Brighton boss Chris Hughton felt Marcos Alonso should have been sent off as Chelsea held on to secure a 2-1 win.
The outstanding Eden Hazard had inspired Chelsea into a two-goal lead after creating the first finish for Pedro and then adding a second before half-time as the visitors threatened to win by a wider margin.
Hughton’s Brighton then responded throughout the second half, and after Solly March had pulled a goal back in the 66th minute, Chelsea defender Alonso perhaps proved fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after a late foul on March – and as the last man.
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“My first impression was that it was a red card,” Hughton said. “Having seen it again, I do understand that it’s a difficult decision with the pace on the ball and whether Solly would have been right through. I can understand that a bit. (But) I still think there are referees who would have sent him off as the last man.
“He should have been on a yellow card anyway. He pulled back Anthony Knockaert, which is generally always a yellow card. There were two incidents. He should have been on a yellow. If someone pulls someone back on more than one occasion, it should be a yellow.
“The fourth official, Kevin Friend, explained it to me. He didn’t think Solly would have been in control of the ball. “(But) because he’s last man, and because of the intensity of the game, there would have been a lot of referees who would have sent him off.
“In the end, whether we deserved (a draw) or not – probably not over 90 minutes – when you get a rhythm in the game and are in the ascendancy, you do think it might be your day. Eden is very difficult to stop. He’s a world-class player.”Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.