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Giroud Shines To Lead Chelsea To Big Europa Win

UEFA Europa League 

Result: Chelsea 4-0 PAOK

Date: 29 November 2018

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Chelsea claimed top spot in Group F in fine style as they thrashed PAOK 4-0 at Stamford  Bridge on Thursday evening.

The Blues made ten changes from the side that lost away to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend in the Premier League, whilst needing only a point to clinch their group.

PAOK were handed a disastrous start when Olivier Giroud was brought down from a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Yevhen Khacheridi was the guilty party that forced the Polish referee to take out a straight red to leave the Greek side down to ten men.

A nicely laid forward ball from Davide Zappacosta found Giroud at the near post, but the bouncing trajectory of the ball made it difficult for him to get his shot on target.

A terrific shot from outside the box by Ruben Loftus-Cheek demanded a finger-tip save from Alexandros Paschalakis just before the half and hour mark.

Loftus-Cheek almost found the net yet again after swerving his way through the defence at the near post, but was only able to crack the side-netting following a deflection off the defence.

The English outfit waited no more to get in front when Giroud easily side-footed home from inside the box following a pass from Pedro on 27 minutes.

Ten minutes later, great technique by Giroud saw him on the double as he volleyed home a left-footer past Paschalakis at the near post.

PAOK made a change at the start of the second half, with Egyptian Amr Wada introduced to the party.

Loftus-Cheek drifted towards goal from the left side to draw another save from Paschalakis after trying to find the bottom corner.

On the half and hour mark, Callum Hudson-Odoi collected on the right side before beating Paschalakis with a near post strike to extend Chelsea's lead.

In the closing stages, the Blues rang the changes with Alvaro Morata coming on to lead the attack.

The Spaniard wasted little time to get on the front foot as he thumped home a header following a cross from the right to make it four.

Willian tried to make it five later on, but after cutting inside, he shot straight at Paschalakis as the 2013 champions secure an easy victory.

Other results:

Rangers 0-0 Villarreal
Standard Liege 1-0 Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 Marseille
Apollon 2-0 Lazio
Jablonec 0-1 Rennes
Saprsborg 2-3 Besiktas
Malmo 2-2 Genk

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