There was to be no debut goal for Chelsea’s Timo Werner against Brighton but it did not take long for him to show why he will be giving Premier League defenders sleepless nights this season.
There were just 22 minutes on the clock with the game at 0-0 when Jorginho pounced on a loose pass from Steven Alzate and played a through ball to the German.
The pass was a little heavy but as Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan raced out Werner showed some of the razor-sharp anticipation and blistering pace that made him one of Europe’s most sought after strikers before Chelsea snapped him up for £47.5million over the summer.
Werner raced onto the loose ball, got there first and was wiped out by Ryan to win a penalty that was converted by Jorginho.
It was the decisive moment of a promising debut that set the Blues on their way to a winning start as they bid to establish themselves as genuine title contenders.
Judging by our first glimpses of Werner in England, his lightning speed is something defences will fear. He will cause problems to any team and Jason Cundy, commentating for the game on Chelsea TV, described him like Jamie Vardy in his direct nature.
Werner played as a lone striker at Brighton and was lively from the off. He had a shot from a tight angle saved by Ryan in the first half and gave another glimpse of his pace when he played a one-two with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in his own half before motoring half the length of the pitch and leaving Brighton players in his wake.
Loftus-Cheek could not find him with the return ball but it was another sign of pace that will have opposition defenders in cold sweats.
“He has a real hunger to score goals,” said Lampard after Chelsea won 3-1. “I was really pleased with him.
“We got a sign of what he will bring to the team, you saw that with the speed to get the penalty and other moments when he showed his qualities. He is going to be a real threat. He is a very noble centre forward who can do so many things for us.”
As for fellow debutant Kai Havertz, he struggled but that is no real surprise given he has only been at Chelsea a week. Havertz struggled to get involved but he also showed glimpses of what a good addition to the Premier League he will be.
Given the lack of a pre-season, it was always going to be a tough ask for Chelsea to click on day one of the new season. They will need to be better against Liverpool on Sunday, but this was a good start in a game they might have dropped point in last season.