It was a splendid start to life under Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea thrashed Huddersfield 3-0 to hit the ground running at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
- Huddersfield Town 0 Chelsea 3
- Kante opens scoring on 34′
- Mounie hits post
- Jorginho doubles lead from the spot on 45′
- Pedro adds third on 80′
After a shaky start, World Cup winner N’Golo Kante opened the scoring for the Blues as his first-time effort from Willian’s cross bounced off the turf over Ben Hamer and into the net.
Jorginho then opened his account in the Premier League from the spot before Pedro’s well taken second-half strike guaranteed Chelsea the perfect start to the season.
It was end-to-end action in the opening minutes of Maurizio Sarri’s first Premier League campaign. Huddersfield had a good chance when Philip Billing delivered a long throw into the box which caused a few problems before Chelsea eventually cleared.
Both teams looked to catch each other on the counter attack as the two strikers Alvaro Morata and Steve Mounie tried to run down long balls with both goalkeepers having to be well positioned at all times.
The first save of the afternoon came from new record signing goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga when he denied Alex Pritchard who brought the ball down well before firing a shot from 20 yards out that Kepa managed to hold.
The opening goal came from the unlikely figure of Kante in the 34th minute. Willian made a good run down the left flank before delivering towards the far post where the French midfielder was waiting, and while Kante did not hit it cleanly, the ball bounced up and over Hamer as the Blues celebrated.
The Terriers almost hit back straight away as a corner was flicked onto Mounie who was lurking at the back post and should have scored when his header hit the post from close-range.
Huddersfield gifted Chelsea a second goal as mis-timed tackle from Christopher Schindler brought down Marcos Alonso and saw Chris Kavanagh point to the spot. New signing Jorginho stepped up and made no mistake as he calmly slotted the spot-kick to give Sarri’s men a two-goal advantage at the break.
After a quiet start to the second half, Antonio Rudiger brought the game alive as he had a powerful header saved by Hamer and the resultant corner then saw a great effort on the turn by Alonso ricochet off the post.
The left-back then had a go from distance as he whipped in a good free-kick that was just high of the crossbar, but Hamer looked to have had it covered anyway.
Eden Hazard then came off the bench and led a great counter attack before playing in Pedro who, with only Hamer to beat, calmly dinked his effort past the keeper for Chelsea’s third.