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‘Everything against us’: Chelsea boss fumes at ‘joke’ call as City lands big title blow — PL Wrap

Brighton’s Danny Welbeck scored a dramatic stoppage-time goal to deny Chelsea a vital Premier League win on Thursday just as they were poised to move to within three points of Manchester City.

Romelu Lukaku outmuscled Neil Maupay to head home a corner midway through the first half but former Manchester United and Arsenal forward Welbeck punished the home side with a headed goal at the death.

The 1-1 draw means Thomas Tuchel’s side are five points behind City, who extended their lead to eight points after beating Brentford 1-0 in Thursday’s later kick-off.

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Chelsea has now dropped more points after leading this season (11) than they did throughout the entirety of last year (10).

Blues coach Thomas Tuchel was seething post-game, blowing up after a penalty was not awarded for a challenge on Christian Pulisic in the box in the second half.

“We have a horrible decision from the referee for 2-0,” he said.

“It wasn’t even checked. Everything against us. We have two injuries again.

“The penalty is a joke. Honestly, a joke.

“We simply have too many players coming back from long injuries and Covid. The injury of Reece James was a huge blow. Andreas was one of the top players on the pitch and at some point, it is too much against a Brighton team with nothing to lose.”

It was not all bad, with Lukaku impressive as the powerful focal point of Chelsea’s attack, holding the ball up well and menacing the Brighton defence with his physical presence.

The home side looked more dangerous in the early stages without creating many clear-cut openings and former Chelsea player Tariq Lamptey was a constant threat down the right for the visitors.

Chelsea wing-back Reece James limped off in the 27th minute with an apparent hamstring injury, to be replaced by Marcos Alonso.

It comes after it was confirmed earlier in the week that Ben Chilwell would need surgery on his ACL.

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Chelsea went ahead immediately when Lukaku shook off the attentions of Maupay after a tussle to power a header past goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

Brighton’s complaints were waved away as Chelsea — for so long top of the league this season — celebrated.

But Graham Potter’s side came back strongly, with Edouard Mendy forced to push away a fierce Adam Lallana drive while Alexis Mac Allister shot straight at the goalkeeper.

The impressive Yves Bissouma stung the hands of Mendy early in the second half as the visitors continued to trouble Chelsea.

Minutes later Callum Hudson-Odoi burst forward from his own half but failed to find Mason Mount before Maupay flashed wide at the other end as the game opened up.

It looked as though it was going to be a familiar story for Brighton, who have struggled to score this season, but substitute Welbeck had other ideas, heading home Marc Cucurella’s cross in the 91st minute.

Brighton stole a point. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Brighton stole a point. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

CITY CHARGING AT THE TOP

Elsewhere, Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to an ominous eight points on Thursday, beating Brentford 1-0.

Phil Foden’s first-half goal was enough to give Pep Guardiola’s champions a 10th consecutive league win as they took full advantage of Chelsea’s slip-up at Stamford Bridge.

The defending champions now have 50 points after 20 matches, putting them eight clear of second-placed Chelsea who are themselves one point ahead of Liverpool, who lost to Leicester on Wednesday.

Brentford created some good scoring opportunities in the opening stages in west London, but it was City who went ahead in the 16th minute when Foden cleverly tucked in a cross from Kevin De Bruyne.

City dominated possession but struggled to produce shots on target and Guardiola looked edgy on the sidelines as his team attempted to see out the win.

They thought they had sealed the three points in the dying minutes when Aymeric Laporte rose to head home but his goal was ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside.

Manchester City extended its lead at the top. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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