Chelsea player ratings vs Brighton: Kepa excellent, James solid, Jorginho quiet in 1-1 draw

Chelsea scored the very first goal of the new decade, but couldn’t pick up all three points at the start of 2020.

Three days after beating Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, the Blues faced Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium and were less than 10 minutes away from a win.

With that said, this is how we rated the players.

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Kepa The visitors’ star man thanks to three top-quality saves. Made a strong stop to deny Leandro Trossard late in the first half, an even better one to deny Aaron Connolly entering the final 10 minutes and although he was powerless to keeping out Brighton’s equaliser was also quick to react by getting a boot to Neal Maupay’s low, late attempt. 8

Reece James Excellent in his earlier than expected return from injury. Got forward quite often, making the most of Brighton using a narrow midfield and had a couple of sights at goal. His deliveries from wide areas were threatening too. Every touch booed after he accidentally injured Brighton’s Dan Burn midway through the second half in an aerial duel. Booked in added time. 7

Toni Rudiger Impressive block to deny Leandro Trossard late in an otherwise uneventful first half but had more to do once Brighton switched to two up front after the break. 6

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Kurt Zouma Strong throughout and did a good job on Maupay until the final stages. Booked in the 69th minute for a foul on Connolly. Also made a crucial headed clearance entering the final stages as Brighton built up a head of steam. 6

Cesar Azpilicueta Capitalised on Brighton’s narrow midfield in the opening period and, like James, was able to push forward regularly. Found himself in the right place at the right time to score the first goal of the decade but ultimately part of a defence that was again unable to keep a clean sheet. 7

N’Golo Kante Covered every blade of…