Willian produced a captain’s display for Chelsea as he scored the only goal in Greece to give them a 1-0 Europa League win over PAOK. The passing and movement on display from Maurizio Sarri’s men was a joy to behold as they tore shreds through the defensive lines of the home side seemingly at will.
With Ross Barkley and Jorginho pulling strings in behind, it was amazing Chelsea’s forward players could not increase their tally. There was cause for late concern as Pedro went off looking groggy after being caught by Paschalakis’ knee. It appeared the Spain winger’s left shoulder was the greater concern and he may yet be ruled out of Sunday’s trip to West Ham United.
The raucous home crowd created quite a din and spectacle, with fireworks and flares ignited, but were silenced as Chelsea took a seventh-minute lead. Ross Barkley ran at the PAOK defence and found Willian, who stayed onside. The skipper’s shot was not convincing but easily beat goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis.
Pedro could only shoot at the PAOK goalkeeper after being found by Marcos Alonso’s fine pass. Morata headed wide from the resulting corner, spurning a fourth chance of the half, although none could be classed as easy. But Chelsea could not add to their early advantage as they settled for a 1-0 win.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH – Bruce Buck snapped on camera handing out crisps
No, you did read that right. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck was caught on camera handing out crisps to bemused Blues fans at the Toumba Satdium.
The supporters, reported to be around 500 in number, had been required to gather four hours ahead of kick-off to take buses to the ground.
STAR MAN – Jorginho
Always so composed on the ball and, like a good chess player, knows what is going on seven or eight moves ahead. You will struggle to find a Chelsea move which does not originate from his boot – integral to Sarri-ball.