Di Zerbi has praised Brighton’s performance in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Chelsea and revealed that he specifically targeted two players.
The Seagulls played host to Graham Potter in something of a grudge match, with the new Chelsea manager booed and jeered by his one-time fans – who even chanted that he was ‘getting sacked in the morning’ as the goals went in.
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Leandro Trossard put the hosts ahead after only five minutes before two own goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah meant Brighton went into break with a three-goal lead.
Kai Havertz netted shortly after the restart, but Brighton gave a solid display before Pascal Gross added more to the scoreline in stoppage time.
Throughout the game, Brighton got enormous joy down the flanks with Estupinan and Kaoru Mitoma – who was involved in two of the goals – raiding down the left and March causing problems down the right.
With Potter selecting Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling at wing-back, De Zerbifelt Chelsea’s outside centre-backs – Chalobah and Marc Cucurella – could be exposed and went one-to-one against them.
Asked if he had targeted Chelsea’s outside centre-backs, De Zerbi told Brighton’s website: ‘We prepared the game one-to-one with Mitoma with Chalobah and one-to-one Solly March against Cucurella.
‘But Trossard was fantastic, Adam Lallana the same. All the players were fantastic.’
Speaking about the win more generally, he added: ‘I am very happy for the players, the club and the people who work with the team.
‘And, of course, the great fans because they were the best players on the pitch – they helped us so much.
‘The first 20-25 minutes we were fantastic, in how we played with and without the ball. We played with an intensity I liked.
‘I won’t be celebrating too much, because next Saturday is another game and I made a mistake because they made a tactical change and I didn’t adapt.
‘But 4-1 against Chelsea is still an amazing result and I hope everyone enjoys it.’
Asked about the booing of Potter by Brighton’s supporters, he told BBC Sport: ‘No I don’t want to speak for this. I am sorry for these things. I don’t know the situation of the past and I don’t want to know.’