Chelsea dropped points for the sixth time in seven Premier League matches after drawing 1-1 at Brighton on Tuesday night.
The draw means Chelsea, in third place on 44 points, are now 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
They were hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to City.
Brighton began the more positive of the two teams and had Kepa Arrizabalaga sprawling at Jakub Moder’s early effort, which dragged wide of the far-post.
More pressure from the home team kept the Blues mooted yet Hakim Ziyech gave the visitors the lead after 28 minutes.
A speculative effort from the Moroccan flashed through two Brighton defenders and caught Robert Sanchez off guard, the Spaniard beaten at his near-post by the pace of the strike.
The hosts’ efforts continued in spite of the setback and they were rewarded early in the second-half when Adam Webster ran around the melee to slam home a header from Alex MacAllister’s corner.
As the game went on, Brighton looked the more likely to snatch a winner and Neal Maupay was found flat-footed after a cross into the box from the excellent Tariq Lamptey.
With ten minutes remaining, Thomas Tuchel finally resorted to his bench with a triple substitution. Romelu Lukaku was among those departing after a bad night which once again failed to play to his strengths.
But Brighton saw out the final pressure with a handful of openings still to come for the hosts, who took a deserved point to cement their top-half position.
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