Graham Potter explains his decision to replace Kepa at half-time in Brighton’s loss

Kepa was substituted at half-time against Brighton (Image: Getty)

Graham Potter has confirmed that Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga picked up a leg injury during his side’s heavy 4-1 defeat at Brighton.

It was a miserable return to the Amex Stadium for the former Seagulls manager, who watched his new side get ripped to shreds during an error-strewn opening 45 minutes.

Own goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trevoch Kaloba compounded the damage done by Leandro Trossard’s early strike as Roberto de Zerbi’s men raced into a 3-0 lead.

Kepa, who has been a regular in goal for Chelsea since the appointment of Potter, appeared to be in some discomfort during the closing stages of the first half.

Edouard Mendy looked like he was set to come on, but it wasn’t until the start of the second period that the Senegalese international ended up replacing Kepa.

Explaining the change, Potter said: “He felt a problem at the bottom of his leg.”

The Spaniard’s replacement fared little better, conceding practically in the final act of the game as Pascal Gross restored a three-goal lead to help De Zerbi celebrate his first win in charge.

Edouard Mendy replaced Kepa at half-time in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat by Brighton (Image: Getty)

“They played well, the atmosphere here was really tight,” Potter added. “We don’t necessarily have to match that level of intensity.

We had some opportunities to test the keeper but it was too open and Brighton were dangerous.

“We pushed and pushed and threw players but Brighton deserved it. You should say congratulations to them.

“Brighton were better at what they did so we have to take that as a lesson – although it’s painful 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 on.”

MORE: Graham Potter hits back at Brighton fans who booed after Chelsea loss

MORE: Graham Potter sends message to two struggling Brighton stars after his departure

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