HUDDERSFIELD TOWN’S Premier League season got off to a losing start against Chelsea.
A strike from World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, Jorginho’s penalty on debut and a late goal for Pedro were enough to hand Maurizio Sarri a first win in the Premier League.
Huddersfield, employing a three-man backline, had impressed in the first half and could have cancelled out Kante’s opener but Steve Mounie headed against the inside of the post.
However, once Jorginho had doubled Chelsea’s advantage from the spot shortly before the interval, Town lost their way and could have few complaints at the score come the final whistle.
Kante volleyed the Blues ahead on 34 minutes after neat approach play from Pedro and Willian.
Chelsea’s second came after Schindler had tripped Marcos Alonso, referee Chris Kavanagh being berated for the decision but he got the ball right. Jorginho coolly converted the penalty.
Town were flat on the restart and Pedro added a third ten minutes from time with a dinked finish over Ben Hamer.
Laurent Depoitre had Town’s best chance in the second half but he shot wildly over after being teed up by Florent Hadergjonaj.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner felt bad luck cost his side in the season-opener.
“A disappointing result, not a disappointing performance, especially the first half,” the Terriers boss said.
“I think the players have done everything, left everything on the grass.
“I have seen passion, desire, the spirit, which we usually have in our game. I felt the energy in the stadium and we were unlucky in the first half.
“We conceded the first goal out of nothing, a deflection goal and then we were unlucky when Steve Mounie only hit the inside of the post.
“The second goal we conceded shortly before half-time is a goal which we should never concede. In the first line, we defended not like we wanted to defend.
“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. You can’t switch on against a top-quality team like Chelsea.
“Then we were 2-0 down after I think a good half and I think second half we started very slow, we were shocked.
“This is understandable after this good first half and you sit at half-time and you are 2-0 down.
“Then in the best period which we had in the second half after 20-25 minutes where we hit the bar again, where we were unlucky, we conceded the third one and then at the end it was a deserved win for Chelsea.”