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Chelsea Kai Havertz poor and Timo Werner good as Jorginho opened the scoring from the spot, with a Reece James rocket and Kurt Zouma’s fortunate touch securing victory after Leandro Trossard had equalised.
(African Stand) — 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 terms 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 wasn’t to be undermined and got their lead back two 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 was 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.
Player Ratings: Brighton 1-3 Chelsea
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6
The under-pressure keeper was poorly positioned for Leandro Trossard’s equaliser and should have done better with the shot.
Reece James – 7
Unleashed an unstoppable rocket to restore Chelsea’s lead and swing the momentum back in the visitors’ favour.
Andreas Christensen – 7
Had to be calm and composed at the centre of defence as Graham Potter’s side had the better of the game in the first half.
Kurt Zouma – 6
Got himself in the right place to poke home Chelsea’s third and secure the points. Was lucky not to be punished before the half-hour mark for an apparent stamp on Neil Maupay.
Marcos Alonso – 6
Was given a torrid time by former Chelsea youngster Tariq Lamptey down Chelsea’s left flank with the shadow of new signing Ben Chilwell looming large over him.
N’Golo Kante – 7
Steady, composed, and energetic as always, Kante showed why Inter boss Antonio Conte continues to take a keen interest in him.
Jorginho – 7
Was alert to pounce on a Brighton mistake and play in Timo Werner, then coolly slotted home the spot-kick after the striker was fouled.
Ruben Loftus Cheek – 6
Subbed off after an hour as he continues his return from an injury nightmare.
Kai Havertz – 6
Will understandably take time to show why he’s worth £72m but tried to make things happen and showed plenty of energy.
Mason Mount – 6
Will want to have more impact as he strives to nail down a place among Chelsea’s star-studded attack.
Timo Werner – 7
Striker’s speed and awareness earned Chelsea their penalty. Forced a save from Mat Ryan just before half-time after skinning Lewis Dunk.
Ross Barkley – 6
Showcased his ability during one surge forward, playing in Werner for a decent chance.
Came on late for Kai Havertz but had little impact.
Replaced Jorgunho with five minutes to go and tried to create a fourth with a surge down the right.
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.