Post match Report and analysis
Finally our first Premier League game of the season has been played.
It was not that particular dream performance we hoped for but at the end, we got what mattered the most; Three points.
Actually my first shock came when the starting lineup was released (see lineup above). I don’t know what tactics Lampard was trying to put out but obviously it didn’t workout despite the scoreline.
Brighton were impressive really and for most part of the games, they dominated us.
We were however sharp when attacking as Werner’s agility and speed was always a constant threat for Brighton’s defenders.
Mason Mount also worked tirelessly pressing from the front and at about just 22 mins into the game, that pressing paid off and Werner won a penalty after he was brought down in the box trying to dribble past Brighton’s goalkeeper.
Jorginho stepped up and without any doubt, the Brazilian rolled the spot kick into the back of the net sending the keeper the wrong way.
Jorginho’s goal from the spot means he has now scored all the 8 penalties he has played for Chelsea, (excluding shootouts) with 5 coming from the Premier League.
After Jorginho gave us the lead, Brighton continued their impressive display and took control of the midfield totally. Jorginho and Kante was no where to be found to hold up play and Loftus Cheek or Havertz couldn’t even initiate counter attacks from deep effectively.
Brighton took control of the game till halftime and were constantly attacking through our former player Lamptey from the right wing. Lamptey we exquisite tonight and Alonso had no chance matching the teenager’s pace.
In full honesty, Brighton were just unlucky not to have grabbed an equaliser even before halftime. They actually dominated our midfield to the core, pressed high and made us look like underdogs and we could only threaten few times on counter.
This porous midfield of ours during the game left Werner stranded but the German showed great character. He didn’t relent and continued his frontline marking and good movements off the ball. He should have gotten a goal for his hard work at just about halftime when he dropped deep to initiate a counter attack by himself but Loftus Cheek poor decision making and poor return pass stood in his way.
After the restart everyone expected Chelsea to be up and running as Lampard would have talked sense into them and sound a warning at halftime but Brighton were once again all over us and this time we weren’t lucky as they pulled one in from outside the box to make it 1-1. This was before the hour mark.
Trossard fired from the edge of the box and the ball crawled past Kepa’s short hands.
At that moment, it was crystal clear to Chelsea that they had to step up their game if they want to get anything from the match and this was exactly what Reece James did. Just fews minutes after Trossard equaliser, the right back fired a bullet from long range to give Chelsea back the lead.
Watch all goals in the commentary section above
That Reece James goal was a game saver because it didn’t just restore our lead but also demoralize the Brighton squad.
Lampard was spot on with his substitutions also. He immediately introduced Barkley to bring more stability and agility to the midfield, removing Loftus Cheek who was having a very terrible game. Barkley came on and to many who writes him off, the English midfielder literally changed our game. We immediately took control and we were no longer defending and acting like underdogs.
That little moment of control as Barkley came on led to a corner that led to a goal in which Zouma scored and at that moment, we all knew the three points had been secured.
Positives To Take from the match
- Defense was solid: With how impressive Brighton’s attack was, Chelsea of last season could have conceded up to three or four goals in total. Marcos Alonso was not up for it but our center backs, Zouma and Christensen performed extremely well. They ensured the constant leak from our midfield didn’t lead to clear cut chances for Brighton.
- Werner: The German didn’t get a goal but he did win us a penalty and his all round performance was great.
- Mount: Mason really impressed me and there are many things Havertz could learn from him while adapting to English football. As usual, the former Derby County midfielder worked tirelessly upfront and in midfield to ensure Chelsea made most of any space given.
- Reece James: Dude really showed he has it in him to replace Azpilicueta and also letting us know it wasn’t a mistake to let Lamptey go. We already have what we want in James. As Jamie Carragher said during post match analysis: “You watch Lamptey and go why have Chelsea sold him? then you watch Reece James and go oh! that is why!”
- Character: Chelsea might not have performed well with the ball tonight but our character was spot on especially off the ball. You could see everyone defending together and blocking shots with any part of their body. It was something we were really lacking last season; the desire to defend a lead but we showed great character today.
- Incoming Players: The fact that we played a very good team away and won without Azpilicueta, Pulisic, Ziyech, Silva, Chilwel or fully fit Havertz shows that there’s more to come from us and we will be ready for anyone soon enough.
Negatives from the match
- Kante X Jorginho: It was obvious that Kante and Jorginho in one defensive midfield won’t work for now. Both of them were below standard tonight. They couldn’t work together both defensively and offensively and it’s something Lampard needs to work on in training. They have to find a way to work together. Kovacic seems to be able to work fine with either of them but we can’t be depending on Kovacic all the time to help us get control and stability in our midfield.
- Kepa: He Didn’t have much to do except the one save he pulled out in the first half as the center backs covered him brilliantly today. Zouma almost got an injury today blocking a shot from Lamptey for him. These center backs can’t block all shots especially those coming from long distance and it’s at that scenario you expect your keeper to step up and keep you in the game. Kepa has been significantly beaten often from long range last season and that continued today when he allowed Trossard give Brighton the equalizer with a shot from range. He could have done better honestly. The shot wasn’t hit too hard and at least a finger or two could have done the trick. Kepa needs to step up else he will be putting everyone’s work invain.
- Alonso: Alonso was exposed tonight again. While playing at left back instead of left wing back, the Spaniard always finds it difficult to keep his opposite number at bay and for a talented wing man like Lamptey with speed, it’s just free passage.
- Team Organization: As I said in my prematch post. This match would be a reality check for us and it is now obvious that most of the players are yet to understand each other or the new players. Loftus Cheek failed to connect with Werner of Havertz tonight during attack and with more new faces to come, I think the team is gonna need much more than few training sessions to fully understand eachother and there lies the problem because we can’t afford that time.
Next match: Liverpool
- Jorginho limped out and was replaced by Azpilicueta but the severity of his injury is not yet confirmed.
- Lampard claimed that Pulisic still lacks fitness and was dropped out of the squad because of that. However he should be ready for next match
- Werner picked up a knock in his knee today when he clashed with Brighton’s goalkeeper and won us the penalty for the first goal. The German had ice place in the affected area after the match but he insists in his post match interview that he would be fine in no time and for the fact that he continued and played 90 mins after having the knock shows that it’s nothing to actually worry about.
Guys what do you think about our first game and was your man of the match?
Let’s discuss in the comment section below