Willian’s early goal proved enough to beat PAOK Salonika in the Europa League and maintain Chelsea’s winning start to the season.
The Brazilian forward was handed the captain’s armband on his return to the starting XI, as Chelsea played their first Europa League game since winning the competition in 2013.
And despite playing in front of a raucous sold-out crowd in their Group L opener, the Blues were rarely troubled after Willian’s early strike in Greece.
Alvaro Morata and Pedro spurned chances to double Chelsea’s lead as the Blues struggled to find the goals their dominance deserved.
Coach Maurizio Sarri said this game would be the most important for Chelsea’s prospects of winning the group but ultimately PAOK, who have also won each of their three opening league games, posed them few problems.
And having made five changes from Saturday’s 4-1 win against Cardiff, the way Sarri’s side controlled virtually all of the contest suggests they have a squad capable of mounting a serious challenge at home and abroad this season.