Big-spending Chelsea kicked off their season with a win as they beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at the Amex Stadium on Monday evening.
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz both started the match but it was Jorginho who opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Graham Potter’s men managed to equalise thanks to a great goal from Leandro Trossard but the Blues secured the points with strikes from defenders Reece James and Kurt Zouma.
Here are five things we learnt from an entertaining night on the South Coast:
Quiet night for Havertz
Starting his first match for Chelsea since his big-money move from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, it might well have been unfair to expect Kai Havertz to pull up trees against the Seagulls.
The midfielder, who netted 18 goals for his former club last season, showed brief glimpses of his quality with some nice touches and clever passes. He wasn’t quite able to fully stamp his authority though. It’s likely he will improve in these early weeks of the season so all in all, whilst he was quiet on the evening, there is nothing to worry about.
Jorginho as reliable as ever from the spot
Despite the brand-new attacking talent on the pitch for the Blues, it actually took a penalty for the deadlock to be broken. The rapid Timo Werner was taken down in the area by Brighton stopper Mathew Ryan and the referee pointed to the spot. It was not however the German who assumed responsibility on his debut but the ever reliable Jorginho.
Prior to the match, the Italian midfielder had taken seven penalties for the Blues and been successful on every occasion. Using his trademark penalty technique, he found the net once again at the Amex Stadium, coolly converting into the bottom corner and giving Chelsea a vital lead in their opening match of the season.
Lamptey keen to impress
Taking on his former side for the first time since departing Stamford Bridge, Tariq Lamptey was understandably keen to impress. The diminutive full-back was one of the standout players of the game, giving his former teammate Marcos Alonso a torrid evening.
At just 19 years of age, the young defender looks increasingly more mature as he racks up more appearances in the Premier League. His athleticism in defence, as well as further up the pitch were potent weapons throughout the game, producing a number of teasing crosses. Whilst Chelsea may not regret letting him depart West London, with the likes of goalscorer Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta at the club, supporters may ponder on what may have been for Lamptey and Chelsea.
Need for a goalkeeper more obvious?
It has been well-documented throughout the off season that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is keen to bring in a new goalkeeper after a series of erratic performances from Kepa Arrizabalaga. Those calls seem more justified following the opening game of the 2020/21 season.
The Spaniard just did not look reliable between the sticks for the Blues, failing to command his area and flapping at a number of Brighton crosses. He could also share some of the blame for Trossard’s strike, which whilst it was a wonderful strike, wasn’t hit with the most venom. With links to Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy growing stronger, it looks highly unlikely that Kepa will remain first choice at Stamford Bridge.
Seagulls unfortunate with defeat
Whilst the only thing that will matter to Chelsea and their supporters is the three points regardless of the performance, Brighton might feel a little unfortunate that they were on the wrong side of the scoreline.
For the vast majority of the match, the Seagulls were very competitive and did have chances to find the net again. Only an unbelievable strike from James and a deflected effort from Zouma saw them beaten. Having begun the season as one of the candidates for the drop at 4/1, the performance against the Blues will give encouragement for the rest of the campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan (6); Webster (5), Dunk (6), White (6) (Gross (N/A), 79′); March (6), Alzate (7) (Jahanbakhsh (N/A), 79′), Bissouma (7), Lallana (6) (Connolly (5), 45′), Lamptey (7); Maupay (6), Trossard (7).
Chelsea: Kepa (5), Alonso (5), Zouma (7), Christensen (6), James (7); Kante (6), Jorginho (7) (Azpilicueta (N/A), 85′); Havertz (6) (Hudson-Odoi (N/A), 80′), Loftus-Cheek (5) (Barkley (6), 61′), Mount (6), Werner (6).
Goals: Jorginho (PEN 23′), Trossard (54′), James (56′), Zouma (66′)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Yellow Cards: Lamptey (81′)
Red Cards: N/A