The signing of Jorginho from Napoli means that Kante will have fewer holding midfield responsibilities for the season ahead and the recent World Cup victor has been instructed to play further up the pitch in Sarri's new system.
But having dealt with a series of crosses whipped into the box, Chelsea went ahead in the 34th minute when Willian's cross from the left found N'Golo Kante, whose shot squirted past goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Maurizio Sarri's spell at Chelsea has got off to an impressive start.
"We conceded the first goal out of nothing, a deflection goal and then we were unlucky when Steve Mounie only hit the inside of the post".
Kante is already recognised as one of the better midfielders in Europe for his ability to appear in many places at one time defensively.
Before we get to the goal reactions, though, let's just pause for one Twitter user, who informed his users that Kante did not have this kind of thing in his locker. We as defenders need to help him and we did that.
Jorginho followed Sarri from Napoli to Chelsea in the summer and the midfielder doubled the Blues' lead when he converted a penalty after Christopher Schindler fouled Marcos Alonso. Jorginho coolly converted the penalty. We all know Thibaut's quality, but Thibaut's not a Chelsea player anymore.
The Belgian was given three weeks off after his exploits at the World Cup and was only named on the bench at the Kirklees Stadium, but he made a massive impact when he was finally brought on in the second half.
After Antonio Rudiger won an aerial battle inside his own half, Jorginho's neat touch played in Pedro who pushed forward before passing to Willian. "I have seen passion, desire, the spirit we usually have in our game".
The big problem last season was a lack of goals, however, and there was little here to suggest they won't struggle in that department again.