Chukwuemeka scores as Chelsea beat Brighton in behind-closed-doors friendly

Carney Chukwuemeka scored a brace as Chelsea beat Brighton in a behind-closed-doors friendly win on Saturday.

Graham Potter faced his former team in an unofficial game at the Amex Stadium as Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday was postponed, while Brighton’s derby with Crystal Palace was also called off.

Potter rested the Chelsea players who featured predominantly in the 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Christian Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Trevoh Chalobah, Armando Broja, Conor Gallagher and Denis Zakaria all got a run-out.

But it was Chukwuemeka who was the star of the show as he struck two goals in a 2-1 victory over Brighton.

The 18-year-old was signed from Aston Villa at the start of August having played a major role in England’s success at the European Under-19 Championship earlier in the summer.

Chukwuemeka did not play a first-team game under Thomas Tuchel and is now pushing for playing time under new manager Potter.

Chelsea now face an extended period of rest during the international break as their next match is not until October 1 when they play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Speaking after Chelsea’s draw with Red Bull Salzburg, Potter dismissed reports that there is a bad atmosphere among his team.

‘I’ve been very positive with the players, their response, attitude, intelligence. They are top players and are working hard for each other,’ Potter said.

‘There is a nice spirit in the group, but they are disappointed because results haven’t gone as well as they’d like, which is normal, and you can feel that disappointment and frustration.

‘But it’s my job to help them get the results they want, that we all want. Today is not the best start in terms of points for us but in terms of how we acted on the pitch as a group, lots of positives.’

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