Football news - Gonzalo Higuain fires Chelsea to Huddersfield thrashing
Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 5 (Higuain 16, 69, Hazard, 45, 66, Luiz 86) Huddersfield Town 0
The Blues, who made four changes to the side that were humbled 4-0 by Bournemouth on Wednesday, dominated the first half with new boy Higuain getting more service than he did against the Cherries.
But it was another former charge of Maurizio Sarri, Higuain, who opened his Chelsea account when he fired home from a tight angle after a brilliantly disguised ball from N’Golo Kante.
Sarri’s side doubled their lead courtesy of a controversial penalty which Eden Hazard coolly converted, with the foul on Cesar Azpilcueta appearing to be outside the box, with the Belgian denied a more genuine spot-kick minutes later.
Jan Siewert’s men, who lost Isaac Mbenza to an injury early on, offered little as an attacking force and found themselves 3-0 down when Hazard rounded the keeper for his second of the game, but the pick of the goals was Higuain’s second with a sumptuous first-time strike from around 25 yards for the home side’s fourth.
And Sarri’s side sealed the rout through David Luiz’s header from a corner via a deflection to give them a confidence boost ahead of a big month with games against Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Malmo in the last 32 of the Europa League.
The win moves Chelsea up to fourth on 50 points, three points ahead of Arsenal who face Manchester City on Sunday.
Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (L) scores their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge in London on February 2, 2019.Getty Images
Is Higuain the man to keep Chelsea in the Champions League places and in the hunt for trophies?
The 31-year-old has a track record of scoring goals despite a difficult few months on loan at AC Milan. The way he combined with Hazard will be a mouth-watering prospect for Chelsea fans, who have bemoaned their team’s lack of goals in recent months. There will be much tougher tests to come though with the Terriers looking doomed for relegation.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gonzalo Higuain (Chelsea): He had just one touch in the box against Bournemouth but showed his class against the Terriers after getting more service. His clever movement and diagonal runs were too much to handle.
Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
7’ - CLOSE! Lowe whips in an inviting cross for Mooy who is in space between the centre-backs and heads over the bar from around 12 yards out. He should have done better from there!
16’ - GOAL FOR HIGUAIN! Kante's brilliant reverse ball comes in from the right and the striker smashes it into the net from around six yards out to open his account for Chelsea. Great movement from the Argentine.
45’ - GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Azpilcueta wins a penalty after going down easily under a challenge of Kachunga, that looked like a harsh decision. Hazard rifles the ball in from the spot-kick to make it 2-0 with Lossl diving the wrong way.
66’ - GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Barkley finds Hazard who does well to control the pace on the ball and rounds the keeper to slot it home, 3-0.
69’ - GOAL FOR HIGUAIN! The ball is fizzed into the box, Kante lays it off for the Argentine who bends it into the corner from around 25 yards to make it 4-0.
86’ - GOAL FOR CHELSEA! It is another short corner to the edge of the box, Luiz's header towards goal takes a deflection off Kachunga and goes into the net, 5-0.
Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (C) celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot with Chelsea's Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Huddersfield Town at StamfoGetty Images
CHELSEA: Kepa 5, Christensen 6, Alonso 6, Luiz 6, Azpilcueta 5, Kante 8, Barkley 6, Willian 5, Higuain 9, Hazard 9 Subs: Kovacic 5, Hudson Odoi n/a, Loftus-Cheek n/a/
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Lossl 5, Smith 5, Kongolo 4, Bancuna 4, Billing 5, Kachunga 5, Mooy 6, Diakhaby 7, Lowe 6, Mbenza 5, Schindler 4…Subs: Mounie 5, Pritchard n/a.
- Gonzalo Higuain has scored 37 goals in 37 league appearances under Maurizio Sarri.
- Huddersfield have lost 11 of their past 12 league matches, drawing the other.