Hope Powell loved watching her players channel their nasty side as Brighton held ‘nemesis’ Chelsea to a 0-0 draw in Crawley.

The Seagulls survived a barrage of Blues pressure as in-form Megan Walsh pulled off a string of brilliant saves in the home side’s goal.

Brighton have a habit of making things tough against Emma Hayes’ high-flyers and Powell says they got exactly what they deserved for delivering a defiant display.

The former England boss, 55, said: “I think we’re a bit like their nemesis.

“I’m not sure [Emma Hayes] likes playing against us but we matched them today and most importantly kept the ball out the net, so I have to be really pleased.“It’s been a tough run of games but it was great today that we showed more fight and more determination against a very good Chelsea side.

“I did say at half-time, remember what happened when we were 0-0 with Man City, so you have got to be ready for it and to their credit, they stood up. Everybody was on the same page.”

Erin Cuthbert, Fran Kirby and Beth England all blew golden opportunities for the two-time defending champions as Walsh, 27, refused to be beaten.

She denied substitute England with a stunning late stop as Chelsea were unable to snatch a breakthrough and cut the gap on league leaders Arsenal.

Danielle Carter went closest for the hosts in the first half – with the 0-0 stalemate finally stopping the recent rot for Brighton and ending a barren run of four Barclays FA WSL defeats on the spin.

It doesn’t get much easier for the Seagulls next time out, however, with Powell’s team travelling to table-toppers Arsenal on Thursday night.

And she added: “We needed to go again and they did that magnificently well.

“There are some things we really need to work on, retaining the ball better as there were too many turnovers.

“There were loads of positives that hopefully we can take into Thursday’s game."

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