Chelsea got their 2020/21 season off to the perfect start with a 3-1 victory over Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Monday evening.
New signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner were thrust straight into the Chelsea starting XI by Frank Lampard but the Blues were not at their best from the off, while Brighton gave a good account of themselves. Had Lewis Dunk found the net when he was presented with a golden opportunity in the second half with the scores at 2-1, it could have been a different outcome.
But the Blues ultimately took the three points thanks to a Jorginho penalty, a Reece James wonder goal and Kurt Zouma’s deflected effort after Leandro Trossard had levelled the scores in the second half.
Let’s get into some player ratings.
Matt Ryan (GK) – 6/10 – Brought down Werner to concede a penalty after being stitched up by Alzate’s loose pass. Produced a strong right-handed save to keep out a powerful near-post Werner effort on the brink of half time.
Solly March (LWB) – 7/10 – Really dogged and lively going forward and almost caught Chelsea napping in the first minute of the second half with a darting run and cross.
Adam Webster (CB) – 6/10 – Efficient in possession as ever. Played a superb cross field pass for Lamptey in the second half which led to a promising opening for the young fullback. Chelsea’s third deflected off his outstretched leg.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – 6/10 – Should have equalised in the second half but glanced his header wide. Was his usual solid self defensively.
Ben White (CB) – 6/10 – Looked calm and assured on his hotly anticipated Premier League debut. Made an important interception to prevent Loftus-Cheek putting Werner through, and popped up with an excellent sliding tackle in the second half to keep Werner out.
Tariq Lamptey (RWB) – 8/10 – Playing against his former club and carried on from where he left off after his thoroughly impressive finish to last season. Such a live wire going forward and really efficient in possession. Produced a wonderful cross in the first half from which Maupay should have done better.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 6/10 – Confidently received the ball in the Brighton third to enable his side to play out from the back and kept the Seagulls ticking over in possession.
Steven Alzate (CM) – 6/10 – Cheaply surrendered possession which resulted in Ryan conceding a penalty for Chelsea’s opener. Almost atoned for his error by creating his own opening before seeing his shot palmed away by Kepa. Bar his mistake it was a good, lively, creative performance.
Adam Lallana (CAM) – 5/10 – A quiet debut from Lallana: he showed flashes of quality with a neat little ball through to Maupay in the first half, but struggled to really get involved and exert his influence on the game. Was forced off on the stroke of half time after suffering a knock.
Leandro Trossard (ST) – 7/10 – Equalised with an ambitious long-range effort that bent into the bottom corner and combined well with Maupay, particularly in the first half.
Neal Maupay (ST) – 6/10 – Always looked a threat but lacked a bit of sharpness in front of goal. Was presented with a wonderful opportunity to equalise in the first half but mistimed his header following Lamptey’s inviting delivery, and couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet from a Lallana pass.
Aaron Connelly – 6/10
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – N/A
Pascal Groß – N/A
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 5/10 – Started amid speculation that he is soon to be replaced by Edouard Mendy, and demonstrated just why Chelsea are after a new goalkeeper after flapping at a corner in the first half and letting Trossard’s effort ghost under his gloves in the second.
Reece James (RB) – 8/10 – Excellent in possession and enjoyed a really evenly matched battle with March. Gave Chelsea the lead with a sensational swerving effort from range, an outrageous first Premier League goal from the youngster.
Kurt Zouma (CB) – 6/10 – Grabbed Chelsea’s second with a stretching volley that deflected in off Webster. Good distribution throughout.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – 6/10 – Calm in possession and relatively solid defensively. Popped up with a really excellent block to keep Maupay out in the second half.
Marcos Alonso (LB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contend with the lively Lamptey all evening, with Brighton’s greatest threat coming down the Chelsea left.
Jorginho (CM) – 7/10 – Played an instinctive first time pass to send Werner away in the build up to the penalty, before characteristically confidently dispatching the spot kick.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – His usual steady, energetic self, not giving the Brighton midfield an inch of space, and still able to produce a lung-busting, surging run forward in the dying minutes.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – 5/10 – A real vote of confidence from Frank Lampard in handing Loftus-Cheek a start given the array of midfield talent Chelsea now have but the game mostly past him by. Had a great chance to slot Werner through in the first half but his awareness deserted him.
Kai Havertz (RW) – 6/10 – Chelsea’s marquee signing had a relatively quiet debut. Their were glimpses of quality with the odd deft flick and first time pass, but arguably his best moment of the game came when he diligently tracked a surging March and won the ball back in the second half.
Timo Werner (ST) – 7/10 – Showed good anticipation to pounce on a lapse of concentration at the back from Alzate to win Chelsea’s penalty. Looked so sharp and quick throughout.
Mason Mount (LW) – 6/10 – Not at last season’s effervescent best but was consistently tidy in possession in an otherwise quiet performance.
Ross Barkley – 6/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi – N/A
César Azpilicueta – N/A