Chelsea have started their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 victory over PAOK in Thursday’s clash.
An early goal from Willian proved to be the difference as Chelsea outclassed their hosts, but their joy was dampened after Pedro sustained what appeared to be an arm injury during added-on time.
Chelsea showed little nerves in the hostile atmosphere at the Toumba Stadium from the opening whistle, and it took the Blues less than seven minutes to go ahead.
Ross Barkley – making his fourth start of the campaign – stormed through the middle before laying the ball off to Willian, who managed to force a shot under Alexandros Paschalakis from 10 yards out.
Chelsea continued to look for goals and Alvaro Morata should have doubled his side’s lead within three minutes, only to head wide of the near post after meeting Pedro’s cross.
The forward then drilled a low effort from an acute angle marginally wide of the far post, while Andreas Christensen should have done better at the back post after meeting a corner.
Pedro was the next player to squander an opening after the half-hour mark with the winger latching onto a superb through-ball from Marcos Alonso, but Paschalakis remained big to prevent the Spaniard from finding the far corner.
Chelsea continued to control the pace of the game after the restart and a second goal should have arrived in the 49th minute when Pedro and Barkley combined to tee up Willian, but the playmaker’s shot was poor and too close to Paschalakis.
Willian was guilty again just before the hour mark, with a volley being sliced over the crossbar from 12 yards after good work from Pedro on the right.
Chelsea went back up the other end and threatened through substitute Olivier Giroud, who saw a low effort tipped wide by Paschalakis, but the West Londoners were happy to make do with the solitary goal as they began their Europa League campaign in style.