Relegation threatened Brighton show Champions League chasing Chelsea why Super league was a farce
Brighton produced an excellent performance against Chelsea where the host’s decision to quit the European Super League hung heavy over Stamford Bridge.
Less than 90 minutes before Tuesday night’s kick-off news filtered out that Chelsea were preparing documents to leave the Super League that had only been announced late on Sunday.
Liverpool, Man City, Man United, Tottenham and Arsenal soon followed and the greedy dream of a closed shop European competition to serve the elite crumbled and disappeared as quick as it arrived.
It was a victory for the fans and the match that followed showed what matters about competitive football with jeopardy and consequences at both ends of the table.
Graham Potter’s team are battling for Premier League survival while Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea desperately seek a place in the top four, in order to qualify for Europe in the traditional manner.
That the Blues failed to hit full tilt in the first half was hardly surprising given the swirling Super League situation. The second half continued in the same vein but it was Brighton who snatched momentum in the late exchanges with substitute Adam Lallana spurning a fine chance and Danny Welbeck cracked the post with a great effort from just outside the box.
But a point is good result for Albion who are now seven clear of 18th placed Fulham with a game in hand. The only downside was the late dismissal of Ben White who received two yellow cards - he will miss the trip to relegated Sheffield United this Saturday.
Brighton boss Potter said, “We could have won it - we hit the post. We had the bigger chances and our boys were fantastic.”
On the European Super League: “It has been disturbing, sad and frustrating. The game has been attacked and the integrity of the game in this country and across Europe. It is about having your fate sorted on the pitch.
"It's about competition and consequences if you don't get the points in terms of relegation. If you do get the points it's about aspiring to compete in Europe.
"We need to maintain that. We are not a franchise. That is not what football is about, it is about solving things on the pitch.
"We have to remain vigilant. These are not clubs they are private companies with billionaire investors who are thinking about share price and performance of the company.
"We have to keep reminding people of the importance of competition on the pitch. You cannot create franchise systems in European football. I think it's impossible because it goes against everything we have stood for for 150 years.
"It may work in other countries but it doesn't over here and nor should it. That is not what our game is about."
Lallana added: “That is what football is about - the underdogs. We were outstanding and should have taken three points.
"Together we are stronger. It is great to see everyone coming together as one. We want games like this to have meaning.”