Europa League: Callum Hudson-Odoi gets first Chelsea goal as Blues pummel PAOK, Rangers only manage goalless draw against Villarreal

29 Nov

After Arsenal and Celtic both secured wins earlier on Thursday night, it was left to Chelsea and Rangers to carry on the good results for the British teams in the Europa League.

There were no problems for Maurizio Sarri’s men who swept aside PAOK but ten-man Rangers battled to a goalless draw at home to Villarreal.

It was a night to remember for Callum Hudson-Odoi

Below you can read the best of the action from Chelsea and Rangers’ matches.

Chelsea 4-0 PAOK Salonika

Olivier Giroud scored twice and Callum Hudson-Odoi netted his first goal for Chelsea as the Blues cruised to a 4-0 Europa League victory over 10-man PAOK at Stamford Bridge.

Yevhen Khacheridi was sent off for the Greek visitors after just seven minutes and Olivier Giroud scored twice before half-time, the second a brilliant volley from a Cesc Fabregas pass.

The 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi scored after 60 minutes before providing a goal for Alvaro Morata, on for Giroud, as the Blues responded from the loss to Tottenham with a fifth win from five European games.

Giroud scored the Blues’ first two goals

Rangers 0-0 Villarreal

Rangers remain in the hunt for the Europa League last 32 after Steven Gerrard’s side survived 45 minutes with 10 men to claim what could yet be a crucial point from Villarreal.

A controversial red card for Daniel Candeias just before half-time left Gers up against it.

But for the second time in this campaign, the Light Blues frustrated the Yellow Submarine as they battled to a merited 0-0 draw at Ibrox.

And it leaves their destiny firmly in their own hands – with victory against Rapid Vienna in Austria in two weeks’ time guaranteeing passage to the knock-out rounds.

Glenn Middleton’s late strike was ruled out for offside

Chelsea fans injured in suspected attack by rival fans ahead of Europa League clash with PAOK Thessaloniki

20 Sep

Two Chelsea fans have been injured in a suspected clash with PAOK Thessaloniki supporters ahead of their Europa League opener.

Greek authorities say the two Blues fans were treated by an ambulance crew but did not require further medical attention.

Two Chelsea fans were injured in Greece

The Englishmen were beaten by three assailants in central Thessaloniki in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to police.

The attackers, believed to be PAOK supporters, escaped and the stricken Chelsea fans decided not to press charges.

More to follow… 

Eden Hazard does not travel to Greece as he is being rested for Chelsea’s Europa League opener against PAOK

19 Sep

Eden Hazard will not feature during Chelsea’s Europa League clash at PAOK on Thursday after not travelling with the team, the west London club have announced.

The Belgian is being rested, as is summer signing Mateo Kovacic and defender David Luiz, while full-back Emerson Palmieri is also unavailable.

Hazard has been Chelsea’s star man so far this season

Twenty-one players have travelled and changes are expected, with the Blues seeking a sixth win from six Premier League games at West Ham on Sunday.

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater is not in the Europa League squad, due to UEFA regulations.

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek could make his first start of the season, having appeared as a substitute twice in the league.

Defender Gary Cahill, who retired from England duty after the World Cup, could make his first appearance of the season for the Blues.

Hazard’s absence could spell an opportunity for Loftus-Cheek to make his mark

Full Chelsea squad for trip to PAOK: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Marcin Bulka, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Pedro, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Victor Moses, Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Davide Zappacosta, Willian, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Alvaro Morata, Ethan Ampadu