Chelsea’s new record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga impressed teammate Antonio Rudiger in their opening-day Premier League win at Huddersfield.
Kepa, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper after his £72.1million move from Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, had little to do on his debut as Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 victory in Maurizio Sarri’s first game in charge.
But German defender Rudiger was pleased the Spaniard’s first appearance passed without incident following Thibaut Courtois’ controversial departure.
“I think he (Kepa) did well,” Rudiger said. “He tried to speak as much as he can. He did well with that and we as defenders we needed to help him and we did that.
“In general, it was a very good day. We all know Thibaut’s quality, but Thibaut’s not a Chelsea player anymore.
“I wish him good luck at Real Madrid, but now we have to concentrate on Kepa because he’s our goalkeeper. In his work he’s very confident.”
Chelsea were found wanting in last week’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, but proved too good for Huddersfield despite leaving World Cup stars Eden Hazard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Olivier Giroud on the bench.
“We’re happy because to be honest our pre-season games were not that good,” Rudiger said. “But today we can be more happy because we won the game. Three goals and a clean sheet. That’s good for us.
“It’s not always easy to adapt because it’s a new style of play, but I think we did well. We moved the ball well and to have a good bench is always good.”
Huddersfield had given as good as they got before going behind to N’Golo Kante’s scuffed 34th-minute volley.
The Terriers were then dealt a major blow just before half-time when Chelsea were awarded a penalty for Christopher Schindler’s sliding tackle on Marcos Alonso.
Summer signing Jorginho converted in trademark style from the spot, feinting during his run up to send Huddersfield debutant Ben Hamer the wrong way and stroking the ball into the opposite corner.
Steve Mounie, however, took exception to Jorginho’s cheeky penalty, and thought the referee should have ordered the midfielder to retake it.
“It was weird.
“He jumped before the penalty and Ben (Hamer) had already dived, so I don’t know why the ref didn’t make him retake the penalty.
“It was a little bit weird. The ref needs to explain that to us because I don’t understand why (it was not retaken).”