Higuain and Hazard shine as Chelsea thrash Huddersfield to ease Sarri pressure


Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea secured a 5-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge.

Pressure on coach Maurizio Sarri had increased following the 4-0 midweek thrashing at Bournemouth, but the Londoners were never in trouble against a visiting side well adrift of safety.

Ross Barkley, who shot narrowly wide from long range, and Hazard both came close with early efforts as Chelsea looked for a quick breakthrough.

And they found it when before new signing Higuain struck stylishly after 16 minutes, firing high into the net to round off a flowing move.

N'Golo Kante, who provided the final pass, almost created another goal only for Barkley to miscontrol, before David Luiz headed narrowly wide and Jorginho was denied by a defender as Chelsea dominated.

They doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time when Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have been brought down by Elias Kachunga, Hazard converting the penalty after angry Huddersfield protests.

The pattern of Chelsea dominance continued after the break, Willian coming close with a fierce strike before a fine run from Hazard brought a pass out wide to Alonso, who was crowded out.

There were half-hearted Huddersfield penalty appeals when Elias Kachunga went to ground in a tangle with Andreas Christensen but the referee waved them away, and then defender Christopher Schindler needed treatment after jumping for a header with Luiz but was able to continue.

Soon after the hour, another weaving Hazard run saw him release Willian in promising crossing position only for the winger to deliver a disappointing ball.

But Chelsea put the result beyond any doubt with 66 minutes gone, Hazard finishing from an angle after Barkley's pass, and they added a fourth three minutes later when Kante laid the ball to Higuain, whose strike from outside the box took a slight deflection as it beat Jonas Lossl.

Higuain almost completed a hat trick when his shot from near the penalty spot was deflected wide before the superb Hazard was taken off to be replaced by Callum Huson-Odoi with 15 minutes remaining.

Kante made way Reuben Loftus-Cheek in the closing minutes and Chelsea made it five when Luiz met a corner with a powerful header that flicked off a visiting defender on its way in.

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