A goal of the season contender from Chelsea full-back Reece James helped The Blues kick off their season with a victory over a tenacious Brighton side.
Despite high expectations of a lightning fast start from Chelsea, the game’s opening 20 minutes provided almost nothing in the way of goalmouth action.
Brighton restricted their expensively-assembled opponents’ opportunities, but shot themselves in the foot mid-way through the half.
Gifting the possession to Jorginho in a dangerous area, the Italian international played Timo Werner through on goal, who then knocked the ball past Mat Ryan before being brought down inside the box.
A penalty was awarded, and was duly dispatched by Jorginho in trademark fashion.
Werner continued to look dangerous as the game gradually began to open up, though with Brighton deploying their usual back three, clear-cut chances were remaining difficult to come by.
Steven Alzate stung the hands of Kepa Arrizabalaga from distance as Brighton searched for an equaliser, but the score remained the same as the first half drew to a close.
The Seagulls started the second half the brighter of the two sides, are were quickly rewarded for their efforts with an equalising goal.
Tariq Lamptey laid the ball off to Leandro Trossard, who arrowed a left-footed drive under the outstretched hand of Kepa to bring parity to the scores.
Chelsea’s response was immediate, as Reece James went one better when rifling a powerful drive from fully 25 yards into the top corner to quickly restore Chelsea’s advantage.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2020
Lewis Dunk should’ve wiped out The Blues’ lead once more, but the centre-half failed to make adequate contact with his far-post header when it seemed almost easier to score than miss.
The goals continued to flow, however, when Kurt Zouma’s effort from a corner was deflected by Adam Webster past the stricken Ryan to make it 3-1.
That sucker punch appeared to finally take the wind from Brighton’s sails, with the final 20 minutes of the contest an altogether more sedate affair.
Chelsea ultimately emerged victorious via a 3-1 scoreline,a result Frank Lampard will surely be ecstatic with given the injury absences of several key players.