EPL: N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Pedro Rodriguez give Maurizio Sarri perfect start

Aug 12, 2018, 07:34 IST | Agencies

N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro give new Blues manager Maurizio Sarri perfect English Premier League start with 3-0 victory over Huddersfield

EPL: N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Pedro Rodriguez give Maurizio Sarri perfect start
Chelsea forward Pedro (left) celebrates his goal with teammate Eden Hazard during an English Premier League match against Huddersfield Town at John Smith's Stadium on Saturday. Pics/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri feared it will take some time for his side to get up to speed, but they proved too good for Huddersfield to start their Premier League campaign with a 3-0 win on Saturday.

Italian manager Sarri has faced a testing first four weeks since taking charge at Stamford Bridge. 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.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri applauds fans after the match
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri applauds fans after the match

Uneasy start
Despite dominating possession, Sarri’s side looked uneasy early on and managed only two shots in the whole of the first half. However, they scored from both, and never looked like letting their advantage slip.

The new head coach was helped by a returning World Cup winner and a new signing. Kante scored the opener, thumping a volley into the ground and past goalkeeper Ben Hamer from a Willian cross. Then Jorginho, who made the move from Napoli with Sarri, converted a disputed penalty. Huddersfield felt hard done by because they believed that Christopher Schindler’s boot-to-boot contact with Marcos Alonso was accidental.

Jorginho, whose passing was near-faultless throughout, feinted during his run-up before rolling the ball in, leaving the goalkeeper flatfooted. Hazard appeared for the final 15 minutes, as Real Madrid continue to circle, and gave a reminder as to just why he is so coveted. The Belgian made a burst from his own half that drew Huddersfield defenders towards him before rolling a diagonal pass for Pedro to slot in the third.

Tottenham bt Newcastle 2-1
In Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, Tottenham won 2-1 at Newcastle, where all the goals came inside the opening 18 minutes. Spurs went in front after just eight minutes when Jan Vertonghen’s close-range header struck the underside of the crossbar before being clawed away by Martin Dubravka. The goal, though, was given by goalline technology, having crossed the line by a matter of millimetres.

Newcastle were soon level when Joselu headed in from Matt Ritchie’s fine delivery. The visitors regained the lead as Dele Alli nodded in Serge Aurier’s cross at the back post. Newcastle twice hit the woodwork, first though Mohamed Diame before a deflected effort by new signing Salomon Rondon, on as a substitute, looped up onto the crossbar, but Spurs held out.

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