Nicolas Jackson scored his second goal for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup third-round meeting with Brighton (Nigel French/PA)
Chelsea earned respite from their difficult start to the season under Mauricio Pochettino as Nicolas Jackson’s second-half goal gave them a 1-0 win against Brighton in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Roberto De Zerbi’s high-flying visitors dominated possession for much of the game but home fans witnessed their side put on an effective counter-attacking display at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had gone three games without scoring, but that run ended when Jackson struck early in the second half after being set up by Cole Palmer, planting a composed finish into the corner to ease his personal struggles in front of goal.
Nicolas Jackson celebrates his winner (Nigel French/PA)
Pochettino made five changes from the side beaten by Aston Villa on Sunday, with Palmer brought in for his first start.
The former Manchester City forward began in an advanced three alongside Mykhailo Mudryk and Ian Maatsen, but was at his most effective when dropping to receive the ball deep, seeking out the critical final-third passes that have eluded Chelsea and meant they have scored just five league goals in six games.
Jackson had an early sight of goal, winning the ball on the edge of Brighton’s box and hitting a left-footed drive that deflected over.
Robert Sanchez was one of three former Brighton players in the Chelsea line-up and twice in the first period the goalkeeper almost gifted his former side the lead, first passing the ball straight to the feet of Joao Pedro who chipped it inches over the bar, then putting Moises Caicedo under pressure in a central position. He was dispossessed by Carlo Baleba, who rolled the ball toRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk