Chelsea have won their first match against Paok in the Europa League on Thursday with a margin of 1-0. The only goal of the match was scored by the winger of Chelsea, Willian. The match was not a very easy one for the Blues. Paok have a great record against English sides in recent past. So, Maurizio Sarri did not make much changes to his side for this match. The football critics might say that Sarri was completely wrong in his selection of the starting lineup. But without a strong team it would not be possible for the Blues to get the first win of the tournament in their opening fixture.
Paok is a difficult side to play because of their fans too. The fans are really passionate and the condition and the atmosphere of the ground is really frustrating for the away side. The away sides do not feel comfortable playing against Paok in their home stadium. So, Maurizio Sarri kept his belief on the star players in this match too. Kepa Arrizabalaga was under the bars for the Blues in this match where the defensive pair of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger were present in the central defense of the Blues for this match. On the other hand, Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso were present in both the flanks for the Blues. Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley were there in the midfield of Chelsea against Paok. Alvaro Morata, Pedro and Willian were leading the Chelsea attack from the front.
Willian got the goal for the Blues within the opening 10 minutes of the match following the pass of Ross Barkley. The Blues have got enough chances to increase their lead; but the Spanish centre forward Alvaro Morata was not lucky enough to have his name in the scoresheet in this important match of Chelsea. The goal drought of the Spanish centre forward continues and it is very much possible that he might leave the club at the end of the winter transfer window. Alvaro Morata is not able to convert the chances, his confidence level is going to zero level day by day and he is trying hard too much. The things are certainly not going in the favour of Alvaro Morata.
In the second half of the match, Maurizio Sarri has made three substitutions. Marcos Alonso and Jorginho got the deserved rest ahead of the London Derby against West Ham United on Sunday. Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas replaced them. On the other hand, Maurizio Sarri was obliged to take Alvaro Morata off following his poor performance in front of Goal. The last 10 minutes of the match was not very much comfortable for the Blues. But, they somehow were able to keep the clean sheet in this match. At the dying minutes of the match, there was a collision between the Goalkeeper of Paok and Pedro. The injury might keep Pedro out of the field for few weeks and it will surely increase the pressure on Maurizio Sarri in the upcoming matches.