Potter has losing return to Brighton; City tops EPL with win

LONDON (AP) — Well before halftime, Brighton supporters were already taunting the manager they once adored with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning.”

Graham Potter may not have to worry about being fired just yet, but his return to Brighton created the closest thing to a crisis he has experienced in his fledgling Chelsea reign.

Brighton beat Chelsea 4-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday to hand Potter his first loss since leaving the south-coast club to take over the Blues in September. After a strong start under Potter, Chelsea has dropped points in three straight league games following draws against Brentford and Manchester United.

And the worst part for Chelsea was that the scoreline wasn't at all misleading.

Brighton was 2-0 up after 14 minutes and added the third before halftime, having looked more confident and ambitious than the visitors. Kai Havertz pulled one back for Chelsea early in the second half but Pascal Gross finished off the scoring in injury time for the hosts.

The loss means Chelsea dropped eight points behind Manchester City, which took the overnight lead in the standings by beating Leicester 1-0 away thanks to an inch-perfect free kick from Kevin De Bruyne in the second half.

Arsenal can reclaim top spot by beating last-placed Nottingham Forest at home on Sunday.

City was without star striker Erling Haaland for the first time because of an ankle problem but De Bruyne made sure that didn't matter when he curled in a set-piece from 25 yards that dipped under the crossbar and in via the post in the 49th minute.

Tottenham came from two goals down in the second half to beat Bournemouth 3-2 and halt a run of two straight league losses, while resurgent Newcastle — which beat Spurs in the previous round — has won five of its last six after routing Aston Villa 4-0 at home.

After Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez went off with a concussion in the first half — having initially tried to play on despite looking groggy following a collision — Callum Wilson scored two for Newcastle and Joelinton and Miguel Almiron added one each.

Tottenham's comeback meant it stayed in third place, two points ahead of fourth-placed Newcastle.

Crystal Palace beat Southampton 1-0 at home while Brentford settled for 1-1 against Wolverhampton. Wolves striker Diego Costa was sent off for a headbutt deep into injury time.

Fulham hosted Everton late, and Liverpool welcomed struggling Leeds to Anfield in an evening kickoff.


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Mattias Karén, The Associated Press