One player who did not make the scoresheet in Chelsea’s season-opening win at Brighton but had a big hand in one of the goals, and one who most certainly did score in net-busting style were the focus of Frank Lampard’s thoughts after the final whistle.
Timo Werner won the penalty that gave Chelsea the lead at Brighton, converted by Jorginho, and after the home side equalised, a Reece James piledriver made it 2-1 with a deflected Kurt Zouma shot completing the 3-1 win.
Lampard gave his verdict on Werner, who together with Kai Havertz was a Chelsea debutant at the Amex.
‘I was really pleased with Timo,’ said the boss. ‘I know the qualities he is going to bring, we saw that with the speed to get the penalty. He is going to be a real threat. He is a very mobile centre-forward who can do so many things for us. He is one who has had some games, he has a bit of fitness, and you could see that.
‘He took a knock when he won the penalty which we hope is a dead leg. I would like to think if it is that we have a bit of time to get him back [for the Liverpool game].’
The boss went on to discuss the injury that kept Christian Pulisic out of this game and why Jorginho came off near the end.
‘Christian was training with us last week but he had a bit of discomfort a couple of days ago when he was trying to be in contention for today. It would have been a big ask for today and he has had to take a few steps back and we will have to see.
‘Jorginho is just tiredness. A lot of players are not fully fit at the moment and that is just the way it is. I thought they dealt with the rigors of the game very well in terms of how tough it is to come to Brighton when you are not quite there.’
As impressive as Werner was, it is Reece James who will share the headlines due to the quality of his strike.
‘The goal did not surprise me,’ insisted Lampard. ‘I know he can catch hold of shots and we try to get him in those positions to get shots away. It was so clean but I know he has that in him.
‘For the young players, the opportunities are there if the lads train well and perform well, and Reece does that for us. Right-back is a position where I have two quality players I can pick, with slightly different attributes, and that is a good problem for me.’
Having got the season off to a solid start, next up it is champions Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
‘We will be better,’ claimed Lampard. ‘This is our first game and circumstances mean we have only been together as a group for four days. We had two players making their debut and we showed a lot of good stuff. We weren’t where we want to be in the end, that will take a bit of time. The first game of the season is certainly about getting a win when you come to a place like Brighton and we did a lot of good things to get that.’