By Tim Hodges
Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Chelsea 1
Albion beat the European champions Chelsea 3-1 in a friendly at the Amex Stadium in Falmer this afternoon (Saturday 4 August).
Frank Lampard opened the scoring for the Londoners after 35 minutes, Torres was involved, with a wonderful dummy, allowing the England midfielder time to side-foot the past Tomaz Kuszczak in the Albion goal. But just two minutes later Vicente levelled for the Albion with a cool pinpointed finish into the bottom corner out of Petr Cech’s reach.
New signing’s Bruno and Andrew Crofts were linking up well with Vicente, who was showing Chelsea all his class.
Just before halftime Will Buckley got clear of Michael Essien , whipped the ball over Ashley Coles head and found himself one on one with Cech, the big keeper got a hand to the shot , but Ashley Barnes charging forward smashed home the loose ball home to put Albion 2-1 up.
Chelsea went at the Albion, in the second half and they meant business. Lampard and Torres having great chances, Lampard then drew a great save from Kuszczak .
Albion were not letting Chelsea have all the play, that man Vicente went close again and Ashley Barnes was denied by a good save at the far post by Ross Turnbull.
In the last few minutes Barnes and David Luiz clashed in the midfield , and the ball broke to Crofts who took it forward and cooley slotted past Turnball, to put the Albion 3-1 up . This sent the Seagulls fans delirious. Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole remonstrated with Referee Dave Phillips but the goal stood, Cole’s continued dis-pleasure showed that although only a friendly, Chelsea really did care that the Albion had outplayed them.
Let’s be clear, the European Champions did not field a weaken team at anypoint . The line up included Petr Cech in goal and John Terry, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and the Serbian international Branislav Ivanovic in defence.
More than 17,000 fans watched Albion boss Gus Poyet’s old side come close several times. The Blues have work to do before their Community Shield match against Premier League champions Manchester City next weekend.
Albion can take a measure of confidence from being able to compete as effectively as they did.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Kuszczak; Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Calderon; Bridcutt, Crofts, Dicker; Buckley, Vicente, Barnes. Subs not used: Brezovan, Ankergren, El-Abd, Sparrow, Vincelot, Harley, Noone, Agdestein.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Meireles, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, David Luiz, Mikel, Lukaku, Ferreira, Hutchinson, Benayoun, Piazon.
Referee: Dave Phillips (West Sussex)
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