Willian's early goal gave Chelsea a winning start to their Europa League campaign in a 1-0 triumph over PAOK that made it six victories in a row for Maurizio Sarri's men.
The Brazil international's fourth strike in his last five European matches followed a surging run from Ross Barkley, who impressed in Thessaloniki.
Chelsea's winning margin should have been far wider, but they were wasteful in front of goal, with Alvaro Morata the main culprit.
But it mattered little as the Blues secured three points in what could be the toughest of their away trips in Group L.
Sarri's side quickly set about quietening the vociferous home support and within seven minutes Willian succeeded, his low shot somehow squirming under Alexandros Paschalakis' body.
Morata should have doubled Chelsea's lead soon after, but his problems in front of goal continued as he inexplicably headed wide from six yards.
The Spaniard wasted another five chances before the break as Chelsea failed to turn their domination into a healthy lead, Pedro also guilty of spurning a gilt-edged opportunity.
Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger both failed to convert on the hour as Chelsea's control of proceedings continued, the latter unable to tap home from Barkley's front-post flick.
Even the introduction of last-season's top scorer Aleksandar Prijovic could not spark PAOK into action, the substitute having to live off scraps as the hosts struggled to make an impact.
Cesc Fabregas made a welcome return from a knee injury midway through the second half, while Morata's frustrating night ended with 10 minutes to play when he was replaced by Olivier Giroud.
What does it mean: No stopping Sarri
Many questioned how Chelsea would adapt to life under Sarri given the differences in his management style compared to Antonio Conte, but it seems they had no need to worry. It is now a six-match winning streak for the Italian, who has never lost a Europa League group match.
Pat on the back: Barkley brims with confidence
Barkley's fine display in midfield will have pleased Sarri and not gone unnoticed by England boss Gareth Southgate. The 24-year-old showed nice touches throughout, linked the play well and provided a fine assist for Willian – just the kind of creativity Southgate's Three Lions have been missing.
Boot up the backside: More Morata misery
When things are not going your way, the ball will just not go in. That must be how Morata is feeling at the moment. The forward was lively for the visitors, but his bad luck in front of goal continues. He might have had a first-half hat-trick, but looks short on confidence..
Key Opta Facts
- Each of Chelsea's last 10 managers have won their first European game in charge of the club, with Claudio Ranieri the last to fail to do so in September 2000 (0-2 v FC St Gallen).
- Chelsea have won each of their last four games in the Europa League, a run which includes their final three games in 2012-13 when they won the competition.
- Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has won 100 per cent of his group stage games in the Europa League (7/7), keeping five clean sheets in this run.
- PAOK have failed to score in six of their last seven home games in the Europa League.
- Willian has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 15 starts for Chelsea in European competition (10 goals, 3 assists).
- Ross Barkley's assist for Chelsea's opening goal was his first in club football since April 2017 for Everton against Leicester.
Sarri's Blues return to league action on Sunday with a London derby at West Ham, while PAOK entertain AEK Athens in what is bound to be a fiery encounter. Their last meeting saw PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis storm the pitch carrying a gun – an action that led to AEK being handed the win and PAOK deducted points, which ultimately cost them the league to AEK's benefit.
