Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side got off to a winning start in the Premier League after defeating Huddersfield 3-0 at the John Smith Stadium.
Sarri-ball definitely got into full swing today as Chelsea began to stamp their authority on the game as it went on.
The Blues went into the lead after N’Golo Kante met Willian’s cross at the back post with a volley in the 34th minute. Whilst the goal didn’t seem to reflect the usual kind of finish we’d expect, it was enough to put the Blues ahead.
In an almost immediate reply to Kante’s opener, Steve Mounie hit the woodwork with a header, a chance was ultimately the Terrier’s best this afternoon.
The away side took a 2-0 lead just before the break, as a penalty from Jorginho was cooly tucked away to give Sarri’s side a commanding lead going into the break.
Alonso nearly sent fans into override when his acrobatic volley thundered back off the woodwork, a goal that would’ve been one of the best the player’s ever scored.
To round off Chelsea’s scoring, substitute Eden Hazard drove forward from midfield, skipping past defenders to then lay the ball off to Pedro, who deftly chipped the ball over the on-rushing Ben Hamer to seal a 3-0 victory for the Blues.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 11, 2018
Check out Blues fans’ reaction to the opening day victory:
Sarri has got Willian assisting, Kante scoring and Luiz defending like a madman
Sarri ball is going to be fun..
— . (@OfficialCheIs) August 11, 2018
First Premier League game of the season
– Sarri's debut win
– Kepa's debut cleansheet
– Jorginho's debut goal
– Sheikh N'golo Kanté picking up from where he left
– David Luiz the great wall of China
– 3 goals, 3 points
— edanto arèvalo (@_edanto) August 11, 2018
FT: Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea. Kante, Jorginho pen, Pedro. Great early signs for Sarri's Blues. Held & passed the ball well, and the late addition of Hazard lifted them to another level. Plenty of space for improvement, but: three points, clean sheet. Couldn't have asked for more.
— Dan Levene (@danlevene) August 11, 2018
Off to a flyer ?
Jorginho debut goal ?
Kante goal ?
Kepa clean-sheet ?
3 points ?
Sarriball under way ? pic.twitter.com/DfLWTCox5A
— Uber Chelsea FC ? (@UberCheIseaFC) August 11, 2018
While the club seems to be facing woes with their strikers, Chelsea fans were happy that Sarri-ball could lead to goals coming from all areas of the pitch. Today’s performance highlighted that the Chelsea midfield now play in more advanced roles than they ever did under Antonio Conte.
I was worried about goals and who’s gonna score them. But in Sarri Ball, everyone can score. Won’t surprise me if Kepa’s on 5 goals at the end of the season, minimum.
— CarefreeDaily. ? (@CarefreeDailyFC) August 11, 2018
The thing worth pointing out in the first goal isn't Kante scoring but rather his positioning prior to the cross, don't think we've ever seen Kante occupy these spaces. Sarri ball has officially arrived.
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) August 11, 2018
3 good reasons:
1) #Chelsea 63% ball possession
2) #Jorginho perfect playmaker
3) #Kante the man on fire
— Angelo Mangiante (@angelomangiante) August 11, 2018
After a somewhat unconvincing start to the game, Chelsea grew in confidence as it went on and their summer signings looked very comfortable.
The second half addition of Eden Hazard elevated the Blues to another level, as far as first games in charge go Chelsea fans can be very happy with what they saw from their team this afternoon.