Frank Lampard insists he is happy with Kepa Arrizabalaga despite him conceding another long-range goal in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Chelsea followed a close season of ambitious transfer statements with a win after second-half goals from Reece James and Kurt Zouma secured the points, Lucas Trossard having cancelled out Jorginho's 23rd-minute penalty.

Trossard restored parity nine minutes into the second half, Kepa allowing a strike from outside the box to dip under his right hand and into the bottom-left corner.

The Blues are said to be close to signing Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, but Lampard is at least publicly backing a player the club paid £71.6million for in 2018.

"I'm very happy with Kepa," he told Sky Sports. "With the shot, I'm not sure if he could have done any better but I saw a bit more confidence in how he was playing..

"I'm happy with him, Kepa's here, he's our keeper and I'm happy with him. If we are bringing in competition it'll be competition. That's the nature of Chelsea. That goes throughout the squad so we'll see."

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner each made their Chelsea debuts following moves from Bayern Leverkusen and RB Leipzig respectively.

Werner won the penalty that Jorginho converted and Lampard felt he saw positives from both players in what was at times a disjointed Chelsea performance.

On Havertz, Lampard said: "I liked him. I thought there were moments of real quality and calmness.

"It's a big ask, there's a lot on his shoulders for the signing that he was, the fact that he's young, coming to a different league.

"He plays at such a pace in terms of his quality. I thought we saw a few glimpses of that, we also saw him sprint back 80 yards to make a defensive tackle having given the ball away.

"Everything I've seen about him in terms of his character is spot on and his quality is going to come through. We're going to see a lot more of him."

Of Werner, he added: "I love the way that Timo pops up in different areas, he's not a frontman that attaches to centre-backs so much, sometimes he can start from a little deeper but when he goes, he goes.

"We saw that with the burst of pace because I think for the penalty the ball was slightly overplayed and he still gets there. He has that about him and he has a real hunger to score goals and be ruthless in those areas. I thought we saw a lot of signs from Timo of what he's going to bring."

Timo Werner won a penalty on his Chelsea debut as second-half goals from Reece James and Kurt Zouma ensured they began the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Werner and Kai Havertz, the marquee signings of a free-spending transfer window for Chelsea, were each named in a front three for the visit to the Amex Stadium.

The former was key in breaking the deadlock, which Jorginho did in the 23rd minute after Werner was brought down by Mat Ryan.

Lucas Trossard briefly restored parity but a spectacular strike from James and a fortuitous one by Zouma sealed maximum points for Frank Lampard's men.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the first 20 minutes before Brighton gifted Chelsea the opening goal with some careless play in their own half.

Steven Alzate conceded possession and Jorginho pounced with a well-weighted throughball to Werner, who was felled by the outstretched knee of the onrushing Ryan.

Craig Pawson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Jorginho tucked away the penalty with his trademark hop on the run up as he sent Ryan the wrong way.

Alzate went closest to producing a response when his drive drew a diving stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga before Ryan had to be alert to prevent Werner beating him at his near post.

Nine minutes after the second-half restart, Brighton were level with a goal that will raise more questions about Kepa's place in the team.

The Chelsea goalkeeper allowed Trossard's effort from outside the box to sneak under his hand and into the bottom-left corner, but parity lasted just 99 seconds.

Ryan was left with no chance as James fired a ferocious long-range effort into the top-right corner, and he was similarly helpless 10 minutes later when Zouma's tame effort deflected in off Adam Webster.

Those goals were separated by Lewis Dunk spurning a great chance to equalise, however, there was little threat from Brighton after Chelsea's third.

Hakim Ziyech's official Chelsea debut will have to wait for at least a couple of weeks after Frank Lampard confirmed the new signing has a knee injury.

Media reports began circulating on Wednesday suggesting Morocco international Ziyech was a doubt for Monday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion for the Blues' Premier League opener.

Ziyech arrived from Ajax in pre-season after a £33.3million deal had been agreed last term, with the forward boosting his reputation in 2018-19 after a number of impressive performances en route to the Champions League semi-finals.

But Chelsea fans will have to wait a bit longer to see him in competitive action, as Lampard confirmed the reports he has sustained an injury.

