Friday 22 March 2019

Relief for Conte after Chelsea maul Terriers

Huddersfield 1 Chelsea 3

Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates. Photo: REUTERS
Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates. Photo: REUTERS

Willian scored one and made two others as Chelsea finally turned in a display worthy of Premier League champions to win 3-1 at Huddersfield.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte declared his side's title defence was over after Saturday's defeat at West Ham, but his players responded to a man as goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro secured them victory at a canter.

Town substitute Laurent Depoitre headed home a fine goal deep in stoppage time but it was a mere consolation for David Wagner's side. Not since the Blues won 4-0 at West Brom in November had they shown last season's title-winning pedigree, but, masterminded by Willian, they looked back to their slick, efficient best once they had taken the lead late in the first half.

Chelsea's first attempt on target resulted in the opening goal, with Eden Hazard sparking the move which broke the deadlock.

Hazard's flick set Willian free in a central position just outside the penalty area and the Brazilian's diagonal pass was clipped neatly home by Bakayoko from six yards, with defender Chris Lowe's desperate bid to block the ball on the goalline in vain.

Chelsea doubled their lead in the 43rd minute. Cesar Azpilicueta's cross-field pass picked out Marcos Alonso wide on the left and the Spaniard's superb cross evaded Chris Lowe at the far post and was headed home by Willian.

Town boss David Wagner sent on fresh legs for the second half as Dean Whitehead replaced Jonathan Hogg, but it made little difference.

Chelsea extended their lead in the 50th minute thanks to another assist from Willian and more good work from Marcos Alonso.

Willian touched Alonso's cross back into the path of Pedro on the edge of the area and the latter crashed a right-footed shot into the top corner.

Huddersfield did not concede again, despite Chelsea's best efforts, and substitute Depoitre, a late replacement for Steve Mounie, headed brilliantly home in time added on from fellow replacement Florent Hadergjonaj's excellent cross.

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