5 talking points as new-look Chelsea get season off to winning start

Frank Lampard's new-look Chelsea side got their season off to a winning start at Brighton.

The Blues showed plenty of growing pains with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz handed Premier League debuts as they struggled to get going on the south coast.

But they took the lead via a Jorginho penalty after Werner was brought down in the first half before a Reece James rocket restored their lead moments after Leandro Trossard had equalised.

A deflected Kurt Zouma effort put the game beyond the home side and made the scoreline look much more comfortable than the game was for Lampard's men for large periods.

Here are five talking points from what was an interesting first look at Chelsea after their summer spending spree.

1) Havertz’ role

The big question asked when Chelsea signed Kai Havertz was simple – where would he play?

Frank Lampard has indicated he sees the German playmaker moving around the pitch as he plots to use his versatility.

In the first glimpse of Havertz in the Premier League, he played on the right of a trio behind the striker.

With Jorginho and N’Golo Kante holding, Havertz was given freedom with Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount.

Whilst it was a trio without much width, Havertz was on the right with Mount on the left and Loftus-Cheek more advanced in the middle.

Havertz regularly looked to get in behind but his impact was minimal as he gets up to speed and accustomed to English football.

A tough start but it’s early days.

2) Werner and RLC connection

Eyes were on Havertz’s role, but it was the connection between fellow new-boy Timo Werner and Loftus-Cheek that proved fascinating.

Loftus-Cheek often found himself more advanced than Werner, who at times played like a false nine, dropping deep.

That allowed Loftus-Cheek to get in behind and look to use his physical presence as balls were played in and Werner sat deeper to link up.

The tactic was largely ineffective with Loftus-Cheek underwhelming in an unfamiliar role.


Werner won Chelsea’s penalty and, like Havertz, was lively without offering a huge deal in the way of chances.

It was not a hugely impressive start but could the link between Loftus-Cheek and Werner develop into something that works for Chelsea?

We’ll have to wait and see…

3) New season, same Kepa

Much has been made of Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and his record in goal for Chelsea.

The Spaniard, previously their club record signing, could soon be replaced as the Blues eye a move for Edouard Mendy from Rennes.

The strike which pulled Brighton level from Leandro Trossard – a long range effort into the bottom corner – was far from a howler for Kepa.

But then, none of them really are.

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Whilst glaring errors have been minimal, he has conceded with an alarming regularity from long range, shown by Chelsea’s goals conceded compared to expected goals last season.

The effort from Trossard was another example of a strike which a world class keeper would be expected to deal with.

Kepa’s problems are hard to grasp, but positioning and reactions seemingly play a part in a stopper who has far from lived up to his huge price tag.

4) Unlikely hero

For all the money spent by Chelsea this summer, it was an unfamiliar source who dug Chelsea out of a hole.

When Brighton equalised, it came at a time when Chelsea looked to have limited ideas.

Lampard would’ve expected the likes of Werner, Havertz or Mount to provide inspiration for his side.

Instead, it was right-back Reece James who fired a rocket into the top corner.

A goal worthy to win any match from a full-back who is hardly known for his goalscoring.

An unlikely hero for Chelsea – but Lampard will have no qualms with that and James will savour his first Premier League goal.

5) One that got away?

Tariq Lamptey was handed a Premier League debut by Frank Lampard less than a year ago.

But after just three appearances for Chelsea, he surprisingly opted to leave the club on a permanent basis.


The Blues reportedly were happy to let him go having been unconvinced he is destined for the very top level.

And whilst it is early days, he could prove them wrong.

After earning a spot in the Brighton side last year, Lamptey was a live wire at right-back against his former club in the Premier League opener.

He caused some problems and was impressive as the 19-year-old shows he could well be one that got away for Lampard.

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