Ziyech's fellow new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are also not yet ready for their debuts.

"Ziyech took an injury to his knee in the friendly against Brighton and he won't be fit," Lampard said in Thursday's pre-match news conference.

"We are working on him and hope it will only be a matter of weeks, a couple of weeks, we hope, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

"Chilwell is working towards fitness. He won't be fit for Brighton. He has developed and improved this week and going in the right direction, which is good news for us.

"Thiago Silva is in London but won't be training until the weekend, so I doubt very much that he's in contention for the Brighton game.

"Out of the new ones, that's where we are at. Billy Gilmour is a longer-term injury, but other than that we are in decent shape."

Regarding Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic, who were both forced off in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal in August, Lampard added: "I missed them off earlier – yes, I am certainly very happy to have them both back.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was their first day fully training with the team, so they're in contention for Monday.

"I have to be careful and I have a squad to pick from, but the way they're training and their attitude to come back, it looks like they are over their injuries. I just have to make sure I manage them both back in their own ways."

Shane Duffy said he has fulfilled a childhood dream after completing a season-long loan move to Celtic from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The centre-back will link up with the Scottish champions for the 2020-21 campaign after international duty, where he is preparing for Nations League fixtures against Bulgaria and Finland with the Republic of Ireland.

"I'm delighted, it's something that I've always dreamed of doing and I'm just excited to get up there now and get going. Hopefully I can do my best for the club. I'm over the moon, it's been a long time coming!" Duffy told Celtic's official website.

"People will know the connection with Derry in Ireland and Celtic, and it's all we knew, really. 

"Growing up, I was lucky enough to get over to a few games and experience the atmosphere. It's my boyhood club and it's literally a dream when you're a kid. 

"Now I get the chance to go to Celtic Park and to play for the club is a huge honour and hopefully I can do them proud."

Duffy joined Brighton from Blackburn Rovers in August 2016 and helped the club achieve promotion to the Premier League.

He was a mainstay in the Seagulls' first two campaigns in the top flight but made just 12 Premier League starts under Graham Potter last term following the arrival of Adam Webster from Bristol City.

With Ben White also having returned from a season-long loan at Leeds United, Duffy's opportunities appeared limited at the Amex Stadium this term.

Ben White has signed a new four-year contract with Brighton and Hove Albion after attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

White was outstanding during a season-long loan with Leeds United last season, featuring in all of the Whites' 46 Championship fixtures as Marcelo Bielsa's side returned to the top flight for the first time since 2004 as champions.

Leeds attempted to sign the centre-back on a permanent deal and reportedly had three bids rejected, with Brighton insisting the 22-year-old was not for sale.

That prompted Leeds to move for Germany international Robin Koch, and White, who was also linked with Liverpool and Chelsea, has now pledged his long-term future to Graham Potter's side.

"I have been looking forward to working with Ben for a long time. He was a player I was well aware of, even before I came to the club," Potter told Brighton's official website.

"He has gradually stepped up the EFL divisions, with Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds United.

"He had a brilliant season helping Leeds to the title last season, and now he has the opportunity to show his qualities in the Premier League.

"We are delighted to have agreed a new long-term contract with him, and I am sure our supporters will be looking forward to watching him play for the club."

Timo Werner made a dream start to his Chelsea career by scoring inside four minutes in a friendly against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Bought from RB Leipzig in a deal worth a reported £47.5million, Werner combined with fellow new recruit Hakim Ziyech at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Former Ajax man Ziyech swung across a left-footed delivery from the right, and although Callum Hudson-Odoi could not convert, Werner seized his opportunity.

The ball fell kindly to the player who scored 28 times in 34 Bundesliga games last season, finishing second to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski in the goal stakes.

Werner buried the chance, showing the clinical talent he looks set to bring to Frank Lampard's team in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Aaron Mooy has agreed to join Chinese Super League Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.

The Australia international only signed a permanent deal with Brighton in January after making an initial loan move from Championship side Huddersfield Town.

Brighton on Friday announced that the 29-year-old is on the move again, ending a short spell with the Premier League club.

Seagulls head coach Graham Potter said: "Aaron has been an excellent professional during his time with us. From day one with us he fitted in really well.

