Lampard ‘very happy’ with Kepa despite Brighton error

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.

Kepa Arrizabalaga and Frank Lampard

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.”

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