'Wonderful execution' Brighton head coach Graham Potter reacts to Alireza Jahanbakhsh stunning equaliser

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter hailed his team's bravery against Chelsea
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter hailed his team's bravery against Chelsea

Albion head coach Graham Potter priased a stunning equaliser from Alireza Jahanbakhsh and the bravery of his players following their 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on New Year's day.

Chelsea took the lead after just 10 minutes thanks to a close range strike from Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta but Albion were always in the match and improved further after the break.

Substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh levelled the scores with an excellent overhead kick. The Iranian international has now scored two goals in his last two matches, having failed net in his first 26.

“I thought the players were amazing, it was an incredible performance," said Potter. They went toe to toe with a top-four side and matched them. They have players who can hurt you if you make a mistake so the level of courage to keep playing in our way was amazing.

“I’m incredibly proud. The crowd can get frustrated if we make a mistake, so the players have my utmost respect for the personality they have shown today.

"We want to play our way and I’m so pleased they got a reward for their efforts.

“We had to change the structure of the team but we got better in the second half. We had to defend our box which you’d expect but, in the end, I thought their keeper was busier than ours. We even had a couple of chances to win it.

Potter also praised the skill shown by Jahanbakhsh to net the equaliser.

“He’s had a good week that’s for sure. It was a wonderful execution and it shows how things change so quickly in football,” said Potter.

“I spoke to him about why he didn’t start today. It was a bit tactical and having played on Saturday I didn’t think it was the right way to use him so quickly after he put so much into the Bournemouth game.

“He hasn’t had the game time he would like. He’s been frustrated, which is normal, but he’s been really professional - and just wants his chance.

“I like him a lot. His decision making is better and he’s got a knack of scoring goals.”

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was however frustrated that his team failed to take chances that he thought could have killed off the match in the first half. "It was frustrating for different reasons.

"In the first half, the game was there to be won. We weren't ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had the possession, but we just didn't kill the game off.

"We allowed them to stay in the game. In the end it was a wonder goal but we were lucky not to lose the game. In the end, the tactics matched up for both teams but they were better than us. We have to take that on the chin.

"[The lack of consistency] is a concern. It's something we absolutely have to look at. We have to look at the game today. It's a point, but I'm not happy with the performance."