Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Sarri learns lessons from Chelsea's opening win at Huddersfield

Sarri learns lessons from Chelsea's opening win at Huddersfield

It was Maurizio Sarri who suggested there may be trouble ahead.

And while Sarri's daring move paid off in the return of a goal apiece, his side also dominated the midfield easily. In 23 of the last 25 Serie A [seasons], the 91 points we had previous year would have been enough to win it.

Roberto Pereyra bagged his first top-flight brace as Watford claimed three points in their opener with a 2-0 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Alex Pritchard was a unsafe creative force in the final third, Steve Mounié came close on three occasions and hit the post with a close-range header just minutes after Kanté opened the scoring.

Substitutes: Lossl, Smith, Diakhaby, Ramadan, Van la Parra, Depoitre (6), Stankovic.

Asked if he can replicate Napoli's style at Chelsea, Sarri, who appeared to gnaw on some kind of cigarette during the game, added: "No, I have to know the characteristics of the players because I think I don't want to do another Naples".

But Chelsea again punctuated a strong spell for the hosts with a goal, Jorginho sitting debutant Ben Hamer down with a skip in his run-up for an incredibly cool spot-kick after Christopher Schindler caught Marcos Alonso at the end of a neat move from the Blues. The infraction resulted in Jorginho scoring a penalty to give Chelsea a 2-0 lead.

Sarri has quite a task on his hands getting this Chelsea squad up to speed and there were concerns heading into the match.

France World Cup victor N'Golo Kante volleyed in the opener in the 34th minute, Jorginho netted a penalty on his Premier League debut before halftime and Pedro drove home the third with an angled drive after the break. Subs: Loftus-Cheek 6, Moses 5, Hazard 7.

STAR MAN - Kante was his usual pesky self in midfield but, playing in a new formation under the new boss, he was a real attacking threat.

Kongolo initially joined the Terriers on loan for the second half of last season and performed well enough at the back for Huddersfield to make him their record signing this summer. It is expected that his influence will only grow, given his new, advanced role.

For long spells in the first half, David Wagner's side seemed to have Chelsea more or less where they wanted them. Huddersfield launched a ball into the box seconds before half-time, putting the 23-year-old under pressure, and he travelled 10 yards from his line to comfortably collect between two home forwards with minimal fuss.

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