The Premier League is back! Chelsea are back with a positive start to the 2020/21 campaign with a 3-1 win over Brighton at the Amex. It was a far from comfortable display, but it culminated in a worthy three points for the Blues to take back to West London.
Chelsea opened the scoring with Timo Werner capitalising on an error from Steven Alzate which lead to a one-on-one encounter and keeper Matt Ryan bringing the down German forward in the 23rd minute. Jorginho dispatched the penalty from the spot in typical style to make it put Chelsea a goal up.
This move aside, the first half truly belonged to Brighton as they dominated both possession and had the pick of the chances including a close shave from Neal Maupay. Former Chelsea full back Tariq Lamptey was the pick of the players for the Seagulls.
It was Brighton that started the second half stronger as well, with Leandro Trossard deservedly equalising in the 54th minute with a well dispatched shot from outside the box. Again, there will be considerable scrutiny on Kepa – who should not to have been beaten from the wide angle of the shot.
The level score line wasn’t to last for long. It took just a hundred seconds after Trossard’s goal for Reece James to scored his first Premier League goal. It was a scorching strike from outside the box that flew into the top right-hand corner. Kurt Zouma sealed the game for the Blues by scoring a scuffed shot off a James corner in the 66th minute.
The game was to be settled by the introduction of Ross Barkley, who added a calm outpost to the midfield that had been lacking. Chelsea were immediately more stable and Brighton didn’t have much impact on the game towards the end of the second half as the Blues sealed an important win to start the season.
The game was definitely not a reflection of how Chelsea are likely to play this season. Injuries to Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech meant Frank Lampard had to switch to a narrow 4-2-2-2 shape. Timo Werner had the biggest impact on the pitch and was immaculate both on and off the ball.
Kai Havertz enjoyed a quiet yet decent debut for Chelsea. Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus Cheek had quiet outings as well today. Jorginho was very much involved in the heat of play scoring the penalty and assisting Reece James for the second goal. N’Golo Kante looked at his best as he covered every blade of grass on the pitch. It was quite evident that our new signings and many of our players need time to start kicking into high gear given the circumstances of the season.
In defence, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen didn’t put a foot wrong. They won their aerial duels, defended well in both open play and set pieces.
My biggest disappointment today was goal keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who seems to have not found his confidence back during the off-season. Reece James had a very good game on both fronts and Marcos Alonso was clearly out of his depth at left back as he plays for the time being until the availability of new signing Ben Chilwell.
Overall Thoughts and Reflections
Chelsea have secured three points which has to be the most important take away from the game. Debuts for new signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz who will only get better as they play in the premier league. There was a lot of emphasis on defending from the front and aerial defence from our center backs who i felt had a very good game against a physical Brighton side. Chelsea’s press was a lot more organised and overall i felt it was a good result and a good game given the circumstances with how we have started the season.
Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech will simply improve the squad in the long run and this game is definitely not the final product to judge how Chelsea will play this season. The arrival of Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta in the upcoming games will be a boost for the squad. A couple of players need to improve for sure else i feel Frank Lampard will not be very sympathetic when he makes his choices with his Starting Eleven. Onwards to the bridge on Sunday where we face the current champions. Come on Chelsea!