Iranian star Jahanbakhsh denies Chelsea with overhead wonder goal


Chelsea was heading for victory in the New Year’s Day encounter at the Amex Stadium when Jahanbkhsh met a loose ball from a corner with an overhead kick which left visiting keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with no chance.

The stunning 84th minute equalizer was no more than Brighton deserved from a spirited display after falling behind to an early goal for Cesar Azpilicueta.

It was the second goal in two games for Jahanbkhsh, who had gone over 18 months without scoring since becoming Brighton’s record signing from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, and one that will linger long in the memory.

“It was the best goal of my career,” he told BT Sport.

“I had a feeling I would make an impact in this game and when the ball came to me I tried as hard as possible to kick it and the only option for me was a bicycle kick,” he added.

 Alireza Jahanbakhsh (second right) is on his knees as his spectacular bicycle kick heads for the Chelsea goal.

The draw has lifted Brighton further clear of the drop zone ahead of later New Year’s Day fixtures, with Chelsea staying in the fourth and final Champions League spot with manager Frank Lampard frustrated after seeing his side’s early dominance wasted.

“In the first half, the game was there to be won. We weren’t ruthless enough,” he told BT Sport. “We got the goal and we had the possession. But we just didn’t kill the game off.”

Villa cheer

The other early kick off saw Aston Villa move out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory at Burnley with captain Jack Grealish outstanding.

He had an opening effort chalked off controversially by VAR before striker Wesley put the visitor ahead in the 27th minute.

Grealish then struck just before the break with a fine strike that found the top corner.

Burnley improved after the interval and Chris Wood pulled one back with 10 minutes left, Villa holding on for a vital three points.

“To come here, one of the hardest places in the league, it was well-deserved and well-needed,” Grealish told BBC Sport.


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