Chelsea began their Premier League season with a 3-1 away win against Brighton as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz made their debuts.
Chelsea have made a number of marquee signings so far this summer, although only the German pair were fit enough to feature at the Amex Stadium. Werner, in particular, was lively on his first competitive Chelsea appearance and won a penalty in the 21st minute as Mat Ryan swiped at his legs, which Jorginho dispatched (23).
- Timo Werner gives Chelsea new dimension
- Frank Lampard 'very happy' with Kepa Arrizabalaga | Gary Neville: No top 'keeper, no title
- Hits and misses: More to come from Chelsea
- Premier League Table | Fixtures | Live on Sky
But Brighton - having strengthened well themselves in the transfer window thus far - had their fair share of chances and deservedly levelled when Leandro Trossard (54) fired home, with Kepa Arrizabalaga's ability to deal with long-range strikes once again called into question.
Brighton: Ryan (6), Webster (6), Dunk (7), White (7), Lamptey (8), Bissouma (7), Alzate (6), March (7), Lallana (6), Trossard (6), Maupay (7).
Subs used: Connolly (6), Gross (5), Jahanbakhsh (5).
Chelsea: Kepa (6), Alonso (6), Christensen (7), Zouma (7), James (8), Jorginho (7), Kante (7), Loftus-Cheek (7), Mount (7), Havertz (6), Werner (7).
Subs used: Barkley (5), Hudson-Odoi (5), Azpilicueta (n/a).
Man of the match: Reece James.
But Chelsea restored their lead less than two minutes later when Reece James (56) drilled home his first Premier League goal in stunning fashion. Kurt Zouma then nabbed a goal himself with his shot diverting off the toe of Adam Webster, leaving Ryan rooted to the spot.
The victory marks a successful start for Frank Lampard's new-look side - whose last two title wins have started with victory on a Monday evening - while Brighton will feel like they deserved something from the encounter.
How Chelsea saw off Brighton challenge
After the strangest of pre-seasons in which these two sides met just over two weeks ago, the opening 20 minutes was a rather cagey affair as both found their feet. Werner looked lively throughout and it was his pace that won Chelsea's penalty. Steven Alzate's poor pass landed to Jorginho, who poked the ball through for his new team-mate, who was tripped by the onrushing Ryan.
It was a clear-cut penalty and Craig Pawson pointed to the spot with VAR agreeing with the decision. Jorginho lined it up and after a little jump in his run-up, easily dispatched past Ryan.
- There was a Brighton debut for Adam Lallana. The midfielder was the only new signing in the XI, but Ben White also started, who returned to the club following his loan spell at Leeds last season.
- Frank Lampard handed debuts to Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. They were the only new faces in Chelsea’s XI, with Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech unavailable due to injury. Kepa Arrizabalaga was preferred to Willy Caballero in goal despite speculation over his future.
But it was Brighton who should have scored next. Just after the penalty, former Chelsea academy product Tariq Lamptey floated a wonderful cross into the area, but Neal Maupay couldn't quite get his header on target. Kepa produced a wonderful save not long after as Alzate looked to atone for his earlier mistake, but his fierce strike was palmed away by the leaping Spaniard.
But it was not the best end to the half for Brighton as debutant Adam Lallana was forced off with an injury after a good showing in the opening period. Werner could then have doubled Chelsea's lead but his strong drive was palmed away well by Ryan at the near post.
Graham Potter's side dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and went close twice. Aaron Connolly - who replaced Lallana - could only send a Solly March cross into the side of the net before Lamptey saw a thunderous shot turned behind by Zouma. The ex-Chelsea full-back was then involved when Brighton scored a deserved equaliser, cutting the ball back for the waiting Trossard whose low shot evaded Kepa's grasp and found the bottom corner.
But Brighton were level for less than two minutes and it was a stunning strike from James that put Chelsea ahead. Jorginho set the 20-year-old up outside the area and he sent a thunderbolt into the back of the net which Ryan could do nothing to stop.
Perhaps the one moment Brighton will come to rue was a miss from captain Lewis Dunk. Trossard floated a lovely ball into the area and Dunk - in the perfect position at the back post - could not make enough contact with the ball as it skimmed past the post.
Chelsea decided matters in the 66th minute after an error from Webster. James whipped in a corner, which Zouma just stepped off his defender to collect before sending the ball goalwards. Ryan looked to be in a good position to save the shot, but Webster stuck out a toe to divert it into the opposite corner.
The visitors dominated for the remainder of the game as Brighton's fight deflated, and had a few half chances but were unable to add another.
Man of the match - Reece James
James capped an excellent display with a stunning strike to register his first Premier League goal and added an assist with the corner that led to Chelsea's third. Defensively, he made two blocks - the highest of the Chelsea team - and has certainly made his case for a regular starting berth this term.
