UEFA Europa League
Result: PAOK 0-1 Chelsea
Date: 20 September 2018
Venue: Toumba Stadium
Chelsea got their UEFA Europa League campaign off to a positive start with a 1-0 win over POAK at Toumba Stadium on Thursday evening.
Maurizio Sarri decided to leave out Eden Hazard and Mateo Kovavic, although he still fielded a strong line-up that included the likes of N'Golo Kante, Pedro, Willian and Jorginho.
The Blues got off to the perfect start as Ross Barkley turned provider to pick out Willian, who managed to slot the ball under the goalkeeper.
Alvaro Morata returned to the line up looking to recapture his form, but he squandered a chance to double Chelsea's lead in the 38th minute when he headed wide from close range.
POAK, meanwhile, were unable to trouble Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arrizablaga throughout the opening 45 minutes as the Blues went into the break 1-0 up.
The Blues managed to carve out a chance 10 minutes into the second half as Morata's effort ricocheted into the path of Willian who failed to fire past - close range.
Sarri opted for a double change after the hour-mark as Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta replaced Jorginho and Marcos Alonso.
The host posed no threat in the second half, while the Blues looked lackluster in the attack as they were let down by their decision-making in the final third.
In the end, 1-0 was the how the score remained in favour of the Blues, who will now shift their focus to Sunday's clash against West Ham United.