A game of firsts at Stamford Bridge gave us Mauricio Pochettino's first win as Chelsea head coach, Nicolas Jackson's first goal for Chelsea and Robert Sanchez's first Blues clean sheet as our Premier League season got well and truly under way with a comfortable victory over Luton Town.
Chelsea were in control right from the off and it wasn't long before Raheem Sterling gave us a deserved lead, weaving his way through the Hatters defence to score a fine solo effort.
We had to be patient before securing the emphatic scoreline our dominance deserved, beginning with Sterling netting his second after half-time by turning in Malo Gusto's low cross. Our third came via a similar route, this time Sterling turning provider for Jackson to slide in his first Chelsea goal.
It might have taken until our third match, but we had the first win of Chelsea's 2023/24 season and the Pochettino era, and it was well deserved in a match we controlled from the first to last whistle.
Off the mark
The big team news before kick-off was the presence of Moises Caicedo in the starting line-up for his full debut, replacing the injured Carney Chukwuemeka.
The game quickly settled into the pattern many had expected before kick-off, with Chelsea dominating possession. It didn’t take long for the Blues to find a way past the defence and force the first save, either, when a loose ball following a set-piece dropped toward Sterling but his fierce volley was well held by Thomas Kaminski.
We went close again before too long, this time Enzo Fernandez taking Ben Chilwell’s clever lay-off in his stride on the edge of the box before striking a rising shot, but it skimmed the bar on its way over.
It was no surprise then when Chelsea took a deserved lead and it was all of Sterling's own making. Picking up the ball wide on the right, he slalomed his way between two defenders into the box, dummying and waiting for the perfect moment to roll a finish between two more players and into the bottom corner.
We remained firmly in control but there was little further in the way of goal threat during the remainder of the first half. The level of our dominance was summed up by the 70 per cent possession figure in our favour as we went in for the break.
Although Luton did enjoy their best spell of possession after half-time, it was soon business as usual. First Chilwell was played in by a clever one-two with Jackson, but chose to pass rather than shoot and it was intercepted. From the resulting corner, Jackson swivelled for the half-volley, but it was beaten away by the keeper.
The chances kept coming, Enzo hitting the woodwork for the second time of the night when he smashed Sterling's cross against the left-hand upright.
With just over an hour on the clock, Robert Sanchez was called into action for the first time, but he got a palm to Ryan Giles’ deflected shot and quickly gathered up the loose ball in the air.
It seemed only a matter of time before the Blues gave ourselves the safety margin of a second goal and when it arrived, it was through simple but effective football. When the ball came to Gusto on the right, he drilled a first-time low cross which found Sterling perfectly, allowing the forward to turn in with a finish he made look easy.
Chelsea's victory was now seemingly secure and the evening just kept getting better, as Jackson scored his first goal for the club since joining in the summer. It started with a lovely bit of skill by Enzo and a pass lifted over the back line for Sterling. When he drilled into the box, there was our new striker sliding in to open his account.
It was the perfect way to end a day that left the Chelsea fans with smiles plastered across their faces and three points in the bag for Pochettino.
What it means...
Our first win gives us four points from our first three games, leaving us two points off the top and just outside the European places at this early stage, albeit having played a game more due to tonight's Friday kick-off.
What comes next...
Attention switches to the Carabao Cup next for the first of back-to-back home games, starting when we host neighbours Wimbledon at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 30 August, with kick-off at 7.45pm. We are then back in SW6 on Saturday 2 September, taking on Nottingham Forest in the Premier League at 3pm.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Sanchez; Gusto, Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill; Enzo, Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling (Burstow 90+2), Jackson (Ugochukwu 83), Chilwell (c) (Maatsen 86)
Unused subs: Beach, Bergstrom, Humphreys, Cucurella, Madueke, Moreira
Scorers: Sterling 17, 69; Jackson 75
Booked: Enzo 73, Maatsen 90
Luton Town (3-4-1-2): Kaminski; Burke (Andersen 77), Lockyer (c), Bell; Kabore (Doughty 70), Chong (Ogbene 77), Nakamba, Giles; Barkley (Mpanzu 77); Morris, Adebayo (Brown 70)
Unused subs: Krul, Johnson, Berry, Woodrow
Booked: Lockyer 27, Nakamba 30, Brown 78
Referee: Robert Jones