Werner shines, but does not score as Chelsea win 3-1 away to Brighton
Brighton 1 v Chelsea 3
Timo Werner showed a blistering turn of pace, and won a penalty which sent indifferent Chelsea onto victory tonight, eventually winning 3-1 at the Amex Stadium against Brighton and Hove Albion.
A thundering long-range effort by Reece James restored the lead when the Blues were pegged back and a deflected effort by Kurt Zouma saw all three points heading back up the A23.
But it was the German hitman, a £48million signing from Leipzig in the summer who was the stand out performer for west Londoners in their opening Premier League match of the season.
The opening 20 minutes was a dour affair but sprang to life when Jorginho intercepted a loose ball just outside the Brighton penalty area, and the Italian fed it to Werner. Brighton goalkeeper Matthew Ryan, upended the German hitman in the area giving away a spot kick.
Up stepped Jorginho who cooly sent the keeper the wrong way and slotted home the opening goal of the season for the west Londoners.
Kepa was finally forced into action on 35 minutes when he parried away a 20-yarder from Steven Alzate.
The Blues lacked any real sense of pace with only Werner showing he has more than one gear.
Brighton, by contrast showed endeavour and crisp passing. But the South Coast outfit lacked a cutting edge.
There were no changes from the Blues at half-time.
Aaron Connelly almost scored within seconds of the restart when Solly March cut right down the Blues right flank. Connelly could not control the in-bound ball and it hit his body and smacked into the side netting and away to safety.
But the Blues were absolutely rubbish allowing a preventable long-range effort zip past Kepa from Leandro Trossard to level the scores.
But two minutes, later on 56 minutes, Reece James decided to have a long-ranger himself, and he launched a bullet of an right-footer that crashed into the top right hand corner of the Brighton goal to restore the Londoners’ lead.
Lewis Dunk, a Chelsea fan, then missed a sitter at the far post, heading wide from close range following a deep cross from Lamptey.
Frank Lampard made a change on 60 minutes, replacing ineffectual Ruben Loftus-Cheek with Ross Barkley.
Brighton started to run out of puff, allowing the Blues to maintain greater share of possession - and on 66 minutes a stroke of luck gave the blues their third goal. A James corner saw Zouma volley from the edge of the penalty area and Webster stuck out his leg and deflected the ball past Ryan.
Kai Havertz night ended with 10 minutes left - to be replaced by Callum Hudson-Odoi and the Blues ran down the clock effectively.
Next up, on Sunday is the visit of champions Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, Kepa, James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Havertz, Werner
Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Abraham.
Brighton: Ryan, Lamptey, White, Dunk, Webster, March, Bissouma, Alzate, Lallana, Trossard, Maupay
Subs: Steele, Veltman, Burn, Stephens, Jahanbakhsh, Gross, Connolly