It took forever for Chelsea to release the starting lineup, but it took Timo Werner less than 4 minutes to score in a Chelsea shirt. It’s not an official goal, since this was just a preseason friendly, but still lovely to see, especially as it came at the end of a play started by a great ball in from fellow new signing Hakim Ziyech.
Chelsea controlled the rest of the first half with plenty of possession if not too much threat — so basically as you would expect any Brighton v. Chelsea match to play out.
The second half was a far more disjointed affair, with Chelsea giving away an early penalty and then both sides ringing the changes.
Hakim Ziyech’s awkward landing and potential inury will be a concern, but hopefully nothing too serious. Brighton’s backup goalkeeper looked to have picked a nasty leg injury on an awkward landing as well — the biggest concern of any preseason.
We almost survived the last 15 minutes without additional drama, but Ampadu gave away a penalty in the final minute, which Caballero couldn’t save, and then Giroud picked up a head injury in added-on time as well.
Hopefully the experiment to welcome back fans to the stadium, all 2500 of them, has gone better.
- First-half (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Christensen, Clarke-Salter, James | Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Kante (c) | Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Ziyech
- Half-time changes of Caballero on for Kepa and both center halves off for an Azpi-Rudiger combo. Gallagher on early in the second as well after Ziyech’s knock/injury.
- More changes around 60-65 minutes (4-2-3-1): Caballero | Maatsen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Lawrence | Baker, Ampadu | Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher, Hudson-Odoi | Giroud
- McCormick and Vale completed the changes, replacing RLC and CHO.
- Next up: no idea. Season starts in two weeks, against the same opposition in the same stadium, but we’ll probably have a couple more friendlies before then maybe?