Chelsea kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win at Brighton as Timo Werner made a confident debut following Frank Lampard’s spending spree.
Blues boss Lampard has spent around £200 million ($257 million) on a host of new signings and the early returns on his lavish investment were promising.
Germany striker Werner, a £53 million recruit from Leipzig, won the penalty that Jorginho converted to put Chelsea ahead.
Kai Havertz, who made a £70 million switch from Bayer Leverkusen, wasn’t quite so impactful, but Lampard will be confident there are better days to come from the young Germany forward.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was guilty of another mistake when Leandro Trossard equalised for Brighton.
But Reece James’ superb strike put Chelsea back in front before Kurt Zouma’s deflected effort sealed the points.
It was an encouraging opening to the campaign for Lampard, who has accepted he is under pressure to deliver a title challenge after spending more than any other club so far in the summer transfer window.
Chelsea finished 33 points behind champions Liverpool in fourth last season before a disappointing FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal, but they are primed to improve if Lampard can gel his new signings.
Lampard’s other expensive recruits, former Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech and ex-Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, were both sidelined by injuries, while Thiago Silva wasn’t available as he returns to training following his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
The historians among Chelsea’s fanbase will have noted this was the third time they have started a Premier League campaign with a Monday night victory, with the Blues going on to win the title on the previous occasions in 2014-15 and 2016-17.
The only frustration for Lampard was Kepa’s howler.
The world’s most expensive keeper was already under pressure to improve after an error-strewn season and with Chelsea having spoken to Rennes about Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy, his days as the first choice might be numbered.