Lampard told Sky Sports: "We needed it because having just gone to 1-1, we weren't at our best during that period of the game after we'd come out for the second half.
"Reece has got that in him. He's a player of such quality. When you think about some of the young English right-backs that are around now, they have that extra bit of quality so you try and get Reece in areas where he can be areal threat for us. That inside position he turned up in, he's got great quality on him, he got a great strike away and he gets a good goal."
Sky Sports Gary Neville told Monday Night Football:
"I don't think he [Lampard] is [happy with Kepa]. I wouldn't be but yet I know full well, having been in a coaching position, been in a changing room, you have to back your goalkeeper. You must back your players, you have to support them publicly but privately that goal, it's a really poor goal to give away.
"He conceded so many goals from outside the box last season, he's conceded another one tonight and it will cost you. If you don't have a top goalkeeper, you won't win that league.
"At this moment in time he makes far too many mistakes. He lets too many goals into the back of his net that should be saved. 19 goals conceded from outside the box - that is a sorry story for a £70m goalkeeper.
"A few years ago, I used to quite critical of Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet [at Liverpool]. 50 goals a season but as soon as Alisson came everything became normal. It was the same at Manchester United in my time when we had that period between Peter Schmeichel and Edwin Van der Saar. As soon as Van der Saar came, it became normal.
"Same with Manchester City in Pep Guardiola's first season. Claudio Bravo kept letting goals in from everywhere and the save to shots ratio was poor. As soon as Ederson comes in, everything becomes really normal.
"If you don't have you goalkeeper right you are going to massively struggle to get where you need to get to. You certainly will never win a league.
"You will not win a league with a goalkeeper who is letting goals in from outside his box, doesn't dominate his area and concedes goals from set pieces. It isn't going to happen.
"It's a stark warning. Frank Lampard knows this. He's played in championship-winning teams, he knows what he needs to do, he doesn't like the goalkeeper, he wants him out and he's going to bring a new one in because he knows Frank Lampard will be sacked as a manager if he doesn't win the league in the next two or three years.
"He's spent £200m so he's got to do it. Pep did it, Jurgen Klopp did it and Sir Alex Ferguson did it.
"Every manager of any salt will be harsh. He's got to be ruthless and do it for himself because that £70m, he wants to look after the club's money, he wants to try and get it back, but unfortunately, it's gone."
Brighton manager Graham Potter: "From our perspective, we performed quite well in the game. There are lots of positives for us in terms of the overall game, but we're disappointed to concede three goals.
"I thought in the first half, we were probably the better team. We got the equaliser and were probably on the front foot, then the second goal is a bit of a blow. We had a good chance at 2-1 as well and it's just those fine little margins that ultimately against the big teams, you need to turn in your favour if you want to get a positive result.
"So in the end, we're happy with lots of things but disappointed with the three goals against and no points.
"Lamptey was fun to watch, I imagine. Such energy, such personality and his enthusiasm for the game is just wonderful. He's been like that for us since he came, he's still young and still has lots to learn but his approach to football is refreshing."
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard: "I thought we were OK. I liked the work ethic and the discipline of the team.
"When you analyse the fact that we've been together as a team for four days, to expect everything to click on day one is going to be very difficult. But what they did do was show a little bit of determination and that is a game we might have dropped points in last year.
"That's not the end of the story, I'm not getting excited about that on day one, but it had a bit of determination and resilience about it.
"I don't want to pin us down to one system. We definitely have the capabilities to play that way. We have three or four players who want to play as a 10 for us but it can't always be that simple. I want us to be adaptable. We have a lot of attacking players, so I have to work on that one. I want us to be able to look fluid. It may be a 4-2-3-1 at times or a 4-3-3, and I want that movement within us.
"The players are still working each other out a little bit. We weren't as fluid as we can be today, but we will work on that. I want us to have a lot more movement up front than we did today."
- Brighton have won just one of their 10 home Premier League games in 2020 (D4 L5), the fewest of any side to have played two or more home matches in the competition this calendar year.
- Chelsea have scored each of their last 16 penalties in the Premier League since Eden Hazard missed from the spot against Man City in April 2017.
- Since he joined Chelsea in 2018, Kepa Arrizabalaga has conceded more Premier League goals from outside the box (19) than any other goalkeeper. Indeed, excluding blocked shots, Kepa has conceded nine of the last 13 overall shots on target he has faced in the Premier League.
Brighton will begin their Carabao Cup campaign in midweek as they face Portsmouth on Thursday, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7.45pm). They will then make the trip to Newcastle on Sunday in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 2pm).
That will be also followed by Chelsea's next game as they take on Premier League champions Liverpool, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 4.30pm).