Chelsea defender Rudiger hails calm Kepa after opening win

Kristopher Nichols
August 12, 2018

On Monday four players from the World Cup arrived.

And while it nearly certainly wasn't Sarri's primary motivation for bringing in Jorginho, it is a shift that could be enormously positive.

Chelsea have named their starting line-up and substitutes to lock horns with Huddersfield Town in their opening Premier League fixture of the season. "We did it better in the second half, there was more space and time".

And this will be an added benefit for the 19.8% of fantasy football users who picked Kante for their 15-man squads, despite the Frenchman's previously low points return.

But the Spaniard just looked a yard off pace from the start with sloppy passing and some poor first touches.

Sarri opted for a 4-5-1 formation, abandoning Conte's well-established system with three central defenders, and Chelsea struggled initially to get a foothold in the game.

Huddersfield were a persistent threat from crosses into the box and they went close to an equaliser when Steve Mounie headed Mathias Jorgensen's flick-on against the inside of the upright. If we are able to play at another speed, maybe scoring will not be a problem for us.

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But it wasn't just his penalty - or his superb performance - that Chelsea fans loved about Jorginho.

Also, Jorginho only misplaced four of his 66 attempted passes, recording an accuracy of 93.9% - the best of any player to start the match.

Fans who have grown accustomed to seeing Kante sit in front of the defence and break up play with his matchless tackling ability and knack for interceptions were surprised to see the French midfielder occupy a more attacking position for large stages of the game.

Julen Lopetegui's got the flawless start with victory over Milan in the Trofeo Bernabeu and he has confirmed that the presence of Keylor Navas and Thibaut Courtois isn't a problem as both are fantastic solutions.

Three days after Chelsea paid the €80 million (£71.5m) buyout clause in his Athletic Bilbao contract to replace the Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois, Kepa enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon at the John Smith's Stadium.

Christopher Schindler's sliding challenge on Marcos Alonso was deemed illegal by Kavanagh and Jorginho craftily waited for Hamer to commit before clipping his spot kick into the opposite corner. Willian dashed down the left and stood up a cross that found its way to Kante at the back post.

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It is hard for me to understand we finish second. "Since nine years, every season - except the first when I arrived at Barcelona". Martial in the last 20 minutes could have given us the second goal but I couldn't make that change.

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