Chelsea, Tottenham dispel doubts with winning starts in English Premier League

Silvia Morton
August 12, 2018

Maurizio Sarri made a winning start as Chelsea boss as his side cruised to a comfortable victory.

Chelsea were lacking dynamism and conviction as Huddersfield sat deep and proved hard to break down, but Pedro's driving run and pass out to Willian enabled the Brazilian to pick out Kante, who scuffed a left-footed volley into the ground and inside the far post in the 34th minute.

Here are the winners and losers from the match.

Yet, goals from N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro Rodriguez at the John Smith's Stadium papered over the cracks for now and raised expectations of what Chelsea could be capable of once Sarri imposes the attacking style he became known for in three years at Napoli.

Three thoughts on Chelsea's 2-0 win vs. Huddersfield in the Premier League.

Kante is already recognised as one of the better midfielders in Europe for his ability to appear in many places at one time defensively.

FW Alvaro Morata, 7 - Led the line enthusiastically, held up the ball well when in possession and looked confident enough to suggest the goals that have been missing from his game will come soon enough if Sarri persists with him.

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Mohamed Diame and Salomon Rondon were denied by post and crossbar during the second half as a flagging Tottenham hung on. Newcastle showed flashes of quality football , especially with Joselu's equalizing header in the 11th minute.

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Huddersfield have spent about £40m on players this summer - breaking their transfer record by paying £16m to make defender Terence Kongolo's loan move from Monaco permanent - and received another boost yesterday as centre-back Christopher Schindler signed a new contract through until 2021.

But the Spaniard just looked a yard off pace from the start with sloppy passing and some poor first touches.

Willian (Chelsea): Produced a driving performance, creating the first goal with his explosive pace and trickery. Debutant Jorginho stepped up and coolly dispatched after a slow approach.

And that was when Chelsea grew into the game, with the Italian getting a feel of the opposition and exposing their weaknesses with the same quick short passes which he did so well at Napoli. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Marcos Alonso was hauled down inside the box and Jorginho made no mistake from twelve yards out. The infraction resulted in Jorginho scoring a penalty to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead.

There were occasional signs of hesitancy in defence early on that a stronger team than Huddersfield might have exploited, but to criticise Chelsea beyond that would be harsh.

But Sarri pointed to his late appointment and a chaotic pre-season as legitimate reasons why he should be given time to get things right at Stamford Bridge.

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