Chelsea Beat Huddersfield 3-1; Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro Score

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IDecember 12, 2017

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12:  Cesar Azpilicueta, Victor Moses, Willian, and Pedro of Chelsea celebrate Pedro's goal during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea at John Smith's Stadium on December 12, 2017 in Huddersfield, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea cruised to a 3-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium on Tuesday, thanks to goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro.

Laurent Depoitre headed home a late consolation for the hosts, but they were well-beaten by the champions who claimed all three points to move level on points with Manchester United in second in the Premier League.

With striker Alvaro Morata missing due to a back injury, Antonio Conte brought in Willian and Pedro, but there was still no place for Michy Batshuayi in his starting lineup:

It was a cagey opening with the home fans making themselves heard, but the hosts paid the reigning champions plenty of respect, per ESPN FC's Liam Twomey:

Chances were at a premium initially, and it was little surprise that the opening goal came from a mistake.

Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl slipped as he attempted to play out from the back, allowing Victor Moses to intercept and head to Eden Hazard.

The Belgian then flicked it brilliantly to Willian, who slipped the ball into Bakayoko's path, and he surged into the box and chipped it past Lossl at his near post.

Goal's Nizaar Kinsella felt it was the perfect response to his recent critics:

However, there was some dispute as to who the goal should be awarded to, with defender Chris Lowe just getting a touch as he failed to clear it off the line, per television presenter Jake Humphrey:

With the goal advantage, Chelsea proceeded to dominate the rest of the first half against a strangely subdued Huddersfield team.

Bakayoko might have grabbed a second five minutes before half-time, heading a Willian corner just wide, which did not impress Conte, per the Evening Standard's Simon Johnson:

Minutes later and the Blues did manage to add a second, Willian heading Marcos Alonso's cross from the left into the ground and past Lossl.

Pedro should have added a third immediately afterwards after being released into the box, but his effort was parried by Lossl.

The Spaniard made amends four minutes into the second half. Again Alonso supplied another quality ball into the box, which Huddersfield failed to clear, and the ball fell kindly to Pedro to curl home.

With the three points secured, Chelsea turned on the style, as noted by Johnson:

Conte even brought on Ethan Ampadu, the midfielder becoming the second youngest player ever to feature for Chelsea in the Premier League, per Kinsella:

The Blues had chances to extend their lead but were let down by some wayward finishing, while Huddersfield grabbed one back when Depoitre directed a strong header past Courtois in stoppage time.

Conte may not be pleased to see his side miss out on a clean sheet, but this was a dominant showing from Chelsea, who looked a different team to the one that was beaten by West Ham United on Saturday.

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