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Europa League: Chelsea beat 10-man PAOK 4-0

Europa League: Chelsea beat 10-man PAOK 4-0
Chelsea players celebrate after Olivier Giroud scored a goal during their Europa League match against PAOK.
London, Nov 30 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/30/2018 12:02:24 PM IST

Chelsea maintained their perfect record in Europa League Group L with a 4-0 win over PAOK, who played for 83 minutes with 10 men.

Chelsea were rarely made to come out of second gear the moment Yevhen Khacheridi was sent-off early on for a professional foul on Olivier Giroud. The striker then went onto help himself to two goals (27, 37) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (59) netted his first ever senior goal on a rare start before Alvaro Morata (78) scored late on. 

The result means Chelsea have secured top spot in Group L with a game to spare while PAOK need to win their final game against BATE to stand any chance of qualifying.

The raucous travelling fans had never tasted defeat on their previous two trips to England but were in for a long night the moment Khacheridi hauled down Giroud when the last man with just seven minutes gone. The referee had no choice but to brandish a red card.

From that moment on Chelsea laid siege to PAOK’s goal. Giroud had already missed two promising openings before curling his team in front with a cute left-footed effort on 27 minutes. Hudson-Odoi - starting his first game since the Community Shield - smacked an effort off the crossbar while Ruben Loftus-Cheek was denied by a fantastic one-handed save by Alexandros Paschalkis.

The hosts doubled the lead on 37 minutes when Cesc Fabregas played a splendid pass in behind for Giroud, who swept home first-time on the volley.

Hudson-Odoi got in on the act in the second half off the left wing to net his first goal for the club. The exciting 18-year-old took a strike early from 15 yards which caught the goalkeeper unaware.

Hudson-Odoi went from scorer to creator on 78 minutes, teasing his defender before whipping a quality ball into the box which was powerfully headed home by substitute Morata.

Chelsea are back in action at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, where they host Fulham in one of three derbies this weekend.

Arsenal beat Vorskla Poltava 3-0

Arsenal routed Vorskla Poltava 3-0 to remain undefeated in its 2018-2019 Europa League campaign and clinch the first place in Group E.

The London team, which had already secured a berth in the knockout stage of Europe’s second-tier club competition and fielded several members of its UEFA reserve squad, opened the scoring at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Thursday with a goal by Emile Smith-Rowe in the 10th minute, reports Efe news.

That score was set up by a give-and-go involving Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey and a tenacious Eddie Nketiah. A Vorskla defender’s attempt to clear the ball out of the area sent it straight to Smith-Rowe, who finished from close range. Ramsey then doubled the Gunners’ lead at the 27-minute mark when he converted a penalty attempt, while Joe Willock made it 3-0 four minutes before first-half stoppage time with a strike from just outside the penalty box past net minder Bohdan Shust.

Arsenal (13 points) is three points clear of second-placed Sporting Lisbon in Group E with one round-robin match remaining on Dec. 13, although the London club has already clinched the first place based on points in its two head-to-head matches against the Portuguese-league side.

With their latest win, the Gunners now are on an 18-game unbeaten streak across all competitions dating back to late August.

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