Brighton boss De Zerbi reveals the two Chelsea players he deliberately targeted

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.

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.’

JB

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