A Jorginho penalty and a deflected strike from Willian earned Chelsea their first home Premier League win under Frank Lampard as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 on Saturday.
Lampard’s men had drawn two and lost one of their opening three matches at Stamford Bridge this term, but they deservedly got off the mark on this occasion.
Brighton, now beaten in all nine of their league meetings with Chelsea, survived an onslaught on their goal in the first half but Adam Webster gifted the Blues a spot-kick early in the second half.
Jorginho converted from 12 yards after Webster had brought down Mason Mount, who pounced on the defender’s heavy first touch in the box, while Willian added a second 14 minutes from time to send Chelsea up to sixth in the table.
Full-time: Chelsea 2-0 Brighton!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 28, 2019
Tammy Abraham was unable to make any contact with Mount’s inswinging free-kick in a first half dominated by Chelsea, the ball going right through and coming back off the post.
Mat Ryan was equal to shots from Ross Barkley and Pedro, who both should have been doing better with just the Brighton keeper to beat, while Marcos Alonso volleyed wide from close range shortly before the interval.
Chelsea’s much-merited breakthrough goal arrived five minutes into the second half, however, as Webster brought down Mount and Jorginho sent the penalty into the bottom-left corner – the 100th to be scored at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
Ryan temporarily kept Brighton in the match by producing good saves to deny Pedro and Abraham, who was played in by a poor pass from opposition midfielder Dale Stephens.
However, Willian sealed victory for Chelsea, powering an effort past Ryan via a deflection off Dan Burn – who had just grazed the bar with a header from a corner at the other end.
17 – Willian has scored his first goal in 17 Premier League appearances for Chelsea since he last found the net against Newcastle in January; he had attempted 32 shots without scoring between these goals in the league. Awaited. pic.twitter.com/ywKS2Rl2i4
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 28, 2019
What does it mean? Profligacy nearly costs Chelsea
Three days on from putting seven goals past Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup, Chelsea registered 17 first-half attempts without finding a way through – their highest such tally since August 2013, and highest without scoring since November 2010.
A mixture of good goalkeeping and poor finishing nearly cost them, though in the end Jorginho’s penalty and Willian’s somewhat fortunate strike proved enough to get them back to winning ways in the top flight.
Jorginho holds his nerve
Jorginho calmly picked his spot for Chelsea’s key opener and now has as many goals in all competitions this season (2) as he managed in 54 games under Maurizio Sarri.
The holding midfielder turned over possession more often than any other player on the field, meanwhile, and also contributed three key passes – the most in the contest.
A nightmare moment for Webster
Keeping things tight early in the second half would have been the message from Graham Potter to his players during the interval. Quite what Webster was thinking, then, is anyone’s guess.
The defender was caught out by Mount when attempting to play the ball out from the back and Brighton, poor in an attacking sense all match, were unable to recover.
Key Opta Facts:
– Chelsea have now won all nine of their league meetings with Brighton, making it a new Football League record for most games played by a side against a single opponent while winning every single one, overtaking Bournemouth’s eight games against Wimbledon.
– The Blues kept a clean sheet for the first time under Frank Lampard (10th game in charge), and their first in 11 games overall across all competitions since a goalless draw with Leicester in the final Premier League game of last season.
– Jorginho has scored as many goals in nine appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season (2) as he did in 54 games in 2018-19; three of his four goals for the Blues have been penalties.
– Willian scored his first goal in 17 Premier League appearances for Chelsea since he last found the net against Newcastle in January; he had attempted 32 shots without scoring between these goals in the league.
Chelsea travel to Lille on Wednesday seeking their first Champions League points of the campaign. They return to Premier League action next Sunday with a trip to Southampton, while Brighton host Tottenham a week today.
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