"It's a good move for all parties. We have a number of really good players in that position and therefore Aaron goes with our blessing.

"I have really enjoyed working with him, and on behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future."

Mooy made 32 appearances for Brighton last season, scoring twice and providing two assists.

Lewis Dunk has signed a new five-year contract with Brighton and Hove Albion following speculation linking him with Chelsea.

The defender was reportedly a target for Frank Lampard, who is eager to strengthen his defence ahead of the 2020-21 season.

There were rumours Chelsea were prepared to offer £40million for the 28-year-old, who has been with Brighton for his whole career aside from a short loan spell with Bristol City.

Captain Dunk has apparently ended talk over his future by agreeing to a deal that will keep him at the club until 2025.

Head coach Graham Potter told the club's website: "We're absolutely delighted that Lewis has made this long-term commitment to the club. It's fantastic news for everyone: the club, the supporters, the team and myself.

"Since I came to the club he's been a joy to work with and he's a top player. We are very lucky to have him.

"I think his role as captain is one he’s grown into and one he will do better and better for the next few years."

Dunk said: "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract. The aim now is to build on a record Premier League season and help the club continue its recent progress over the next five years."

Lionel Messi reportedly has no plans to hang around at Barcelona, while Neymar could be targeted for a return.

Amid the chaos at the LaLiga giants, there is fresh speculation over Messi's future.

The superstar is contracted at Barca until 2021 – but perhaps he could make a move sooner.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS IMMEDIATE BARCELONA EXIT

Messi wants to leave Barcelona immediately, according to Esporte Interativo.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked to Premier League giants Manchester City and Serie A side Inter recently.

Contracted until next year, Messi was expected to re-sign at Barcelona, but their capitulation in the Champions League has led to chaos at the club.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Barcelona moving on from Quique Setien, where to next for the LaLiga giants? Sport reports Ronald Koeman and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino are the main candidates, while AS says the Netherlands head coach is the frontrunner.

- Moves are also expected at Camp Nou. According to Sport, Barcelona are preparing a deal for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, ready to offer Antoine Griezmann and €60million to bring the Brazil international back to the club. AS says Barca are also prepared to sell Arthur, who is joining Juventus, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele.

- Pochettino is reportedly an option for Barcelona, but the Argentinian may have options. The Sun reports City are eyeing Pochettino amid doubts over Pep Guardiola's future as manager.

- It looks like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is staying at Arsenal. The Telegraph reports Arsenal have agreed terms with the forward over a new deal.

- Chelsea are expected to sign at least one defender this close season. According to the Mirror, they are preparing a move for City defender John Stones – even if they land Brighton and Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk.

- Another Brighton and Hove Albion defender is apparently attracting interest. The Sun says Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester City are interested in Ben White, who spent 2019-20 on loan at Leeds United.

With all eyes on Barcelona, Lionel Messi's future is again a talking point.

The Catalans capitulated in the Champions League on Friday, thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals in an embarrassing defeat.

Quique Setien appears set to be sacked as coach, while Messi's future has become unclear.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY TARGET MESSI AMID BARCELONA CHAOS

Manchester City think they are in pole position to sign Messi if he leaves Barcelona, according to the Mirror.

Messi, 33, is contracted to Barca until next year and is reportedly prepared to walk away from the club amid the chaos.

City have been linked with the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner previously, while Inter are another reportedly interested.

ROUND-UP

- Changes are expected at Barcelona. AS reports Messi will be free to decide his future in January, while it says Setien and technical secretary Eric Abidal are on their way out.

- The focus otherwise in Spain is on Setien's replacement at Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is a candidate to take over at Camp Nou with Mauricio Pochettino and Al Sadd boss Xavi losing steam. Marca says Pochettino and Koeman are favourites, while Sport reports the former Tottenham manager is the frontrunner. It says Koeman, Massimiliano Allegri, Thierry Henry and Garcia Pimienta are also candidates.

- Elsewhere, Chelsea's apparent search for a defender continues. The Sun reports they are closing in on a £40million move for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Lewis Dunk, who is also reportedly a target for Tottenham.

