Chelsea opened their point account with style as goals from N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro helped the Blues triumph Huddersfield 3-0 in our Premier League opener!
Maurizio Sarri surely enjoyed his team’s performance, but who did better than the rest? Who was our Man of the Match? Here are our ratings from today’s featured Chelsea players…
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 7 – The world’s most expensive goalkeeper had everyone’s sights on him, but the Spaniard handled the pressure brilliantly. Kepa is known for his great feet, but did fail to play the ball long a few times in the first half. The needed saves were very routine-like for him, as the hosts weren’t really able to threaten from the shots they took towards the 23-year-old’s net. Nevertheless – a clean-sheet on a debut is always a fantastic achievement!
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Pretty good display from today’s skipper. Allowed one too many crosses in from his side, but it’s only fair to say he’s still adapting to the right full-back’s position after playing the last two seasons as a centre-back. Solid seven.
David Luiz – 6 – Many fans might embrace the fact that Sarri has given David Luiz another chance at Chelsea after a very difficult last season, but the Brazilian has some work to do if he wishes to cement his place in the Chelsea back-four. He was pretty shaky in the defence today, and was lucky not to give away a penalty in the first half. His long balls did find their targets though. Booked after 68 minutes.
Antonio Rudiger – 8 – Superb interceptions, but he could have done a better job clearing the ball from the danger zones in the first half. Rudiger was also a big threat from a few Chelsea corners. Overall, the German international played a very good game.
Marcos Alonso – 7 – Just like Azpilicueta, Alonso as well seems a bit lost in his new position at times. He only improved as the game went on, though, and following a strong run to the Huddersfield box, he earned Chelsea a penalty kick – scored by Jorginho. He also went close to a bicycle-kick goal on the hour-mark, but hit the bar with his cheeky effort!
Jorginho – 9 (MOTM) – What a debut for the Italian! Despite a concerning display against Manchester City in the Community Shield final, the former Napoli midfielder really stepped up his performance today. A cool finish from the penalty spot was an icing on the cake as his accurate passing and vital tackles dominated the middle of the park.
N’Golo Kante – 9 – The World Cup winner returned to club football with a brilliant display! He matched his last season’s goal-tally already, as he volleyed Willian’s cross into the back of the net for Chelsea’s opening goal of the season! He certainly has had no worries adapting to manager Maurizio Sarri’s new system, and it will be brilliant to see if he’s really able to add goals and assists to his already-world-class performances!
Ross Barkley – 7 – Grew into the game very well. The Englishman was a huge help to Chelsea’s defence today, but seems to lack the ‘finishing touch’ in the attacking end. He’ll be facing a big fight for his starting spot in the three-man midfield, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic both great fits for the role. Subbed off after 67 minutes.
Pedro – 8 – A fantastic performance from the Spaniard! He really seems to be fitting in well to Sarri’s game plan, and was able to add another goal to his name today after signing a one-year contract extension before the beginning of the season. It will be exciting to see whether it’s Pedro or Willian starting on the right in the future…
Alvaro Morata – 6 – Despite having the whole summer to work on his game, Morata just looks lost of confidence. He had a few chances for goals, but was very invincible today. The striker did play himself in for a great chance, 1-on-1 with the keeper, but took his effort well wide. The chance was blown for offside after, but shooting wide from another breakaway like that only shows how he’s still failing to score with his feet. His display overall was still positive, as his passing and dribbling was very much on point.
Willian – 8 – A very good display from Willian! The Brazilian seems a lot more effective on the left hand-side than on the right, but it’s too soon to jump into such conclusions after one game. Willian recorded himself an assist from Chelsea’s opener, as his lovely cross was neatly finished by Kante. More to come!
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6 – Replaced Ross Barkley as the third midfielder, and showed good composure on the ball. Didn’t have time for much, but it was a very positive outing overall.
Eden Hazard – 9 – Well, what can you say? Six successful dribbles and an assist in a 20 minute cameo. World-class! The Belgian seems fit and well, and should be starting against Arsenal next week.
Victor Moses – 6 – Didn’t have time for much on his late appearance in the game. Played Morata in for a chance, which the Spaniard failed to hit on target.
More on the game in our Match Report…