Chelsea gave Maurizio Sarri a winning start to the Premier League as the Blues defeated David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town 3-0 in West Yorkshire.
Kante’s scuffed volley gave Chelsea the lead after 34 minutes, before new signing Jorginho made it 2-0 from the spot after Town defender Christopher Schindler fouled Marcos Alonso in the box.
Pedro made it three goals to nil in the 80th minute to ensure the three points were heading back down to London.
It was a game of two halves for Wagner’s men; after an impressive and competitive first half, the Terriers seemed to struggle in the second with Chelsea’s class shining through.
Disappointing debut from Hamer
Ben Hamer – 3/10: After an impressive preseason, Huddersfield’s new shot stopper was deservedly given his chance to try and cement his place as first choice keeper. Unfortunately for him, the 30-year-old didn’t take the opportunity. His poor distribution led to Huddersfield losing the ball too many times, which subsequently created chances for the visitors.
I highly expect No.1 Jonas Lössl to be back between the sticks against Manchester City next week.
Florent Hadergjonaj – 5/10: The Swiss didn’t look his usual attacking self down the right flank with his final ball often lacking penetration and he therefore struggled to create many chances. He had a tough game defensively trying to mark Willian.
Mathias Zanka – 5/10: The Danish World Cup scorer looked short of match fitness after his extended summer break – giving him only two pre-season games. He was often caught out of possession for the Blue’s set pieces.
Christopher Schindler – 6/10: This wasn’t one of ‘Schindy’s’ best performances in the blue and white stripes, after giving away the penalty just before half time. He did however manage to keep Morata almost entirely out of the game, limiting the Spaniard’s chances in front of goal.
Terence Kongolo – 6/10: Huddersfield’s record signing made arguably one of the tackles of the season on Willian to prevent Sarri’s men from going 2-0 up earlier than they did. It is clear to see already how important the Dutchman will be if Town are to avoid relegation this season.
Chris Löwe – 7/10: The left wing back had an influential first half for the Yorkshire side, with all Town’s positive play coming from his crosses, as he showed attacking prowess. He also managed to keep Pedro out of the game in the first half.
Man of the Match for Billing
Jonathan Hogg – 6/10: The diminutive midfielder played his usual defensive role, trying to break up Chelsea’s attacks – but because of their high possession stats he often struggled with this. He was still as committed and energetic as ever.
Aaron Mooy – 6/10: The Aussie made some good crucial tackles, but often lost the ball in possession. Despite usually helping make Town ‘tick’ in terms of getting the ball through midfield to the striker, he didn’t manage to influence the attacking as much on this occasion.
Philip Billing – 7/10: The young Dane was probably the Man of the Match for the Terriers. You can already see his improvement from last season as he tries to cement himself as a more regular starter under Wagner. He made some positive passes from long balls, as well as some strong tackles, despite fading slightly in the second half.
Ineffective forwards against dominant Blues
Alex Pritchard – 6/10: ‘Pritch’ was industrious in the No. 10 role, despite being well martialled by both David Luiz and Antonio Rüdiger throughout. He had Town’s only shot on target – which was a long-range strike – before being substituted at half time.
Steve Mounié – 5/10: The Benin international couldn’t replicate his goal scoring debut from the first game of last season, even though he had Huddersfield’s best chance of the game – his first half header hitting the post. He dropped too deep for the majority of the game – making it difficult for the hosts to create many goal scoring opportunities.
Substitutes had little impact
Laurent Depoitre (Pritchard, min 46) – 5/10: Despite scoring against Chelsea both home and away last season, Depoitre was left on the bench for this game. He came on at half time, but didn’t really receive any service, and so wasn’t able to make it three goals from three games against the Blues.
Adama Diakhaby (Löwe, min 71)– 5/10: Diakhaby was Town’s second player to make his debut on the day, but he didn’t manage to make an impact with his 20 minutes on the pitch.