Chelsea finally kept a clean sheet under Frank Lampard as the club beat Brighton on Saturday. But Christian Pulisic was not used for a third straight game in the league.
LONDON (AP) Chelsea finally kept a clean sheet under Frank Lampard as the club great earned his first home win as manager with a 2-0 victory against Brighton on Saturday.
Jorginho converted a penalty after Mason Mount was tripped to give Chelsea a 50th-minute lead, and Willian's deflected shot in the 76th clinched all three points.
It is the ninth straight league loss for Brighton against Chelsea - an English record run for most games played, and lost, against one opponent.
Brighton, which hit the crossbar late on through Dan Burns, hasn't won since the opening day of the season under its own new manager, Graham Potter.
Lampard, who returned in the offseason to the team where he is the all-time top scorer, had seen Chelsea draw twice and lost the other of his first three home league games in charge at Stamford Bridge.
''We needed the win,'' Lampard said. ''We haven't had a 90-minute game where we've controlled it enough. The only disappointment is we didn't have more goals. A clean sheet as well. It is good for the confidence of everyone.''
The Blues were good value for the win, having 17 shots in a one-sided first half during which Tammy Abraham headed against the post from Mount's free kick.
Brighton somehow survived the first half, but conceded a penalty five minutes into the second when Adam Webster's poor touch in the area allowed Mount to poke the ball away from him. As the defender tried to win it back, he tripped Mount. Jorginho assumed penalty-taking duties, despite Pedro Rodriguez scoring one against Grimsby in the League Cup in midweek, and the Italy international coolly rolled it home. A short backpass almost gifted Abraham a second goal for Chelsea, but goalkeeper Mat Ryan was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger.
It was 2-0 when Callum Hudson-Odoi, on as a substitute, fed Willian, who charged into the box and finished at the near post via a deflection.
Yet again, however, Christian Pulisic served as an unused sub despite his start midweek in the Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town. It was the third straight ommission in the league, and hasn't come off the bench in the four of the last five matches.
Speaking to NBC Sports's Joe Prince-Wright after the game, the American discussed his lack of opportunities.
“Yeah, of course, it is very frustrating, but I will continue to work my hardest because I want to play," said Pulisic. "He [Lampard] said to keep working and I have to improve myself in training and try to get back in the line up.”
"I want to play as many minutes as I can, that is really my goal, I want to be on the field… It is tough for me right now. I just have to continue to learn. Like I said, I want to be on the field really bad, I have to continue to work and prove myself to be there."