Chelsea secured maximum points with a comfortable 3-0 win against Huddersfield Town in Sarri’s first EPL game in charge.
The Blues might not have been as convincing as the scoreline suggests but they will be glad to take a morale-boosting win to their next game against Arsenal in the London derby.
N’golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro were on target as Maurizio Sarri secured his first competitive win as Chelsea manager.
Two days on since becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in football history, Kepa Arrizabalaga stood in goal for the Blues and the former Athletic Bilbao will be overwhelmed having kept his first clean sheet on his debut.
Kepa enjoyed less action as the Terriers barely threatened going forward throughout the duration of 90 minutes. The Spaniard will however be grateful Steve Mounie’s header in the first-half found the upright rather than the back of the net.
Chelsea started the game with Eden Hazard on the bench for their second competitive game in a row and could have used the Belgian’s trickery in the first-half as they struggled to break down a resilient Huddersfield defence.
The Blues are visibly still adapting to ‘Sarriball’ and made poor of Jorginho’s beautiful orchestration from the heart of midfield for most of the first-half. The Italian will certainly be hoping the rest of his teammates get used to the fast-paced possession football in time.
The FA Cup holders unsurprisingly kept possession but rarely threatened the Terriers till the opening goal came from a very unlikely source – hint: A world cup winner.
N’golo Kante opened scoring in the 34th minute with a scuffled volley after Willian worked in a cross from the left flank.
Four minutes later, it was Huddersfield hoping for a bit more luck on Steve Mounie’s header. The Beninese striker himself would have hoped his header from Jorgensen’s flick-on hit the back of the net rather than the upright.
That was the closest David Wagner’s side could get throughout the entirety of the game and particularly before Jorginho added a second for Chelsea on the stroke of half-time.
Christopher Schindler was penalised for a late challenge on Marcos Alonso allowing the former Napoli midfielder slot a coolly-taken spot-kick into the back of Ben Hamer’s net.
Chelsea came back from the half-time break with more intent and went close twice in the space of two minutes. Ben Hamer made a pretty save to keep out an header from Antonio Rudiger but was clearly beaten by an overhead kick by Marcos Alonso that ricocheted off the crossbar.
Willian made way for Eden Hazard in the 76th minute and the Belgian immediately made an impact in the 80th minute playing Pedro one-on-one against Hamer after an amazing run through the middle of the pitch.
The Spaniard lobbed the onrushing Huddersfield goalkeeper to secure three points for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Despite the scoreline, the Italian manager will be hoping for an improvement in his side’s performance when they take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge next Saturday.
Huddersfield currently sit last on the log and David Wagner will be hoping his side can complete a miracle against Reigning Champions Manchester City next Sunday.