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HUGHTON RUES NATURE OF CHELSEA'S WINNING GOALS

26 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Chris Hughton

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton felt his team produced a respectable performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but rued the nature of both goals conceded in the 2-0 defeat on Boxing Day.

The Seagulls went in level at half-time but were undone inside the opening minute of the second half, and despite also understanding the positives, Hughton couldn’t hide his disappointment at Chelsea’s winning goals.

He said, “They’re the two most disappointing things - the timing [of the first goal] and the set play. But it can happen, they have such quality and for 45 minutes, I thought we were good value.

“We limited the chances they had, but you know that on the balance of play, with the quality they’ve got, at some stage they’re going to open you up.

“There’s no doubt that it was a bit of quality, but whether that was a vulnerable moment for us, I don’t know.

“Over the 90 minutes, I would say we were value for something, and I’m not talking about points - but we participated and played a big part in this game.”

Alvaro Morata headed Chelsea in front before Marcos Alonso doubled the hosts’ lead on the hour mark, and Hughton highlighted the quality of this afternoon’s opponents, who won the Premier League last season.

“They showed in so many phases the quality that they have, and they’re not just great-ability players, they’re also a very strong and athletic team.

“If you open yourself up too much and create too many holes, then what we saw on their first goal can happen time and time again.

“But we restricted that and had some good phases ourselves, particularly in the first half.”

With Albion finding goals hard to come by in recent games, having scored twice in seven matches, Hughton showed his understanding towards the difficulty of consistently finding the back of the net in the Premier League.

“It heightens the need for us to figure out how we’re going to get the goals that we need. We’re very conscious of the division that we’re in and the quality that we’re up against.

“We didn’t think for one moment that we’d have as much joy in front of goal as we’ve had in the last couple of seasons.

“It comes with the territory and we’re not the only team. But what we will do is work as hard as we can to strengthen the squad in January.”


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