Player Ratings: Chelsea vs Brighton and Hove Albion

Chelsea got the season started in solid enough fashion with a 3-1 win away to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Frank Lampard had the team lining up with a different shape in midfield and the new boys performed well enough. Perhaps the most alarming thing was the source of the goals. All the millions of pounds spent on attacking players, and the scorers were two defenders and a midfielder. 

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5

He wasn’t the only player at fault for the goal, but he really should have done better. Leandro Trossard had space to take the shot from the edge of the box and Kepa failed to get down to it.

Reece James – 8

With former Chelsea man Tariq Lamptey starting at right back for Brighton with a point to prove, James needed to step up and show the right choice had been made. The thunderbolt to restore the lead and quality corner delivery went a long way to doing so. Displayed the work rate that is expected from a full back and filled in as a defensive midfielder when Jorginho went off.

Andreas Christensen – 6

Solid enough at the back without dominating. Not necessarily formidable, but kept his errors to a minimum and closed down Brighton’s gradual build ups.

Kurt Zouma – 7

Much the same as Christensen in that he kept his mistake count low. Difference being, Zouma scored. He spent some minutes in the hands of the medic after blocking a shot with his manhood, before carrying on. Soon after, he dropped his marker to volley a Reece James corner in – via an Adam Webster deflection – to make it 3-1.

Two defenders, both amongst the goals. No wonder they’re happy. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: THE GUARDIAN.

Marcos Alonso – 5

Unspectacular, but hardly challenged. Brighton full back Lamptey was the main threat and Alonso was able to handle him defensively, whilst getting forward.

Jorginho (c) – 7

Jorginho kept his 100% penalty record with Chelsea when he sent Brighton keeper Mat Ryan the wrong way. He also got the assist on James’ goal. He ran the midfield and converted the penalty, exactly what is expected of him.

N’Golo Kante – 6

A typical Kante performance. Did the grunt work through the middle to win the ball back and made very few mistakes in passing.

Mason Mount – 5

The other player to hold accountable for the Brighton goal. Yes Kepa failed to stop it, but Mount was the player closing Trossard down. Gave him too much time and space. Played a more defensive role than we’re used to seeing him in. In attack, Mount was drifting out to the left to allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek space as the main attacking midfielder.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 4

Really expected more from Loftus-Cheek. He was given the chance to be the main attacking midfielder behind Werner and Havertz, and failed to take the opportunity. The way the match was panning out, the midfield needed players to get stuck in, like Kante always does and Jorginho and Mount were doing. Loftus-Cheek, either by choice or instruction, wasn’t doing so.

Kai Havertz – 5

Showed glimpses on his debut but for the price Chelsea paid, they’re going to want more going forward. His interplay with Timo Werner on counter attacks is something to get excited about. Werner knows where to run and Havertz knows where to put it.

Good enough on debut, but both will want to show more in the future. Dynamic duo in the offing? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: TALKSPORT.

Timo Werner – 6

Werner earned the penalty after Brighton turned the ball over and Werner used his variation of pace to fool the defence and drag Ryan in to drag him down. Had several shots that forced Ryan into action, but unfortunately for the German, nothing that could get past. After the match, Werner spoke about the size of the defenders in the league being bigger than he’s used to in Germany. This is something he should use to his advantage. Werner’s agility and ability to change speed and direction can exploit a traditional centre-half’s short comings.

Substitutes

Ross Barkley

Came on to replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek at 60′. No real impact through the middle.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Replaced Kai Havertz out wide at 80′.

Cesár Azpilicueta

Replaced Jorginho at 84′. Azpilicueta’s introduction at right back pushed Reece James into midfield.

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