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.
Mauricio Sarri said this week that his Chelsea team might not play entirely as he wants until the second half of the season and, against Huddersfield, they certainly were not the whirling, fast-paced team of the new manager's ideals.
The Italian's footballing philosophy was widely praised during his time in charge of Napoli, with the so-called "Sarri-ball" system helping the club to push Juventus all the way in the Serie A title race last season. "I hope in this month to improve the team".
STAR MAN - Mounie seemed the most likely to hurt the visiting Londoners and came quite close to equalising after Kante scored in the first half.More news: NASA's $2 billion flight to sun delayed by last-minute technical problem
9 - With the exception of handing Kepa Arrizabalaga a debut in goal, Sarri played it safe with his first league line-up by opting for experienced heads to do his high-press bidding.
Kepa Arrizabalaga debuted in goal, keeping a clean sheet, while Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Alvaro Morata and goalscorer Pedro also started in Sarri's first Premier League game on the sideline. "I thought yesterday the best thing for him was to play 15 or 20 minutes when the opposition were probably exhausted". If you look at the result you can think of an easy game.
"We are not a physical team so for 20 minutes we were in trouble but we did very well. Then in the second half the opponents were a bit exhausted and it was easier".
Huddersfield boss David Wagner accepted his side were roundly outplayed, highlighting defensive errors as contributing to a heavy home loss.More news: Tottenham stands pat during a busy Premier League transfer window
"Chelsea were very clinical".
"This was a goal that was easily avoidable because we have spoken about this situation the whole week, how we like to defend, and we have seen we have to be switched on". After a choppy opening half hour, N'Golo Kante made the breakthrough and, from that point on, there was only going to be one outcome.
There were howls of protest from the stands, but Huddersfield's players were broadly quiet, and rightly so. "I have seen passion, desire, the spirit we usually have in our game". "We kept them away from our goal and as I said they scored out of nothing".
"Hazard is with us", Sarri told reporters. The Spaniard delicately chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.More news: Man United wins opener against Leicester City
"I don't know, he has always kicked the penalty like this", Sarri shrugged.