Crowd restrictions to be loosened today; Chelsea get underway with win at Brighton

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

 Kai Havertz and Timo Werner made their Chelsea debuts last night. Photograph: Getty Images

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner made their Chelsea debuts last night. Photograph: Getty Images

Restrictions on crowd numbers at sporting events are set to be loosened today when the government announces its medium-term plan Living With Covid-19. Malachy Clerkin reports that “for the first time since all sports went behind closed doors on August 18th, restrictions on crowd numbers will be loosened, with up to 500 people allowed into all venues and the possibility of 10 times that in major stadiums over the coming months.” If the measures come in for this weekend, county finals in Dublin, Tipperary and Monaghan will be the first to welcome spectators back since the opening rounds of their championships back in mid-summer.

Jorginho, Reece James and Kurt Zouma hit the net to hand Frank Lampard’s £200million Chelsea men victory at Brighton last night. New signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both started the match with the latter looking the liveliest part of an initially ponderous, increasingly fluent 3-1 win, while Brighton were both impressively slick and a little unlucky. Earlier Wolves sweep past Sheffield United thanks to a six minute blitz at Bramall Lane. In transfer news, Manchester United are preparing an opening offer for left back Sergio Reguilón but are unwilling to match Real Madrid’s €30m valuation.

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