- Staying at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are also linked with goalkeepers to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Sun says Chelsea and Everton are targeting Watford's 37-year-old shot-stopper Ben Foster.

- After an impressive loan spell at Roma, Chris Smalling is attracting plenty of interest. Sky Sports reports Newcastle United are keen on the Manchester United defender.

Brighton and Hove Albion have signed Netherlands international Joel Veltman from Ajax on a three-year contract.

The defender, who can play at right-back or centre-back, becomes Brighton's latest signing following the arrival of Adam Lallana from Liverpool.

Veltman came through the Ajax academy and played a part in three Eredivisie title triumphs.

The 28-year-old also featured in their run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, although he has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: "We're delighted to welcome Joel to the club.

"He has terrific experience from his time with Ajax - including the Champions League - and, of course, with the Dutch national team.

"He's an excellent defender who can play at right-back and at centre-half, but he's also comfortable in possession. 

"He is really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League. We're delighted he is now a Brighton player and we're looking forward to working with him."

Adam Lallana has joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a three-year contract after leaving Premier League champions Liverpool.

Former England international Lallana has been a fringe man in recent seasons at Anfield and his Reds deal expired as the season ended on Sunday.

The 32-year-old was widely reported to have agreed a switch to Brighton, and the Seagulls confirmed the signing on Monday.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: "There is no doubting Adam's quality, and if you look at his footballing CV, his ability is clear for everyone to see.

"He has played at the very highest level, for both club and country, and achieved great things. He has a wealth of experience alongside his technical quality.

"The honours he won during his time at Liverpool and the high regard in which he is held at Anfield only further underline his ability and character.

"Adam is a really exciting signing for us, someone I am sure the supporters will be really looking forward to seeing play as and when things are able to begin to return to normal."

Lallana, who has earned 34 England caps, joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2014 and was a key figure through the early stages of Jurgen Klopp's tenure.

However, the midfielder suffered a thigh injury ahead of the 2017-18 season and continued to be dogged by fitness issues throughout the remainder of his time on Merseyside.

Liverpool have won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League in the past 14 months, but Lallana has struggled to enjoy a run in the team.

He started just nine league matches across the past three seasons, although a crucial late goal at Old Trafford earned Klopp's side a point against rivals Manchester United last October.

Lallana now joins a Brighton side who finished the season - their third since promotion - in 15th, seven points clear of the bottom three.

The Premier League's longest season yet concluded on Sunday with Liverpool champions for the first time.

The Reds were comfortable in ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title, but there was drama until the closing minutes of the final day.

Manchester United and Chelsea can celebrate Champions League qualification as the division's strugglers reflect on their contrasting fortunes.

Meanwhile, with the help of Opta data, we look at some of the quirkiest numbers from the 2019-20 campaign.


5 - David Luiz conceded five penalties in the Premier League this season, the most a player has ever given away in a single season in the competition.

167 - Jack Grealish was fouled 167 times in the 2019-20 Premier League, the most fouls won by a player in a single campaign on record (since 1998-99).

24 - Scott McTominay now has the fastest Premier League yellow card on record. He was booked just 24 seconds into Manchester United's December home win against Newcastle United.

2000 - It was a season of milestones for McTominay, who scored Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal against Norwich City in October. They became the first club to the landmark.

27 - The Norwich class of 2019-20 became the only side not to record a single point from a losing position in Premier League history. They lost all 27 matches in which they fell behind.

4 - Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard's fourth-placed finish is the highest finish for an English manager in their debut Premier League season since Frank Clark's Nottingham Forest came third in 1994-95.

2 - Lampard's season ended well, but September's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool made him just the second Chelsea boss - after Bobby Campbell in 1988 - to lose his first four home matches in all competitions.

33 - At the age of 33, Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 23 goals in 2019-20.

5 - Virgil van Dijk became just the fifth outfield player to play every minute for a Premier League title-winning side, following Gary Pallister (1992-93), John Terry (2014-15), Wes Morgan (2015-16) and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17).

2013 - Anthony Martial's June hat-trick against Sheffield United was Manchester United's first in the Premier League since Robin van Persie scored three against Aston Villa in April 2013.

