Premier League 2018-19: Why Chelsea are still far from the finished article
After suffering heavy defeats in two successive Premier League matches, Chelsea finally got back to winning ways on Saturday.
Eden Hazard and his fellow teammates were hosting stragglers Huddersfield at the Bridge. It was a clash that any Chelsea fan would have expected their club to win given that the opponents averaged half a goal per game and had barely looked threatening while on the attack.
Nevertheless, Maurizio Sarri couldn't afford to be lax after the outright thrashing dished out to his team by Bournemouth.
Winning by a five-goal margin was a significant result with respect to the goal difference, given that the pressure on the number four spot is increasing. Manchester United are two points behind Chelsea with Arsenal just behind them; the competition for the fourth Champions League qualification spot is intense.
How it happened
Gonzalo Higuaín opened the scoring with a beautiful goal in the box after N'Golo Kante gave a masterclass pass in the first half. The hosts made it two within the first 45 minutes through Hazard’s penalty before the break.
Huddersfield's misery continued in the second half with goals from Hazard, Higuaín and David Luiz that sealed a good match day for the hosts. Sarri's men had bounced back well from a horrible spell.
The Blues might have won but the team is far from solid. There were periods, especially in the first half, when the visitors threatened - especially through Marco Alonso’s side. Given the quality of the away team, the home side should have shown more dominance.
Yes, it was a win, but not a convincing one by Chelsea's standards. Given the nature of the upcoming fixtures, Sarri will have to do more than just improve the team’s mentality.
Full marks to Higuaín for scoring a brace; his link-up with Hazard looks very promising. But the team's real tests lie ahead, when they are pitted against top opponents like Manchester City.