Huddersfield Town – Chelsea
11 August 2018, 15:00
England. Premier League. Matchday 1
Stadium The John Smiths Stadium
Referee Chris Kavanagh
Linesmen Marc PerryPeter James Kirkup
Reserve referee Michael Oliver
Who will win?
Brighton & Hove Albion
West Ham United
Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Azpilicueta, Morata, Luiz
Huddersfield XI: Hamer, Kongolo, Hogg, Biling, Mooy, Lowe, Pritchard, Mounie, Zanka, Schindler, Hadergjonaj
Last season, the Blues won this fixture but drew at Stamford Bridge. For Huddersfield, Laurent Depoitre, who is on the bench to start this one, scored in both matches. Chelsea have not lost a league match to Huddersfield since 1963.
Most pundits believe that the Terriers will be fighting for survival this year after a successful campaign last season. However, they managed to improve their squad over the summer signing, among others, Ramadan Sobhi from Stoke and Erik Durm from Borussia Dortmund.
Huddersfield try to make it a cagey start. Just like last season, they don't want to take any chances.
Morata gets the ball in a promising position after a Ben Hamer turnover but the Spaniard was offside.
Huddersfield are on a rare offnsive now, much to the delight of the crowd. Still, when the ball is out of play, they make sure they take their time.
Azpilicueta and/or Alonso step up on a regular basis, adding more man-power to the midfield.
Alonso's cross claimed by Hamer who, after signing from Leicester this summer, has already managed to overtake last season's starter Jonas Lossl.
Kepa comes way out to clear. The new goalkeeper looks confident.
The Terriers do an excellent job not giving many chances so far. Sarri will probably want better movement to find a way past the defence.
Chris Kavanagh, today's referee, is letting the teams play so far. That seems to benefit the hosts as they have gotten away with several questionable tackles.
Pritchard's effort from 25 yards away is straight at Kepa. Still, the goalkeeper probably won't like how much room the midfielder was given there.
Chelsea's centre-back duo have completed more passes (55) than all Huddersfield players combined (47).
Huddersfield wanted a penalty after an aerial collision between Pritchard and Luiz but the ref says play on.
The Terriers have been much better in the last several minutes as their defence gets a bit of a breather.
Mounie's try goes high.
Willian almost gets through the defence but Kongolo's desperate sliding tackle denies him a great opportunity.
Luiz has been fantastic dealing with crosses.
Biling's throw-ins a threat for the Blues' defence.
GOOOAAAL!!! KANTE SCORES CHELSEA'S FIRST GOAL OF tHE SEASON!
Willian's cross from the left flank finds Kante at the far side of the box. The Frenchman's shot looked like it was mishit but bounced off the ground and behind Hamer.
Huddersfield's corner bounces to Mounie at the far post but his header goes off the post and out! Kepa would've had no chance!
Huddersfield look a lot more adventurous after the goal. Entertaining football.
Penalty given!!! A beautiful passing play by Pedro, Jorginho and Barkley creates room for Alonso in the box and he's taken down.
One minute added on!
GOOOAAAL!!! Jorginho rolls it past Hamer! Chelsea find some insurance.
Kepa comes out to claim a cross under pressure and the first half is over! Good football from Chelsea, even though there were chances at both ends.
We're off again! Huddersfield have brought on another striker as Depoitre replaces Pritchard.
Chelsea pick up where they left off as they look for more to put the game well out of reach.
Chelsea's performance in the last ten minute of the first half and early on here is exactly what was needed to take the wind out of Huddersfield's sails. They found the extra gear just in time.
Pedro was looking for the arriving Morata in the middle but the ball goes past the striker.
Rudiger gets a free header after a corner kick but Hamer comes up with a big save.
Another corner kick and Alonso goes for an unbelivable overhead kick even though he had Kongolo draped all over him. It's off the bar!!!
Chelsea continuing to maintain possession, killing chances of a comeback.
Morata wins a free-kick in a promising position.
Alonso's shot goes over the bar.
Loftus-Cheek replaces Barkley as Sarri adds another physical midfielder.
Luiz booked for a tactical foul on Depoitre.
Lowe is replaced by Diakhaby.
Biling's header is tipped over the bar by Kepa!
Kongolo is down and bleeding after a collision near the halfway line but he gets back to his feet.
Huddersfield are trying to bombard Chelsea's box with crosses — the Blues are hanging on for now.
Eden Hazard replaces Willian.
Chelsea are in cruise control now. A defensive masterpiece since the interval.
Depoitre's header is easily saved by Kepa.
GOOOAAAL! Pedro scores the third goal! A quick break from the attacking trio and Hazard's pass sets up Pedro perfectly on the right side.
Pedro makes way for Moses immediately after his goal.
Kongolo is booked as the Terriers can't stop Hazard. Excellent free-kick for Chelsea.
The wall blocks the shot.
A free-kick at the other end as Biling is taken down. Mooy will take it.
Chelsea fans are celebrating in the stands: an excellent match from the team, a promising start to the Sarri era.
Morata is visibly frustrated after his attempt is blocked away for a corner. He needs a goal, desperately.
Three minutes added on.
That's it! Chelsea begin the season with an excellent 3–0 win, giving plenty of reasons for optimism.
N'Golo Kanté Ben Hamer
Jorginho Ben Hamer
Laurent Depoitre On Alex Pritchard Off
Ruben Loftus-Cheek On Ross Barkley Off
Adama Diakhaby On Chris Löwe Off
Eden Hazard On Willian Off
Pedro Ben Hamer
Victor Moses On Pedro Off