Europa League:Giroud Double scores As Chelsea Sees Off PAOK Salonika To Top Group L
Olivier Giroud yesterday recorded two goals as Chelsea wins PAOK Salonika to make top in Group L Table of the Europa League competition.
The Frenchman curled home from Pedro’s pass before burying a volley from Cesc Fabregas’ lofted through ball to give the hosts a two-goal lead at the break.
The Greek visitors had been down to 10 men since the seventh minute with Yevhen Khacheridi dismissed for diving in and denying Giroud a clear goal-scoring opportunity.A depleted PAOK tired further in the second half and 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi found the net before substitute Alvaro Morata headed in the youngster’s cross with his first touch off the bench.
Chelsea play Hungarians MOL Vidi on 13 December in a final dead-rubber group game. After Maurizio Sarri’s 18-match unbeaten run as new Chelsea manager came to an abrupt halt with a 3-1 defeat by Tottenham on Saturday, the Italian changed all 10 outfield players for this encounter. It gave several fringe players a chance to stake a claim for more first-team game-time. With Morata still not fully convincing up front, Giroud now has four goals in his last three Blues games. The France international lacks Morata’s pace, but followed his precise first with a clever dart in behind the PAOK defence and a powerful first-time effort.
Elsewhere, Hudson-Odoi, who won the under-17 World Cup with England in 2017 and has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, had some bright moments, the best of which was a crisp snap-shot that fizzed inside the near post for Chelsea’s third and his first for the club. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was perhaps of more interest to the watching England manager Gareth Southgate and impressed with his quick feet and incisive passing. He was unfortunate not to add his name to the scoresheet bringing a superb save out of Alexandros Paschalakis with a fierce 20-yard effort. (BBC)