Lampard, who gave several first-team players a rest before Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal return match against Real Madrid, at least saw the Blues score their first goal in his second stint as head coach when Conor Gallagher’s deflected shot beat Robert Sanchez in the Brighton goal in the 13th minute.
But the visitors under coach Roberto De Zerby were the better side for a long time, forcing Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to make excellent saves and hit the bar before they equalized when Welbeck squeezed between two defenders and shot a header into the post in the 42nd minute, soon after taking the field.
The Seagulls got the second goal they deserved when Paraguayan Enciso scored with an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out in the 69th minute, solidifying Brighton’s hopes of European soccer next season for the first time in its history.
It’s important that we try to score as many points as possible, Welbeck told the BBC. With the confidence in the team we know we can go anywhere and create problems.
Brighton defeated Chelsea 4-1 in October, the start of a slump in the London team’s form that led to Graham Potter’s sacking as coach this month, six months after the Blues poached him – and four others – from the south coast to replace Thomas Tuchel.
Brighton fans enjoyed the contrasting fortunes of the two clubs, greeting the expensive Chelsea players with shouts of What a waste of money before the match, while Chelsea’s American co-owner Todd Boely watched from the stands.
As a result, Brighton remained in seventh place in the Premier League, five points ahead of Liverpool. They also reached the semifinals of the FA Cup, where they will meet Manchester United next weekend.
Chelsea remain in 11th place, and their only hope for silverware this season depends on their ability to bounce back from a 2-0 deficit to reigning European champions Real Madrid at home on Tuesday.
Saturday’s defeat followed a 1-0 loss away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in Lampard’s first game as interim coach last weekend and a disappointing midweek visit to the Spanish capital.
I’m disappointed on all levels, Chelsea’s all-time top scorer told the BBC. The best team won. They could havewin and more. They played as a team.
Villa defeated Newcastle
Jacob Ramsey’s early strike and Ollie Watkins’ two second-half goals gave Aston Villa a 3-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, bringing Unai Emery’s rejuvenated team within six points of the top four.
Ramsey ran onto Watkins’ ball and kicked it sideways in the 11th minute after John McGinn’s excellent cross gave Villa the lead.
Watkins added Villa’s second goal with a sharp header in the 64th minute and scored his 11th goal in the last 12 games with six minutes left on a simple shot from the far post.
Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were dashed after a 3-2 loss to Bournemouth after Dango Ouattara scored in the final minute on Saturday.
A wild Premier League game was won by the visitors after goals from Matthias Vina and Dominic Solanke, joined by substitute Ouattara. This allowed the Cherries to take revenge after a late pain in the return match in October.
That capped a bad day for Spurs acting head coach Christian Stellini, who replaced Davinson Sanchez after a poor defensive exit in the 23rd minute and saw his aggressive tactics cost his team. Six of Tottenham’s strikers took the field in the final minutes.
Costa scored in Wolves’ win
Diego Costa’s first Premier League goal in six years helped Wolverhampton come close to survival Saturday.
The striker inspired the hosts to a 2-0 victory over Brentford and ended their expectation of a goal after joining the team in September.
Hwang Hee-chan scored his second goal and the Wolves pulled away from the relegation zone by seven points in seven games to end the season with just their second straight league win.