Chelsea opened up their Europa League campaign with an important three points in what could have potentially been a tricky away tie with PAOK in Greece.
Named captain for the night, Willian took his chance and scored the only goal of the game in the 7th minute of the game, shocking the home support and continuing the Blues’ winning run this season, which now stretches to six games.
Maurizio Sarri decided to leave out the likes of Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic in Greece, with Jorginho and Alonso making way early on the second half to keep things fresh ahead of the West Ham clash on Sunday.
Hungarian side Vidi are up next in the Europa League Group L at Stamford Bridge on October 4th.
Chelsea Player Ratings vs PAOK
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6
Had little work to do all night in Greece, with only one save made in the second half. The connection between Kepa and the defence is improving little by little.
Andreas Christensen – 7
Davide Zappacosta – 6
A nice back-up option for Azpilicueta and did his job well against PAOK – the difference between him and Spaniard is that ‘end product’ pass.
Antonio Rudiger – 8
The German continues his excellent start to the season with some nice passes forward and looked super reliable and strong when called upon.
Marcos Alonso – 6
N’Golo Kante – 7
Any one else surprised he played a full 90 minutes? Was a shame not to see him rested a bit more and give someone like Nathan Ampadu a shot, but Kante was flawless once again defensively.
Ross Barkley – 7
Assisted the only goal of the game and did his chances of more first team football no harm at all against PAOK.
Jorginho – 7
Willian – 8
A great first half from the Brazilian who captain the Blues for the first time ever in a competitive game.
Pedro – 8
Alvaro Morata – 6
No goal again for Morata, it’s easy to see his confidence in scoring has all but gone, but he did do a lot of things right tonight before being subbed late on for Giroud.
Chelsea Player Ratings – Substitutes
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6
Cesc Fabregas – 6
Olivier Giroud – 6
Do you agree with CFCnet’s player ratings vs PAOK? Let us know your reaction to the game and our view on the ratings – how much of this team that played in Greece will play in just a few short days time against West Ham?