'It's painful': Mauricio Pochettino's first words after latest Reece James setback and missed opportunity

Chelsea produced a clinical performance to beat Brighton 2-1 but had Reece James sent off.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says it was painful to lose Reece James again after he was sent off in the win against Brighton on Wednesday night. The Chelsea captain was sent off after kicking out on Joao Pedro which was picked up by VAR

This is the second time James has been sent off this season and he will now miss the last game against Bournemouth and the first three league games of next season. In what was a real moment of madness James immediately knew he was in trouble when the referee was sent to the monitor to check the incident. 

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He’s only managed 10 games all campaign as injuries have ruined what is his first season as Chelsea’s first-team captain. Asked about the incident after the game Pochettino said he’s not seen it back as he was too busy but admitted it was a painful incident. 

He told reporters after the game: "No, I didn’t see. It’s difficult to give my opinion because I didn’t have time to see the action. But it’s painful [for us] because it’s a fantastic night of football and he’s a really important player. Now he is going to miss the next game and a few games next season."

This was another good night for Chelsea who again showed incredile improvement in navigating a difficult game at a difficult ground. Last season they lost 4-1 here and this season they have gone and dominated the Seagulls before picking up the three points which enhances their push for Europa League football.

Another positive was the form of Christopher Nkunku who has got three goals despite spending almost half the time on the treatment table.

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