Europa League: Giroud, Hudson-Odoi shine as Chelsea thrash PAOK
Olivier Giroud and and 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi were both on fine form as Chelsea thrashed PAOK Salonika in the 5th Europa League Group L game.
Olivier Giroud scored twice as Chelsea saw off PAOK Salonika to secure top spot in Europa League Group L.
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.