21 de enero 2019
|England job ´a privileged postion´, says Southgate|
|Emery has confidence in Arsenal outcast Ozil|
|Zverev destroys racquet in Aus Open meltdown|
|From Villarreal to Aus Open quarters – Bautista Agut breaks major duck|
|Brees: I plan on being here next year and making another run at it|
|´Unf******-believable bro!´ - Brady stunned after reaching third straight Super Bowl|
|New England find answers, penalty costs Kansas City – three takeaways from Patriots´ win over Chiefs|
|Donald Trump congratulates Brady and Super Bowl-bound Patriots|
|Rose helps Timberwolves down Suns|
|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|
|Osaka overcomes Sevastova to reach quarters|
|Chelsea remain behind Sarri – David Luiz|
|McVay explains Gurley´s limited role in Rams´ win over Saints|
|Southgate hails ´tremendous talent´ Rashford|
|Long earns maiden PGA Tour win at Desert Classic|
|Flanagan resigns as Sharks head coach|
|Rams´ Robey-Coleman admits he committed penalty on controversial no-call|
|NFL admits they blew the call – Saints coach Payton|
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
|Lonzo Ball to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain|
|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
|Zuerlein´s overtime kick sinks Saints and sends Rams to Super Bowl|
|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|
|Rashford can emulate Man United greats Ronaldo and Rooney – Solskjaer|
|Karmichael Hunt swaps Reds for Waratahs|
|Barcelona forward Dembele set for tests on sprained ankle|
20 de enero 2019
|Neymar insists Barcelona and Real Madrid links not ´concrete´|
|England trio Nowell, Slade and Cowan-Dickie sign fresh Exeter deals|
|Windies coach Pybus not distracted by detractors|
|Barcelona 3 Leganes 1: Messi and Suarez combine to spare Barca´s blushes|
|I´m sure Michael would be extremely proud - Vettel hails Mick Schumacher|
|Young plays down injury fears for England trio Launchbury, Shields and Hughes|
|Pochettino: Lucas Moura fit for Chelsea clash|
|Ranieri positive on Fulham survival chances despite ´unbelievable´ Spurs loss|
|United Arab Emirates v Kyrgyzstan: Zaccheroni confident in attack|
|South Korea lose Ki to hamstring injury|
|It doesn´t look great - Pochettino to wait on Alli assessment|
|Messi benched as Barcelona face Leganes|
|Dalglish texts me before matches - Van Dijk|
|Patrick Mahomes could sign NFL´s first $200m contract - reports|
|Iran 2 Oman 0: Jahanbakhsh and Dejagah secure last-eight spot|
|Helloooo u remember me? Nkoudou reminds Spurs fans he exists|
|Japan v Saudi Arabia: Pizzi believes Saudis can upset the odds|
|Repsol Honda´s Lorenzo to have surgery on fractured wrist|
|Fulham 1 Tottenham 2: Winks heads late winner after Alli injury|
|Leinster seal home quarter-final with win over Wasps|
|Vince, Curran star as Sixers trounce Heat to move second|
|Sharapova stunned by Barty as Kvitova takes Anisimova to school|
|Guardiola demands improvement after Man City win|
|Sexton has bat phone to referees - Jones|
|Alonso accepts Chelsea guilty of ´silly mistakes´ in Arsenal defeat|
|Guardiola woke us up - Sane reveals half-time rocket for Man City|
|A first step to something bigger - Tsitsipas eyeing glory after shocking Federer|
|Thailand 1 China 2: Gao Lin keeps dream alive for Lippi|
|Tsitsipas in dreamland after ousting Federer, birthday boy Tiafoe breaks new ground|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 3: Danilo, Sterling and Sane on target for ton-up City|
|Allegri: Khedira will be like a new signing for Juventus|
|Manchester City reach 100 goals in 2018-19|
|Australia v Uzbekistan: Leckie´s return is ´like a new signing´, says Arnold|
|Jordan 1 Vietnam 1 (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Keeper Van Lam the shoot-out hero|
|Federer confirms French Open return after Melbourne exit|
|I accept his decision - Gattuso axes Chelsea-bound Higuain|
|The rapid rise of Federer-conqueror Tsitsipas|
|Gracious Federer hails ´better player´ Tsitsipas after Australian Open exit|
|Tsitsipas ´happiest man on earth´ after stunning Federer|
|Harden focused on wins, not personal feats after scoring 48 points|
|PSG midfielder Verratti suffers sprained ankle|
|Inspired Tsitsipas dethrones Federer|
|PSG´s Cavani considering career finale in Uruguay|
|Feisty Collins ready to make more noise after thrashing Kerber|