Chelsea 4-3 Brighton: Nkunku, Mudryk, Gallagher & Jackson seal another pre-season win

In the Premier League Summer Series, Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls were defeated by four as Mauricio Pochettino’s team improved to 2-0 on their tour of the United States.

Danny Welbeck scored the opening goal for Brighton against the odds after he shot from close range. Six minutes later, in the 19th minute, Chelsea’s Christopher Nkunku equalized with a deft flick past Jason Steele.

With 25 minutes left, Mykhailo Mudryk scored a fantastic goal from the edge of the box to give Chelsea the lead. In the 72nd minute, Conor Gallagher increased the Blues’ advantage to two goals. For Chelsea, Nicolas Jackson scored, but Joao Pedro’s penalty cut their lead with 11 minutes left.

In the 89th minute, Deniz Undav’s strike brought Brighton to within one goal of tying the score, but it was too late for De Zerbi’s team to avoid losing in Philadelphia.

In the opening minutes of the game, Ian Maatsen had the game’s first half-chance. Ben Chilwell received a pass from Levi Colwill that was played down the channel and behind him. The ball teed up on the edge of the box, but Maatsen could only side-foot wide.

Three minutes later, Welbeck nearly gave Brighton a second goal, but he could only direct Adam Lallana’s deflected cross straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In the 19th minute, Christopher Nkunku tied the score with his second goal in as many outings for Chelsea. Ian Maatsen received a one-two from Carney Chukwuemeka, and he maneuvered it past Jason Steele at close range.

The exhibition match might have easily passed for a Premier League match. Chelsea was able to maintain their high level of play throughout because to Pochettino’s improvements in their fitness.

Raheem Sterling nearly received a penalty after Solly March stripped him of the ball eight minutes before halftime, but Kepa made a strong save on the Brighton star’s shot before cautioning him for a foul on Chilwell.

Sterling zipped a pass into the box in the 41st minute, but it was just a hair too far ahead of Maatsen, preventing Chelsea from taking the lead.

The most active of the two goalkeepers was Kepa. He had to step up once more to comfortably catch Mitoma’s strike after initially blocking Welbeck’s thunderous shot.

At halftime, Pochettino made four substitutions. Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Chukwuemeka, and Maatsen were replaced by Marc Cucurella, Trevoh Chalobah, Cesare Casadei, and Mykhailo Mudryk. After blocking Welbeck’s shot inside the area six minutes into the second half, Gallagher made sure he didn’t score his second and restored Brighton’s lead.

Sterling found himself closing in on Brighton’s goal, but as he neared the final third and the Seagulls cleared, he was unable to be ruthless.

On the hour mark, Brighton went down to ten men after defender Jan Paul van Hecke received a second caution for knocking out Casadei.

Shortly after, Pochettino made three additional substitutions, bringing on Enzo Fernandez, Angelo Gabriel, and Nicolas Jackson while removing Andrey Santos, Sterling, and goal scorer Nkunku.

Jackson jumped right into the action, and after a wonderful double one-two with Mudryk, the Ukrainian blasted a magnificent shot past Steele to put the Blues in ahead. With 18 minutes remaining, Jackson recorded his fourth assist of the preseason tour and second of the game. He poked it to Gallagher, who smashed it into the goal to give Chelsea a double-digit lead.

The Senegalese player switched from being a supplier to a scorer. Jackson scored Chelsea’s fourth goal after Cucurella found him with a through ball, lifting the ball into the goal.

There were a ton of goals in the game. Brighton was awarded a penalty by Colwill, and Joao Pedro cut the score back to two. Lewis Hall then took over for the Chelsea defender as Pochettino reorganized the defense by replacing Malo Gusto, Moses Chalobah, and Cucurella with Bashir Humphreys.