Chelsea: Talking Points From First Match of the Season


Chelsea played their first match of the new season today, drawing 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion in a pre-season friendly. Timo Werner was on the scoresheet for the Blues, while Pascal Gross netted a late equalizer from the penalty spot.

Chelsea: First Match of the Season

New Boys in Action for the First Time

The most exciting part of this game was the debuts of Werner and Hakim Ziyech, both summer signings of incredible quality. They both played from the start and impressed in their debuts.

Werner scored the opener in just four minutes, finishing off a move created by Ziyech’s inch-perfect through ball right into stride for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who knocked it into Werner’s path.

The two new signings linked up relatively well throughout the game, with several of the Moroccan’s long passes reaching the German striker, whose pace is extraordinary.

The former Ajax man did come off with a slight knock, but it seems like it was just precautionary and nothing serious.

N’Golo Kante: Returning to His Best?

It should come as no surprise, but N’Golo Kante was on top of his game today. Coming off a season riddled with injury problems, this will be a big year for him as he looks to put his troubles behind him and get back to his best.

He played in a midfield pair with Mateo Kovacic, who also looked sharp as usual, and the Frenchman did all the little things he is known for, breaking up opposition attack after attack and labouring all over the pitch.

With all the new signings, there was talk of a possible departure for Kante. However, manager Frank Lampard was quick to downplay that last season, assuring everyone that he was and still is a vital player for the Blues.

This season, the World Cup winner will hope to find his best form once again, and we all know how much of a game-changer he can be, winning consecutive Premier League titles with Chelsea and Leicester City.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Still Lacks Confidence

Though he claims he is fully recovered from his injury, there is still an aspect of his former self that Ruben Loftus-Cheek hasn’t recovered yet: his confidence.

Prior to his injury, he took defenders on constantly and was a menace going forward. Now, he is much more cautious, almost fearful of making mistakes and losing possession.

While keeping the ball is obviously very important, the role of an attacking midfielder is to break the lines and create chances, something Loftus-Cheek used to do so well. If he is going to recover his form, he needs to get back to that as well.

That confidence will come with consistent game time, something he will probably get this season. However, with all the options Chelsea have in that department, consistently uninspiring performances will not be tolerated by Lampard.

Loftus-Cheek must step it up this season, and show he belongs in a team that is looking to challenge for silverware.

Countless Chelsea Academy Players Featuring

As always is the case for pre-season friendlies, it was hard to keep track of all the substitutions Lampard made throughout the game. Many youngsters got a chance to play today, and the boss and his assistants will no doubt have been evaluating them all.

Some of the better-known academy players who featured today included Ethan Ampadu and Connor Gallagher, fresh off of loans in the Bundesliga and the Championship, respectively.

Ampadu giving away a penalty surely did not impress Lampard, but other than that he had a solid game. Gallagher, on the other hand, buzzed around the pitch with lots of activity, similar to Mason Mount, and almost created a goal by pressing the keeper.

Lots of other youngsters also played, and it was nice to see so many people from the academy getting their chances to perform.

The result matters very little for these types of games, it’s all about the performance, and it was a largely promising one for the Blues as they look to start the season strong.

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