Stephens calls for Albion to eradicate set-piece woes

Dale Stephens on the ball at Chelsea. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Dale Stephens on the ball at Chelsea. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Dale Stephens says Brighton have to eradicate their defensive set-piece woes after admitting Marcos Alonso lost him to score Chelsea's second goal yesterday.

Alonso ran to the near post to head home the Blues' second goal from a Cesc Fabregas corner on the hour, after Alvaro Morata had headed Chelsea into the lead just 52 seconds after half-time.

The Seagulls have conceded goals from corners in the past two months to Stoke, Manchester United, Liverpool, Huddersfield and now Chelsea - and also from a free kick close to the touchline against Tottenham.

Looking back on Alonso's goal and the amount Albion have conceded from set-pieces, Stephens said: "He actually got the run on me. He's difficult to pick up but we need to eradicate this as soon as possible as it's something that's happened in a few games now.

"It's more concentration (as opposed to player movement). We've had to defend a lot of crosses and a lot of set-pieces today. They put a lot of pressure on us over the game and they managed to carve out an opportunity and scored from it.

"It's disappointing on our behalf but we're looking to put that right over the festive period."

On the game as a whole, Stephens said: "It's disappointing to concede so early in the second half but you're going to come to these stadiums and be under pressure for long spells.

"We probably take a little bit of encouragement out of the first half but we never really posed much of a threat ourselves, which is disappointing overall.

"We set up in a way where we thought we could get a result and it's not gone our way today but there's two more important games coming up over the next few days, starting with Newcastle."