Chelsea handed Huddersfield a comprehensive three-zero defeat in their opening match of the current Barclay Premier league season in a keenly contested match played inside the John Smith Stadium.
This was the Blues first league game under their new manager , Maurizio Sarri. The Italian tactician abandoned the use of wing-backs which the club had employed , with great success , throughout the two-year period of their immediate past coach Antonio Conte.
Huddersfield started the game with great determination , playing a high press that prevented their opponent from building their play from behind. The Terriers showed great defensive organization , and were able to string tidy passes together all over the pitch in the early exchanges.
Alex Pritchard was a source of constant worry to Chelsea’s defenders as he harried their goal-mouth from tight channels in their eighteen yard box.
Until the Blues scored their first goal , the game was a balanced one with neither side able to breach the other’s defense line.
N’golo Kante broke the deadlock in the thirty third minute of the game when he volleyed Pedro Rodriguez’s cross into the net with his left foot.
Huddersfield came close to scoring when Steve Mounie’s header richocheted off the crossbar four minutes after his side conceded the first goal.
Christopher Schindler’s hacked Marco Alonzo down in his eighteen yard box , as the Spainaird latched on the ball that was fed to him by Ross Barkley’s back-heel pass.
Chelsea’s new signing , Jorginho, scored the resulting penalty kick with a delightful technique that wowed all onlookers.
Chelsea got their acts right in the second half of the match , and they started attacking their opponent with increasing regularity.
Marcos Alonso rattled Huddersfield’s crossbar with his acrobatic kick in the fifty seventh minute of the game.
Philip Billing had a chance to score for the home team in the seventy third minute of the game but he headed the ball that located him in Chelsea’s eighteen yard box far from the goal post.
Second half substitute Eden Hazard was the instrumental to Chelsea’s third and final goal of the match. Lauching a counter-attacking move deep inside the opponent’s half , he drew three defenders to himself as he raced with the ball towards Huddersfield’s eighteen yard box , Pedro who was racing into the opponent’s eighteen yard box was then free to received Hazard’s pass in the unmarked position the defenders had vacated , the dashing winger then beat an onrushing Ben Hamer by lofting the ball over his head into the empty net.
Today’s victory will undoubtedly gladden Sarri very much , especially as this game was his first league match since he took over the managerial reins at Stamford Bridge , it is however left to be seen whether he will sustain a winning run as the season progresses.
Huddersfield’s players have nothing to be ashamed of by today’s loss ; they gave a good account of themselves and showed great tactical discipline and pluck while the game lasted. And considering the stars in the opponent’s starting eleven and those on their bench, the three-goal loss is in no way a reflection on the David Wagner’s tactical nous.