Raheem Sterling scored twice as Chelsea claimed their first win under Mauricio Pochettino by beating Luton.
The Blues are up and running with an encouraging victory in which Nicolas Jackson scored his first goal for the club.
Sterling increasingly looks like one of the biggest beneficiaries of Pochettino’s appointment. Revitalised after a difficult maiden campaign with the club, the England international built on an impressive performance against West Ham last week with a fine goal to open the scoring.
Dancing between defenders, Sterling jinked inside the box and rolled a delicate finish past Thomas Kaminski for the opener in the 17th minute. If Pochettino can yield anything like the kind of performances out of Sterling that made him such an important figure under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Chelsea have a real leader on their hands.
Fernandez is another who continues to thrive. Continuing in his more advanced role, the Argentine dictated play all while putting in a combative display off the ball too. As Moises Caicedo finds his feet, the Chelsea midfield is starting to take shape.
A lack of a killer instinct, however, remains a problem. Though Luton limited the hosts to few truly clear cut chances, Chelsea’s paucity for cutting edge was perfectly summed up five minutes into the second-half.
Ben Chilwell, playing on the left wing, latched onto a ball from the industrious Jackson. With the goal gaping and the ball on his stronger left foot, the England international bizarrely opted to try and square to Sterling rather than shooting at goal.
The solace is that the former City forward does offer something of a guarantee in front of goal, even if there remains a doubt about his finishing despite plundering over 100 Premier League goals. That proved to be the case just as the nerves were setting in after Ryan Giles went close to levelling the game, Sterling sweeping in a second after snappy play from Caicedo and Gusto on the right.
A successful night for the forward was not done there. Sterling’s deflected cross-shot was deflected into Jackson’s path, with the striker bundling in his first goal for the club.