Chelsea spent £220 million this summer and signed exciting talents, which gave each and every one the impression that Frank Lampard is on a mission to rule the roost in English Premier League again. A lot was expected from the Blues in their opening encounter against Brighton. But in the end, it turned out to be an unconvincing win given the kind of hype Chelsea’s summer spending created.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given an unexpected opportunity in a No. 10 role as Chelsea shifted to 4-2-3-1, a formation change expected to accommodate Kai Havertz on his debut following a £71m move from Bayer Leverkusen.

Lotus-Cheek, only his third start since the lockdown, had the opportunity to prove a point and fit in the plans of Lampard, but instead, he laboured in possession too often and squandered a fine counter-attacking break to release Timo Werner for what would have been a clear opportunity to double Chelsea’s lead shortly before half-time.

Chelsea took the lead – Steven Alzate gifted Jorginho possession. Timo Werner made up the ground in the blink of an eye, catching out Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan who knocked Werner off his feet in the penalty area.

Jorginho scored from the spot, extending his 100 percent penalty success rate for the Blues from eight attempts. But Brighton equalized courtesy of a mistake from Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was slow to get down to his left to keep out Leandro Trossard’s 54th-minute shot.

Two minutes later, Reece James thrashed the ball past Ryan from 25 yards with a ferocious strike that reverberated around the near-empty Amex Stadium. Kurt Zouma extended Chelsea’s advantage 10 minutes later with a deflected shot from James’ corner and the Blues started off with a win, but still not satisfactory enough.

For the first hour of the match Brighton were the dominant side and Chelsea were reduced to playing on the break, yet they were able to do this and still carry a threat because of Werner’s blistering pace. His intelligent movements at pace were too tough to handle for Brighton and he would give Lampard enough positivity for the future.

Andreas Christensen and Zouma were unconvincing as a center-back pairing and both of them wobbled more often – had Lewis Dunk converted that unmarked header five yards out the game could have been different.

The Blues backline needs a leader and who else but Thiago Silva could fill that void.

Chelsea didn’t even have Ben Chilwell on the field or Hakim Ziyech. Kai Havertz did start and sadly, he was below-par. Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were drifting through the game. Only Reece James and Timo Werner shone.

To be frank, the night belonged to Brighton and former Chelsea player Tariq Lamptey. He was at his best and after performing the defensive duties, he displayed his attacking prowess as well.

A cocktail of pace, skill, and audacity made Tariq absolutely unplayable on the night. Lamptey had the most tackles (3), interceptions (3) of any Brighton player, and was a constant thorn in the side of the Blues. He was the factor, which pushed Brighton forward.

Tariq is still just 19 and he is the new addition to England’s absurd group of right-backs.


But the Blues need to be at their very best when they meet the Premier League Champions Liverpool next week.

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