Chelsea managed to get a win on their opening match of the 2020/2021 season in a tricky match for the blues that saw Brighton dominate for large portions. With all the build-up about Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, it was the unlikely sources of Jorginho, Reece James and Kurt Zouma that gave Lampard’s boys a welcome away win.
Debuts for Kai Havertz and Timo Werner dominated the pre-match build up, as Chelsea’s three other first-team signings were unavailable. Surprise starts for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kepa Arrizabalaga were the interesting choices for Frank Lampard’s blues. The 4-2-3-1 formation was deployed, which it has at all levels in pre-season and at the start of the campaign as it looks like the clubs preferred formation going forward. Havertz started on the right, with Mason Mount on the left and Ruben Loftus-Cheek supporting Werner up front.
Brighton (3-4-1-2): Ryan; White (Gross), Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Alzate (Jahanbakhsh), Bissouma, March; Lallana (Connolly); Maupay, Trossard.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho(Azpilicueta); Havertz(Hudson-Odoi), Loftus-Cheek (Barkley), Mount; Werner
After a drab opening quarter, a penalty from Jorginho put the blues ahead, after new boy Timo Werner rounded Matt Ryan after a defensive mistake. Apart from this attack, Brighton were in control of the half as Chelsea struggled without having any natural width. Adam Lallana’s impressive debut came to an end just before the break as he limped off with another injury, which was soon followed by the blues next best chance of the half as Werner tested Matt Ryan at his near post.
The second half started as the first finished as the blues played poorly and a long distance strike from Leandro Trossard found the bottom corner with a strike that should’ve been saved by Kepa. There was however, an instant response from Chelsea’s man of the match, Reece James, as the academy graduate fired in from twenty-five yards after 55 minutes, a very early goal of the season contender from the England Under-21 international. Lewis dunk missed an absolute sitter on the 58th minute with his point blank header missing the target after poor defending from Chelsea. Kurt Zouma put some distance between the two sides with a deflected strike from a corner on the 66th minute, in what was a crazy 12 minute spell in the match that saw the blues pull away from the seagulls.
Ross Barkley came on for Loftus-Cheek and helped Chelsea take back control for the rest of the match as they saw themselves claim a valuable three points on the opening weekend as they move onto a match against last seasons Champions Liverpool on Sunday.
An extra week of training will benefit the blues as it was a mostly disjointed performance from Lampard’s side, but how many times last season did they lose when playing poorly, maybe this could be a turning point for the side.