Timo Werner wasted no time in getting off the mark for Chelsea as he found the net in the club’s friendly against Brighton – but Frank Lampard’s men were held to a 1-1 draw at the AMEX.
The German looks to have gelled in quickly to life at Stamford Bridge as he broke the deadlock just four minutes into his debut against the Seagulls.
The Blues looked to be heading home with a narrow win before Brighton hit back in the dying minutes through Pascal Gross, who hammered an effort home from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.
The game saw football fans enter a top flight stadium for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic brought the sport to a halt in March.
Around 2,500 spectators were in attendance as both clubs took part in the Government’s pilot test event.
Chelsea offered a sign of their intentions for the new season by taking control of the game in the opening minutes.
Werner, who made the £50m switch to Stamford Bridge side from RB Leipzig in June, got his name on the scoresheet after getting on the end of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s skewed header across goal.
Shortly after the start of the second half, another new signing in Hakim Ziyech mis-hit a free kick and injured himself in the process – leaving Lampard sweating ahead of the new season and he was forced out of the action early.
Having been replaced by Conor Gallagher, Lampard’s side cruised into the later stages of the game. But Brighton found time for a late equaliser to deny Chelsea a win at the Amex.
Willy Caballero saved a threatening shot from Neal Maupay just moments before but could not keep out Gross’ 90th minute strike from the penalty spot.
Thank you for joining Sportsmail for our coverage of the pre-season draw between Brighton and Chelsea; the first match viewed by fans since the sporting lockdown.
The pair will do battle once again in the first match of the Premier League season on September 14.
Chelsea finish the game with a very young XI on the field, with plenty of FA Youth Cup winners out there.
Brighton salvage a draw late on after Pascal Gross scores an equaliser from the spot, the second penalty awarded to Albion in the second half.
Pascal Gross hammers into the bottom left corner from the penalty spot. Caballero dives the right way but can’t get there this time.
The spot kick was awarded after Ethan Ampadu tripped Aaron Connolly.
This does not look good for Walton. His right leg is being placed in a brace and the Brighton keeper is about to be lifted onto a stretcher.
He dropped to the ground after catching a corner. Robert Sanchez comes on.
Brighton keeper Christian Walton takes too long to clear the ball and Conr Gallagher executes a fine sliding tackle. Shane Duffy eventually clears.
🤝 Plenty of changes for Albion on the hour mark.
🔛 Walton, Duffy, Burn, Bernardo, Stephens, Alireza, Gross and Connolly.
Ryan, Dunk, Webster, White, Bissouma, March, Trossard and Maupay make way.#BHAFC 🔵 | 0-1
Mac Allister curls an enticing free-kick into the box and Willy Caballero makes the decision to come and collect. Adam Webster gets there first but his header hits the top of the crossbar on its way over.
Ziyech slices a long range free kick well wide. The attacking midfielder drops to the turf and his now receiving treatment from the Chelsea medical team.
Ziyech goes off and Conor Gallagher comes on.
Willy Caballero dives low to his left to save Neal Maupay’s penalty.
The referee pointed to the spot after Antonio Rudiger pulled down Lewis Dunk.
Brighton get us back underway in the second half.
Lamptey, Molumby and Mac Allister have replaced Veltman, Alzate and Lallana for the hosts.
Ben White jockeys Werner as he dribbles down the left and pinches the ball away from the German. The defender plays the ball upfield but the whistle is blown before Albion can mount an attack.
Hudson-Odoi cuts in from the left and sends a rasping effort towards goal from the edge of the area. Ryan takes the safe option and tips over his crossbar for a corner.
Brighton have a penalty appeal tunred down after Trossard throws himself to the ground with Clarke-Salter shielding the ball out of play.
Their team may be one goal down but the novelty of being inside a stadium has not worn off for these Brighton fans. They haven’t stopped singing since the first minute.
Sarcastic chants of ‘Free Ben White’ can be heard in the stands.
Hakim Ziyech goes on a jinking run but his deflected shot from the edge of the area is held comfortably by Mat Ryan.
Timo Werner scores just four minutes into his first Chelsea appearance after Callum Hudson-Odoi skews his header across goal.
Hakim Ziyech’s cross was perfect fro the youngster but Werner swept the ball beyond Ryan from close range.
1-0 to Chelsea.
Chelsea get us underway at the Amex Stadium.
Reece James lashes a shot wide of the post inside the first 30 seconds.
Chelsea XI: Kepa, James, Clarke-Salter, Christensen, Alonso, Kante, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Werner, Hudson-Odoi
Starts for Werner and Ziyech! 👊 pic.twitter.com/qC56fyuwBD
Brighton XI: Ryan (GK), Veltman, White, Webster, Dunk (C), March, Bissouma, Alzate, Lallana, Maupay, Trossard.
Subs: Walton (GK), Sanchez (GK), Bernardo, Duffy, Burn, Stephens, Lamptey, Gross, Molumby, Connolly, Mac Allister, Jahanbakhsh, Gyokeres, Sanders.
🔢 Here’s the Albion side to face @ChelseaFC this afternoon!
📝 Ryan (GK), Veltman, White, Webster, Dunk (C), March, Bissouma, Alzate, Lallana, Maupay, Trossard.#BHAFC 🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/1MZbrYecvD
2,500 fans will be permitted to watch the action today in line with the government’s pilot sporting events this weekend.
Ticket holders must abide by track-and-trace and social distancing rules.
Welcome to Sportsmail’s coverage of Brighton’s pre-season friendly against Chelsea.
We’ll be providing you with live updates throughout the afternoon