Chelsea are ready to kickstart a new era in exciting fashion in their Premier League opener against Brighton Hove & Albion. They did so with a rather fortunate, hard-fought 3-1 win with the old guard – rather than the new blood – winning them the game. With both new arrivals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz making their debuts, it was the former which started the game in bright fashion and won the Blues a penalty in the 21st minute, which was slotted away by old-dog Jorginho to make it 1-0!
Brighton dominated the Blues in term of superior possession and got their deserved equalizer in the 54th minute when Leandro Trossard’s long-range attempt slithered under Kepa Arizzabalaga to make it 1-1. But Chelsea weren’t to be undermined and got their lead back thwo minutes later when Reece James hit an unstoppable thunderbolt into the net from long-range to stun the home side.
The Blues then benefitted from a slice of good luck when Kurt Zouma’s awkward attempt was deflected into the goal by Adam Webster, making it 1-3! Granted Chelsea were far from their best today and picked up a fortunate win, but they’ll take it! The Blues were without many key first-teamers and worked hard enough to get the win, but will of course need to improve on many aspects to thrive under the bigger challenges that await in the coming weeks.
Here are the Chelsea player ratings vs Brighton.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Frank Lampard (6.5) –
Lampard was without many of his first-team stars but will learn a lot of things about his side from the result. For one, the likes of Loftus-Cheek and Mount won’t be starters for long. Reece James will remain an important part of this side. But Lampard’s ability to make Jorginho-Kante click together, get the best out of the Frenchman and giving Werner freedom to wreak havoc all point at positive signs. Will take the lucky win but recognize the improvements needed to be made.
Kepa Arizzabalaga (5.0) –
With Chelsea ready to sign his replacement, Kepa needs to do something special to win Lampard’s trust today. Solid saves off a whipped attempt from range in the 34th. Poor positioning leads to Brighton’s equalizer to go under him into the net. Lucky to see his error made up by his teammates, but there’s no way he’s remaining Chelsea’ #1 with his consistent tendency for making blunders.
Reece James (7.5) –
The youngster seems a bit intimidated defensively with most of Brighton’s attacks coming through his side. While his crosses weren’t as accurate as usual, James pulled off the big guns with an insane long-range attempt that rocketed into the net to score his first PL goal! Gets an assist too for his clever delivery leading to Zouma’s strike.
Slotted into a midfield role in the late stages and really proving a jack of all trades for Chelsea. Defensively sound once again and among Chelsea’s best on the day.
Kurt Zouma (7.0)-
The Frenchman was a lucky boy not to get punished before the half-hour mark for an apparent stamp on Neil Maupay. Even luckier to get a goal in the second-half when his weak shot was deflected into the net. Zouma dominated Neil Maupay around the penalty area, making crunching challenges and making good use of his houndish ability.
Andreas Christensen (7.0)-
The Danish centre-back looks the most composed defender in this side, making clever clearances and covering for teammates mistakes with his impressive game-reading ability. Extremely alert to clearing away danger and saved Chelsea from a lot of issues with his calm defending. Looks best suited to partner up with Thiago Silva when he’s fit to play.
Marcos Alonso (4.5) –
Not helping himself at all with shaky defending on the left, with Brighton’s right-back getting the better of him time and again in the first-half. Alonso ended up getting completely bullied by Lamptey on that side with the right-back getting the better of him in every duel, with teammates bailing him out. Unsure going forward as well & there’s no way he’s playing over Chilwell with these type of sluggish performances.
Jorginho (7.5) –
Really clever work to close down Brighton’s mistake before enforcing the penalty. Then slots it away to maintain his 100% penalty record. Picks up a fortunate assist for James’ screamer as well! The Italian’s overall performance was really impressive, as he provided a lot of defensive cover for Alonso, moved the ball around seamlessly and created chances from deep. Looks set to keep a regular place this season.
N’Golo Kante (7.5) –
Kante’s back to his natural defensive enforcer role in midfield today. Excelling as the engine of Chelsea’s midfield, making great interceptions and pressing the Brighton midfielders back. The Frenchman is back as the ‘three lung powerhouse’ which made him famous a few seasons ago and ran the opponents ragged with his unrelenting energy.
Made 6 interceptions, recovered the ball as many times and was excellent with his link-up play & forward movement. Surely getting back to his best in this familiar role once again.
Mason Mount (5.0) –
The youngster looks determined to win his place in the starting XI today, attempting clever passes and working hard. Unfortunately for the youngster, he couldn’t convert his attempts into anything eye-catching. Not suited as a winger and seemed limited playing out wide today.
Kai Havertz (5.5)–
Chelsea’s big-money signing makes his debut! Didn’t get to see much of the ball at all to create stuff in the first-half. He worked hard throughout the game to help recover possession, but just doesn’t seem well synced to his new surroundings yet. Looked a bit rusty and needs time to gel in with his new team.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (4.0) –
Loftus-Cheek gets a rare start to prove his value to Lampard’s side. But falls flat under the pressure to thrive. Gave away the ball too cheaply, wasted promising chances and looked extremely sloppy with carrying the ball forward. Just not good enough to be a starter in this team.
Timo Werner (7.0) –
All eyes on the menacing German striker. Looks sharp with his movement early on. Then forces a mistake from Brighton goalkeeper Matt Ryan to win his side the penalty! Werner showed excellent work-rate by running his socks off through the game, making clever moves and creating chances for his teammates. But he didn’t get enough quality delivery and unable to get his debut goal. It should come soon though.
Ross Barkley (6.0) –
Added a bit of energy for his side and had a late shot saved well by the keeper.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (N/R) –
The youngster added some more spark to Chelsea’s attack but unable to create something definite.
Cesar Azpilicueta (N/R) –
Helped Chelsea see off the win.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Probably a three-way tie between James, Jorginho and Kante but James’ insane strike itself deserves him the MOTM for today.