Chelsea got back on the winning trail as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over Premier League newcomers Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday.
Huddersfield 1 Chelsea 3
- Bakayoko gives Blues the lead
- Willian adds second before HT
- Pedro seals win early after restart
- Depoitre pulls one back at the death
Antonio Conte’s side bossed the game from start to finish, with first-half goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko and Willian putting them in command at the break, before Pedro sealed the win early in the second half.
Laurent Depoitre bagged a late consolation goal for the Terriers to deny Thibaut Courtois a clean sheet, but the third-placed Blues went level with Manchester United on 35 points.
The hosts sat deep from the first whistle as they looked to frustrate the English champions, who were almost in on four minutes when Eden Hazard beat the offside trap to latch onto Cesar Azpilicueta’s diagonal ball, only for the Belgian’s control to let him down for once as Jonas Lossl gratefully collected.
The west Londoners kept probing away and they finally made the breakthrough midway through the first half following a mistake from Lossl, whose poor clearance was headed forward by Victor Moses and a neat flick from Hazard released Willian, who played in Bakayoko on the left for the Frenchman to score from a tight angle.
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Conte urged his players on from the touchline as he looked to kill the contest off before half-time, with N’Golo Kante blazing over from 19 yards out after a free-kick was cleared into his path on 37 minutes, while Bakayoko glanced a header just wide of the left post from another set-piece four minutes later.
But they struck again soon afterwards as Willian got on the end of Marcos Alonso’s weighted cross to steer his header past Lossl on 43 minutes. The Danish keeper then had to react quickly to prevent Pedro from extending the visitors’ lead in stoppage time after a poor backpass from Chris Lowe put his team under pressure.
Pedro had the beating of Lossl just five minutes after the restart, however, when he picked out the top-right corner of the net with a composed finish from Willian’s lay-off inside the box.
Lossl had to be alert to deny Hazard at his near post after the Belgium international broke into the box on the right from a short corner on the hour mark, while Courtois had his first save to make two minutes later as he raced out to stop Tom Ince from scoring.
Mathias Jorgensen threatened moments later with a driven effort from 25 yards out that flew over the crossbar, while at the other end Pedro missed the target twice in the space of a minute with shots from inside the box.
The West Yorkshire outfit enjoyed their best spell in the closing stages as Daniel Williams saw his shot from 20 yards out deflected just wide of the left post by Depoitre, who scored in stoppage time with a fine header from Florent Hadergjonaj’s cross from the left.