Chelsea ease past Brighton in Werner’s debut

Brighton, England, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- New-look Chelsea got their 2020-2021 Premier League season off to an auspicious start with a 3-1 road victory here Monday over Brighton & Hove Albion.

One of the Blues’ big summer signings, 24-year-old striker Timo Werner, had an immediate impact after taking the field in the starting 11 at Falmer Stadium.

Jorginho intercepted a bad pass in Brighton’s half of the field and sent the ball over to the German international, who was brought down by Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan in the 22nd minute.

The referee signaled for a penalty, and Jorginho did the honors from the 12-yard mark to open the scoring.

The score then stayed 1-0 until shortly after halftime, when Brighton worked the ball around Chelsea’s area and then scored on a potent shot by Leandro Trossard that somehow sneaked just inside the bottom far corner past net minder Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 54th minute.

But the home side’s joy was very short-lived.

One the ensuing play, Reece James put Chelsea back on top by maneuvering around a defender and thundering a shot into the top corner from outside the penalty area.

The final goal of the match then came in the 66th minute when Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma attempted a volley off a corner kick with his momentum going away from the goal.

It would have been an easy save for Ryan, but instead one of his defenders, Adam Webster, inadvertently diverted the ball into the back of the net while trying to clear it out of the zone.

Afterward, Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard talked about the need to play at a higher level in the team’s home debut Sunday at Stamford Bridge against defending champion Liverpool.

“Well, we will be better. This is our first game and we’ve only been together as a group for four days. We’ve had all the players together and we’ve had two debuts tonight (Werner and Kai Havertz),” Lampard said.

“We showed a lot of good stuff. It wasn’t where we want to be in the end – that will take a bit of time and we will improve for Liverpool as well.”

One other Premier League game on Monday also was won by the visiting team.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers needed just six minutes to take a 2-0 lead over host Sheffield United, with Raul Jimenez scoring on a volley and then Romain Saiss putting the ball in the back of the net off a corner kick.

The Wolves relied on strong defense to keep Sheffield off the scoreboard the rest of the way even though the Blades had the possession advantage and a 12-5 edge in corner-kick opportunities at the end of the contest.



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