Ben Chilwell has sent a message to Chelsea fans after leading the side to just a third win of the season in all competitions after beating Brighton 1-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. The full-back, back in the starting line-up after two games on the bench, captained the team to an impressive victory at Stamford Bridge.
Having been left out of the team that lost 1-0 to Aston Villa and drew 0-0 with Bournemouth due to Mykhailo Mudryk regaining a place on the wing and Levi Colwill staying at full-back, Chilwell was the oldest player for the Blues in this cup clash. He was part of a rejigged defence that included Marc Cucurella at right-back for most of the night.
As the third oldest player in the squad Chilwell already had an increased leadership role to play at the club and has continued up the ladder, once more wearing the armband in the absence of Reece James. Just like James, though, Chilwell suffered yet another injury setback.
The 26-year-old had to go off the pitch late into the match after a surging run up the pitch with the ball. He was brought down in the Brighton half, legally according to referee Thomas Bramall, and stayed on the floor as the visitors countered to try and force an equaliser.
Looking first in disbelief at not getting a free-kick, Chilwell then clearly made a gesture to the bench that he would have to come off. The Stamford Bridge moans and groans were audible. Chelsea had now seen their first choice left-back dealt yet another injury blow as they approach a key set of games.
The true extent of the damage is yet to be revealed but Mauricio Pochettino said after the game: «Yes [there was an injury]. We need to assess tomorrow but I think it is hamstring.»
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