In less joyful injury news, Chelsea announced on Tuesday that Ben Chilwell would miss the rest of the season after opting to undergo knee surgery. A day later, Reece James, flipped from right to left back as a result, suffered what appeared to be a knee injury of his own. James’ injury was caused by a challenge from Tariq Lamptey, which saw the two Chelsea academy products’ knees collide — the front of Lamptey’s on the outside of James’. The Blues were already shorthanded to the point of starting Christian Pulisic at right wing back, and Marcos Alonso, who was supposed to get a rest on Wednesday, is the only natural wide defender currently uninjured. If James is to miss significant time, Chelsea will likely have no choice but to make a signing in January or recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan to Lyon.

Man of the Match: Mason Mount - Mount provided the ball in for Lukaku’s goal, and he was a constant threat when Chelsea broke on the counter, which was frequent.

Chelsea vs Brighton highlights

Romelu Lukaku scores in first PL start since Oct. 16 (goal video)

Lukaku’s first season back at Stamford Bridge has run hot and cold: an initial burst of goals scored immediately after signing, followed by injury and a case of COVID-19 which conspired to keep him out of the Premier League lineup for two and a half months. He’ll need to score lots more goals to drag Chelsea back into the title race.

[ VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Danny Welbeck heads home the late (deserved) equalizer (goal video)

Nothing fancy about this goal — a great cross into the box from Marc Cucurella, and an even better looping header from Welbeck.

Follow @AndyEdMLS