An argument can be made that Chelsea are the team to watch this season out of all professional soccer leagues not just in Europe, but in the world. With the additions of young and world-class talent like Thiago Silva, Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz, the list goes on and on, literally. Chelsea spent around 300 million dollars in the summer transfer window to complete a massive overhaul of exceptional players and send them to the top of many peoples Premier League table predictions. The Blues do begin this new era of soccer away from Stamford Bridge at The Amex where Brighton and Hove Albion await their home opener. Brighton didn’t have the greatest campaign in the 2019-20 season as they finished with a mere 41 points to finish 15th. Chelsea exceeded expectations last season finishing in 4th to secure a Champions League spot, but a new season brings newer and more ambitious goals. And I’ve still yet to mention one of Chelsea’s brightest talents who will look to make a serious mark on the new season. America’s own Christian Pulisic is that man. The 21-year old would be my personal player-to-watch this season not just for soccer fans, but for American sports fans who may not be into soccer just yet. Pulisic would miss the season opener due to injury, but anticipation was high for the entire Chelsea squad as a convincing victory against Brighton would be the best way to start off the season.
The game kicked off with Brighton and Hove impressing when they were on the ball. They were able to get into advanced positions and put Chelsea’s defense under some pressure. Chelsea needed time to grow into the game, and the 21st minute saw Timo Werner take advantage of a bad pass and get tackled by the goalkeeper for a penalty kick. It was Jorginho, the Italian midfielder who stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty to give Chelsea the early 1-0 lead. Chelsea continued to grow into their own offense, but Brighton made their mark by registering 7 total shots to Chelsea’s 5 at halftime. With a 1-0 lead to Chelsea, the Blues would need to regroup and find a way to put away the pesky Brighton team that was threatening a game-tying goal before the break.
The second half was again emblematic of Brighton’s fearless offense as Leandro Trossard caught Kepa napping and leveled the game for the Southerners. It was a genuine concern on Chelsesa’s end because of the expectations that continued to pile on for the Blues. Not even a minute later, Chelsea’s full-back Reese James netted in one of the best goals of the weekend to bring Chelsea back up to 2-1. It was 98 seconds between the two goals as the young Englishman had secured his first Premier League goal of his young career. From the 55th minute on, Chelsea had to make the decision as to whether they would nurse this score or pile on the offense and go for the third, fourth, and possibly fifth goal. Chelsea did go on and grab a third goal in the 66th minute thanks to a corner kick finding Kurt Zouma at the top of the 18-yard box where he finished a soft goal that went off of the leg of a Brighton defender. The French defender was awarded his first goal for the club in five years, but all of a sudden Chelsea looked as though they were finding their element. It was clear that this level of play was nowhere near where Chelsea could play in, say, three months time. Chelsea were able to ride out the remainder of the match to see out the 3-1 win away from home and collect the three points. Chelsea’s next fixture is huge. They host the defending champions Liverpool on September 20th at 8:30am PST.
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