Graham Potter has encouraged Chelsea to learn a “painful lesson” after his side were comfortably beaten by his former club Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Englishman left Brighton last month after around three years in charge to replace Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
Potter was unbeaten in nine games ahead of his return to the AMEX Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
His old club were able to get one over him as Brighton smashed four goals past Chelsea. Leandro Trossard broke the deadlock before Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoh Chalobah scored own goals.
Kai Havertz pulled a goal back for Chelsea after the interval but Pascal Gross netted before full-time to make it 4-1.
This result leaves Chelsea fifth in the Premier League and they are three points behind Newcastle United with a game in hand.
Potter accepted the defeat when speaking post-match as Brighton “deserved” the victory.
“They played well, the atmosphere was really intense here. We didn’t necessarily match that level of intensity,” Potter told Sky Sports.
“We had some opportunities to test the keeper, but it was too open and Brighton were dangerous. We were pushing and pushing and throwing players on, but Brighton deserved it. You have to say congratulations to them.
“Brighton were better at what they did, so we have to take that as a lesson – even though that’s a painful one for us.
“You have to congratulate Brighton. The intensity was there and we suffered a little bit. The players are an honest bunch – we win and lose together – so we have to take stock and move forward.”
Potter’s replacement was Roberto De Zerbi and this is his first win since taking over at Brighton.
The Seagulls are now up to eighth in the Premier League ahead of the rest of this weekend’s fixtures.
De Zerbi stated after his side’s win that all of his Brighton players “were fantastic”.
“I am very happy for the players, for the club and the people working with our team and these great fans. They were the best player on the pitch. They helped us a lot and I am very happy.
“In the first 20-25 minutes we were fantastic. We played like men. We have a style and the first 20-25 minutes was fantastic, really fantastic.
“We prepared the team with one-to-ones. All players were fantastic.
“No I don’t want to celebrate anything. Next Saturday there is another game and I am sorry for the Chelsea goal because in the second half we suffered a stupid goal and made a mistake.
“They changed their tactical position and we weren’t ready to change something for us. But I’m happy because 4-1 against Chelsea is an amazing result.”
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