Three Biggest Takeaways From Chelsea’s Opener In Premier League 2018-19

Maurizio Sarri could not have asked for a better start. His Chelsea side eased past Huddersfield without ever reaching top gear. Although his Chelsea sides are a work in progress and tougher tests surely await, it was a sound way to kick things off for the new boss.

1. Jorginho is the real deal

The former Napoli made his league debut for Chelsea, and, if first indications are anything to go by, he is about to take the Premier League by storm.

Jorginho was smart, moved the ball well and rarely wasted a pass. His 92.5% pass completion was the highest on the team and his accuracy and vision were crucial for the first 2 goals.

His partnership with N’Golo Kante looks promising and his quick feet, which make him so hard to defend against, will be crucial to breaking down teams that like to defend by sitting deep.

Jorginho does not have the lungs of Kante, nor the physicality required for the Premier League, but, given some time, he will most certainly be the man that makes this Chelsea side tick.

2. Defensive concerns remain

Chelsea ran out comfortable 3-0 winners and will be happy with the clean sheet, but for most of the first half, they had their task cut out.

The high line employed by Sarri will take some getting used to by the players who have been playing a 3 man central defense for the better part of two seasons. The positioning of the back line and their link with the midfield left a lot to be desired.

Too often in the first half, the Chelsea defense was guilty of failing to make up ground while tracking the opposition. David Luiz, who was at the heart of some great last ditch tackles, only had to make them because of his poor positioning in the first place.

Sarri will be concerned about how easily Huddersfield was able to beat their initial press and use the full width of the pitch to great effect. His system will take some time to be fully implemented and he has another week before Arsenal come to visit to get his message across.

3. Hazard transforms Chelsea into a different squad

The loudest roar from the Chelsea fans came in the 74th minute when Real Madrid target Eden Hazard came on to the field to replace the impressive Willian.

The Belgian captain terrorized the defense and almost ran at will past 4 players before setting up Pedro for Chelsea’s third goal. While the game against Arsenal may be too soon for him to play the full 90 minutes, the Chelsea faithful will be excited to see Hazard play under this system.

Hazard, who completed six take-ons in just a 14-minute cameo, will be itching to play under Sarri. This quick passing and attacking approach should sit well with Hazard and can really help in reaching the elite level he is capable of.

Hazard’s introduction added more bite to the Chelsea front line, and, should he decide to snub Real Madrid, he will be central to everything that Chelsea has to offer while going forward.

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