Chelsea recovered from their midweek thrashing at Bournemouth in some style as they ran out 5-0 winners over Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge.
It was an even start to the game with both sides creating chances early on, but it was indeed the home side who took the lead after just 15 minutes. A lovely disguised pass by N’Golo Kante set Gonzalo Higuaín through on goal, who then lashed the ball first time into the roof of the net to open his account for Chelsea.
Despite going behind, Huddersfield remained stern in defence and were even able to get forward and attack Chelsea on a number of occasions, but they couldn’t hold on until half time without conceding again. Cesar Azpilicueta drove into the penalty area and was judged to have been brought down by Elias Kachunga by referee Paul Tierney, who pointed to the spot.
Eden Hazard stepped up and sent Jonas Lossl the wrong way to bag his 14th Premier League goal of the season and send Chelsea into half time with a two-goal lead. The home side then dominated throughout the second half, and took full command of the game just after the hour mark.
Ross Barkley fizzed a ball into the path of Hazard who controlled brilliantly, rounded the keeper and slotted home from a tight angle to make it 3-0. Just two minutes later Chelsea made it four thanks to a spectacular effort from Higuaín from 25 yards out which sailed into the to corner.
The scoring was wrapped up with five minutes remaining as David Luiz got on the end of a Willian corner, with the ball deflecting off a Huddersfield man and trickling into the back of the net to finish a very convincing 5-0 win for Chelsea.
Key Talking Point
The Chelsea players were under immense pressure prior to kick off to put in a good performance after their embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth in their previous Premier League game, and boy did they do exactly that.
They created a number of chances early on and had Huddersfield on the back foot for the majority of the first half, deserving of their two-goal lead at the half time break. Then in the second half, the floodgates opened with two more fantastic goals from Hazard and Higuaín in quick succession killing the game off.
It was a win that will go down a treat with the fans who have had a hard week to endure, but the win today will certainly get them feeling a lot better about the team going forward.
Starting XI: Kepa (7), Azpilicueta (7), David Luiz (7), Christensen (6), Alonso (7); Kante (8), Jorginho (7), Barkley (8); Willian (7), Hazard (10*), Higuaín (9).
Substitutes: Kovacic (6), Hudson-Odoi (6), Loftus-Cheek (6).
STAR MAN – He hadn’t scored in his previous five Premier League games heading into the encounter, but Hazard looked back to his best during the win. He controlled the play and was the most threatening player on the pitch throughout the game.
Hazard MOTM and its not even a little bit close
— GL 裸 (@GL__Ace) February 2, 2019
Forget the two goals,
Hazard completed 12 out of 12 dribbles today ffs tears in my eyes man, 100% success rate. Absolute demon on the pitch
— Mod (@CFCMod_) February 2, 2019
He got his well-deserved goal on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot, and if anything he’ll be disappointed not to have added to his goal tally further. Regardless, it was a great day at the office for the Belgian and it was much needed.
WORST PLAYER – He didn’t have a bad game at all, however on a day where Chelsea were relentless going forward, Andreas Christensen wasn’t that effective in the game.
He dealt with whatever was thrown at him, however saying that there wasn’t an awful lot for him to deal with. He’ll be happy with the clean sheet and the win, and he won’t mind having more days like he did today.
Key Talking Point
Jan Siewert may’ve been slightly optimistic heading into the encounter having put in an encouraging performance against Everton in their previous game as well as the fact Chelsea were embarrassed by Bournemouth in their last game with morale around the club low.
Unfortunately, he ran into a rampant Chelsea side who were relentless going forward. His player gave a great effort throughout the game, however they were just outclassed by a clinical attacking force.
Siewert will be looking to put this result in the back of his mind and move forward as quickly as possible.
Starting XI: Lossl (5); Smith (5), Schindler (6), Kongolo (5), Lowe (5); Mooy (6), Bacuna (6), Billing (6); Mbenza (6), Diakhaby (7*), Kachunga (5).
Substitutes: Mounie (5), Ahearne-Grant (6), Pritchard (N/A).
STAR MAN – In a game where nobody really expected Huddersfield to cause too much damage, Adama Diakhaby did in fact provide a threat down the right hand side.
Never thought I would say this but Diakhaby is our best threat today
— Alan Dandridge (@ADandridge) February 2, 2019
He was Huddersfield’s most threatening player and certainly gave the Chelsea defenders something to think about. Unfortunately for him he struggled to find the final product, however he’ll be able to hold his head up high after a solid performance.
WORST PLAYER – It was a day to forget for Terence Kongolo. Conceding five goals is never a good thing and the Dutchman struggled all afternoon to contain the likes of Hazard and Higuaín.
In fairness to him, he did come up against a clinical and determined Chelsea side and there were a number of poor performers wearing Huddersfield shirts, but he was the worst out of a bad bunch.
Sarri will be delighted with the win and will be hoping his men can make it two wins in two when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City on Sunday afternoon. As for Huddersfield, it was a day they’ll want to forget in a hurry and they’ll be looking for a much improved performance from the players when they host Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.