Football Features

Jorginho becoming more like Fabregas by the game? Winners and losers from Chelsea 2-0 Brighton

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:13, 28 September 2019

Chelsea won their first home Premier League game under Frank Lampard, beating Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho and Willian got the goals in the second half to send Chelsea up to sixth, while Brighton have dropped to 16th as a result.

But who were the key winners and losers from the match?

Winner: Jorginho

Very much a Maurizio Sarri signing last summer, Jorginho came under much criticism among Chelsea fans and the wider public for his performances in the 2018/19 campaign.

Jorginho’s accomplished passing ability was key to Sarri’s style of play, proving to be the transition between the defenders and attacking players. The Italian completed more passes than any other player in the Premier League last season, with 2,782 of his attempts finding teammates. But fans were quick to point out that he only created 30 chances and failed to record an assist, even if this wasn’t his job under Sarri.

As a result, there were some doubts surrounding his future at Chelsea once Sarri left for Juventus, but the Italian is flourishing under Frank Lampard.

Still very busy on the ball with his passes, Jorginho now appears to have more freedom on the pitch to create, and looks for the more adventurous passes that Chelsea fans would have grown accustomed to when Cesc Fabregas was in the team.

Already this season, Jorginho has created nine chances – three of which came against Brighton – and recorded one assist in his opening seven games. And he was the one Chelsea could rely on to give them the lead from the penalty spot, cementing his importance to Lampard’s side.

Loser: Ross Barkley

While one Chelsea midfielder has been thriving under Lampard, another is yet to really get going. Ross Barkley had a wonderful pre-season with Chelsea but has so far failed to transfer that form into competitive football.

Against Brighton, Barkley was given the nod ahead of Mateo Kovacic alongside Jorginho, but the Englishman missed yet another opportunity to show he deserved that place in the team.

Barkley looked lost in midfield at times, overshadowed by the likes of Jorginho and Mason Mount, almost guilty of trying too hard to impress his manager. The midfielder had arguably Chelsea’s best chance of the first half, sending a soft cushioned volley straight at Mathew Ryan after finding himself in space from Marcos Alonso’s cross.

He then had to watch on as Jorginho scored from the penalty spot, less than two weeks after Lampard insisted he was Chelsea’s first-choice spot-kick taker. It came after the Englishman had missed a penalty against Valencia in the Champions League following what appeared to be a disagreement with Willian. Since then, both Pedro and Jorginho have scored penalties with Barkley on the pitch. Yes, Lampard was almost certainly protecting his player when he publicly named Barkley his penalty taker, but it still isn’t looking good for the midfielder.

Winner: Fikayo Tomori

Who would’ve thought that Fikayo Tomori would be a regular feature in Chelsea’s starting XI this season? The 21-year-old almost went out on loan to Everton in the summer, only for the move to be scuppered by David Luiz’s departure to Arsenal.

He started the new campaign on the bench, and made his bow in Chelsea’s Super Cup defeat to Liverpool, replacing the injured Andreas Christensen. And he has not looked back since.

While certainly not perfect, Tomori has been the shining light of a poor Chelsea defence and quickly overtook Kurt Zouma as the club’s third-choice centre-back. But Tomori wasn’t satisfied with that. The centre-back continued to put in solid displays and now looks a mainstay at the heart of Chelsea’s defence. Should every player be fully fit, Chelsea’s centre-back pairing looks set to be Tomori alongside Rudiger.

Against Brighton on Saturday, Tomori kept Neil Maupay extremely quiet, making three interceptions and winning 66% of his aerial duels.

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Loser: Adam Webster

At the other end of the pitch to Tomori, Adam Webster will be looking back at costly mistakes made.

The 24-year-old had done well enough in the first half to keep the Chelsea attack at bay, and would have undoubtedly been told by his manager to keep things just as tight after the break.

It looked to be working in the opening moments as Brighton soaked up the pressure, keeping the ball away from Chelsea’s attackers. But soon started to go wrong. Passing the ball around the back, it came to Adam Webster close to his own six yard box. Slightly too comfortable, Webster’s attempted pass back to Mathew Ryan was sloppy and looked in danger of being intercepted by the pressing Mason Mount.

In his attempts to rectify his mistake, Webster stuck out a leg and brought Mount down, giving the referee very little option but to point to the spot. The penalty was scored, and Brighton were on the back foot, all down to Webster’s momentary lapse of concentration.

Winner: Kepa Arrizabalaga

It has finally happened! After nine games across all competitions this season, Kepa Arrizabalaga has finally kept a clean sheet.

The Spaniard has been poor this season, conceding more goals than he has saves made in the Premier League. At 48% he has the worst save percentage in the division so far this season, but Arrizabalaga will not be thinking about that after recording his first clean sheet.

In reality, Arrizabalaga had very little to do, with Brighton hitting the target just once in the 90 minutes. But it will be a confidence boosting clean sheet for the Spaniard ahead of a run which could see him adding to his tally.

Loser: Graham Potter

Despite going in at half-time level, Brighton were completely overrun in the opening 45 minutes. Chelsea managed 17 shots on goal to Brighton’s zero, and something needed to be changed.

Graham Potter looked to combat his defensive worries by switching to a back five, bringing on Gaetan Bong for Yves Bissouma. But five minutes later, his side were a goal down, from a defence mistake while trying to play it around at the back.

And when Potter needed something to get Brighton back into the game, he just couldn’t find it. Teenager Aaron Connolly and veteran Glenn Murray were his two attacking substitutions but neither could find their footing in front of goal. It took until the 60th minute for Brighton to have their first attempt. Come full-time, Brighton had managed eight shots but just one hit the target, a poor return for a team who has now gone two Premier League games in a row without scoring.

The defeat to Chelsea also saw Brighton set an unwanted record. In nine games against Chelsea in league football, Brighton have lost every single one – a Football League record for more games played against a particular opponent with a 100% losing record.