Chelsea FC- Match Report vs Brighton & Hove Albion 14/09/2020
Starting Line-up: Kepa; Alonso, Zouma, Christensen, James; Jorginho (85’), Kante; Mount, Loftus-Cheek (61’), Havertz (80’); Werner
Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Azpilicueta (85’), Barkley (61’), Giroud, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi (80’)
The first half started off fairly slow for Chelsea, they moved the ball around the midfield but there was not many passes in behind and they were not creating many chances. One of the reasons was the debuts of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz who were both playing their Premier League debuts and understandably will require time to adapt. Werner had the better game overall despite playing up against 3 very physical centre halves. Havertz was drifting into the right half space but was not getting much luck as Brighton closed of the passing lanes in behind to Timo Werner.
The first goal of the game came from Jorginho anticipating the pass and pounced on a mistake by the Brighton midfielder, he also reacted very quicky to play a first time pass through to Timo Werner who used his blistering pace to get to the ball and knock it passed the keeper winning a penalty in the process. Jorginho then stepped up and scored with his signature penalty and put Chelsea 1-0 up.
For the next 10 minutes or so Brighton started to attack a bit more and they were moving the ball well in and around Chelsea’s box. In wide areas Brighton used March and Lamptey to attack Chelsea’s full backs and they caused Chelsea problems however some good defending from Reece James and Kurt Zouma stopped Brighton from getting crosses into the box. Alonso was clearly struggling with Lamptey and Jorginho or Mount had to come and double up on Lamptey which just meant other players were free.
Just before the end of the first half Chelsea then had a counter attack which had Werner on the left half space and was 1v1 with the Brighton defender, he had the ball on his left foot and looked like he was going to cross it in however he went for a near post shot which resulted in Ryan needing to react quickly to parry it out.
Brighton came out the better team in the second half with Chelsea on the back foot, Alonso was struggling to contain Lamptey who was using his pace and skill to get into the Chelsea box and even had a shot which was well blocked by Kurt Zouma. Brighton eventually got their goal after 10 minutes of constant attacks after Trossards shot ended up in the bottom corner after questionable keeping from Kepa. Brighton were in the ascendency at this point however less than 2 minutes later Reece James scored his first Premier League goal and undoubtedly a goal of the season contender after he put the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out. A shot which we have seen James try a few times from those central areas, fortunately for Lampard’s men this went in.
The game was fairly even once Chelsea took the lead, Lamptey and March were still getting down Chelsea’s flanks but Zouma was an inspired man stopping crosses getting into the box. Brighton had a brilliant chance to equalise however Lewis Dunk headered the ball wide from 6 yards out and Chelsea’s defensive vulnerabilities were once again on show. After that Chelsea started to move the ball a bit better, Mount and Havertz coming into the half spaces and Alonso and James were getting forward a bit more.
As a result of James getting forward, he won a corner and also put the corner in for Kurt Zouma who volleyed the ball towards goal which deflected in off the leg of Webster who sent the ball away from the Brighton goal keeper which all but confirmed the 3 points for Chelsea. This meant Chelsea are now the 3rd team to earn 2000 points in the Premier League since it started in 1992, after Manchester United and Arsenal.
Lampard’s men welcome champions Liverpool next at Stamford Bridge. Hakim Ziyech is not expected to be back however new number 10 Christian Pulisic should be back in the line-up which is a massive boost for the Blues. Liverpool coming off the back of a tough game against Leeds and they showed their defensive frailties which Chelsea will be looking to exploit.