7 - Martial and Marcus Rashford assisted one another a combined seven times in this season's Premier League, the most of any pairing in a single edition of the competition for Manchester United.

49 - All 49 clubs to have played in the Premier League have conceded at least one hat-trick after Raheem Sterling's three-goal haul against Brighton and Hove Albion in July.

14 - Manchester United won 14 penalties in the 2019-20 season, the most a team has ever won in a single Premier League campaign.

29 - Harry Kane is the only player to face more than one club in the Premier League and score against them all, with Sheffield United the 29th he netted against.

15 - Kevin De Bruyne ended the season with a joint-record 20 assists - tied with Thierry Henry - but he became the first player to set up 15 goals in three separate Premier League campaigns.

93 - Tottenham went a record 93 games without a goalless draw before they were held 0-0 by Watford in January.

Manchester United and Chelsea claimed the final two Champions League qualification spots on the Premier League's final day, while Watford and Bournemouth were relegated to the Championship. 

Frank Lampard's side beat Wolves 2-0 while United grabbed the other Champions League berth thanks to a 2-0 victory over Leicester City, who missed out on a top-four finish despite spending most of the campaign in the table's upper reaches.

A 1-1 draw at West Ham saw Aston Villa retain their top-flight status, with Bournemouth's 3-1 victory over Everton not enough to prevent them and Watford - beaten 3-2 by Arsenal - joining Norwich City in being demoted.

 

FOXES MISS OUT ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RETURN

Brendan Rodgers' men were 14 points clear of United as recently as January but Bruno Fernandes' 71st-minute penalty and substitute Jesse Lingard's stoppage-time strike meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished above Leicester after 38 games.

A draw would have been enough for Leicester to finish fourth had Chelsea been beaten by Wolves, but first-half goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud ruled out that possibility early on.

Jamie Vardy, who won the golden boot with 23 goals, headed against the crossbar in the second period before Fernandes converted United's record 14th penalty of the campaign and Lingard added another to ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition, with Leicester's misery compounded by Jonny Evans' late dismissal.

 

VILLA SURVIVE DESPITE LATE DRAMA

Villa captain Jack Grealish's 84th-minute strike looked to have been enough to preserve their Premier League status - and, though Andriy Yarmolenko's deflected effort brought West Ham back level moments later - Dean Smith's team held on to avoid going straight back down at the first attempt.

Instead it was Bournemouth - a Premier League club since 2015 - who went down despite their win at Goodison Park.

Watford, who were promoted five years ago too, were also relegated having fallen 3-0 down to Arsenal inside 33 minutes, with goals from Troy Deeney and Danny Welbeck not enough to save them.

 

SPURS SEAL EUROPA LEAGUE SPOT

A 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace ensured Tottenham sealed a top-six finish and the final qualification place for next season's Europa League, as Wolves dropped down to seventh on goal difference.

As well as scoring twice, Kevin De Bruyne also equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record with his 20th of the season as Manchester City thrashed Norwich 5-0 to reach 102 goals for the season.

Champions Liverpool came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1, Brighton and Hove Albion won 2-1 at Burnley and Southampton defeated Sheffield United 3-1.

Brighton and Hove Albion are certain to be in the Premier League next season after a draw on Monday, while Everton put a serious dent in Sheffield United’s hopes of playing in Europe. 

A 0-0 stalemate with Newcastle United on the south coast means Graham Potter's Brighton are mathematically safe with a game to spare. 

The teams combined to produce just four shots on target in a tepid clash that certainly had an end-of-season feel about it, meaning the six Premier League meetings between them have now produced just four goals. 

"We are there now, the target is done," Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports. 

"It's disappointing we didn't create much, but they didn't create much either. It was not the best game - I think both sides cancelled each other out."

At Bramall Lane, Richarlison scored the only goal less than a minute after the break as Everton recorded their first victory in five outings. 

The Brazilian headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson's inviting free-kick and United were unable to respond, the narrow loss meaning they remain eighth in the table ahead of Sunday's final round of fixtures. 

Chris Wilder's Blades could have risen above Wolves into seventh with a home win, but now are relying on other results to help them out in their quest to qualify for the Europa League. 

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