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  5. EPL: Chelsea thrash Huddersfield as Sarri opens campaign with win; Tottenham edge Newcastle

EPL: Chelsea thrash Huddersfield as Sarri opens campaign with win; Tottenham edge Newcastle

Jorgino, Kante and Pedro were on goal to help Chelsea open Sarri's campaign with win, defeating Huddersfield 3-0. 

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: August 11, 2018 23:50 IST ]
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Kante, Jorgino and Pedro were on goal for Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri enjoyed a winning start to life as a manager in the English Premier League as Chelsea outclassed Huddersfield 3-0 on Saturday. In an attacking performance on Saturday, in an away game, Chelsea had no difficulty walking away with three points. 

Former Napoli coach Sarri replaced Antonio Conte in a restless summer for the London club but any fears of an opening-day upset disappeared with goals from France international N'Golo Kante, summer signing Jorginho and Pedro.

World Cup winner Kante's untidy 34th-minute volley and Jorginho's audacious penalty on the stroke of halftime put Chelsea in control before Pedro wrapped up the points in the closing stages.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper, barely had a save to make on his Blues debut, while Jorginho slotted seamlessly into a well-balanced midfield, which refused to be out-hussled by David Wagner's Terriers.

Chelsea announced the signing on Wednesday after paying Kepa's 80-million-euro (around $93 million) buyout clause at Athletic Bilbao — the biggest fee ever for a goalkeeper.

Kepa had little to do for the opening 20 minutes as Chelsea hogged the ball, but made a hash of an early touch when he passed straight to Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Alex Pritchard fired Huddersfield's first effort straight at Kepa soon after, which the Spaniard comfortably dealt with.

At the other end, Huddersfield's debutant goalkeeper Ben Hamer, signed on a free transfer from Leicester, made a nervous start and twice put the home side under pressure with misplaced passes from his penalty area.

Huddersfield enjoyed more possession toward the half-hour mark as Steve Mounie's rising effort cleared the crossbar and a series of crosses from Huddersfield left-back Chris Lowe tested Chelsea's defense.

But Chelsea took the lead in the 34th. Willian's delivery from the left evaded Huddersfield's cover and Kante's mistimed volley span into the ground and inside the far post.

Huddersfield's response was swift, with Mounie heading Mooy's 36th-minute corner against the inside of the far post.

But the Terriers were dealt a hammer blow in the 44th when referee Chris Kavanagh awarded the visitors a penalty.

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.

For the third goal, Hazard sliced through Huddersfield's defense down the middle before setting up Pedro, who drove home a low angled shot into the bottom corner.

No signings, no problem for Tottenham Hotspurs

India Tv - Deli Alli and Vertonghen gave Spurs the win against Newcastle

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Deli Alli and Vertonghen gave Spurs the win against Newcastle

Dele Alli overcame any post-World Cup rustiness to head Tottenham to a 2-1 victory over Newcastle on the first Saturday of the Premier League season.

All the goals came inside the opening 18 minutes as Joselu cancelled out Jan Vertonghen's opener before Alli struck to start Tottenham's season with a win.

Spurs dominated the first half with Christian Eriksen prominent, but found themselves in a battle after the break during which Mohamed Diame and Salomon Rondon both hit the woodwork for Newcastle.

It proved another frustrating afternoon for Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who left Newcastle still waiting for a Premier League goal in August after 14 attempts without success.

Tottenham needed just eight minutes to go in front after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka turned away a shot from Eriksen.

The Denmark international delivered the resulting corner for defender Davinson Sanchez to attack. His header was met at the far post by Vertonghen and the ball bounced down from the crossbar, with referee Martin Atkinson awarding the goal after being alerted by goal-line technology that it had crossed the line.

The lead lasted just three minutes as Joselu rewarded manager Rafael Benitez for his faith in picking him ahead of summer signings Rondon and Yoshinori Muto.

Matt Ritchie cut back on to his left foot and curled in a cross which the striker met unopposed to glance a header past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs continued to dominate possession and regained the lead with just 18 minutes played when full-back Serge Aurier drove a cross to the far post for the unmarked Alli to head past Dubravka.

The home side gradually settled into the game after a whirlwind opening half-hour, but with Diame in particular guilty of repeatedly squandering the ball, they struggled to build momentum.

Sanchez might have deepened their problems with a glancing 38th-minute header which flew across the face of goal.

Ayoze Perez only just failed to reach Ciaran Clark's scuffed shot as it trickled past the far post seconds later, but the visitors went in at the break with their advantage intact.

Diame was unfortunate not to level within two minutes of the restart when his stinging left-foot shot came back off the post.

Alli passed up a chance to extend his side's lead when he bundled Kane's mishit shot straight to Dubravka.

The Magpies should have been level six minutes into the half when Joselu picked out Kenedy in acres of space, but the Brazilian's first touch let him down.

Only Dubravka's heroics prevented former Newcastle player Moussa Sissoko from adding to Tottenham's tally when he produced a fine save to keep out the Frenchman's close-range 56th-minute effort. Lloris had to match him to repel Perez's shot on the turn after an hour.

Substitute Rondon almost snatched a point five minutes from time when his shot hit Vertonghen and looped over Lloris, only for the ball to come back off the crossbar.

(With AP Inputs)

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