Chelsea booked their place in the Last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday, with Olivier Giroud’s header securing a decent 1-0 win for the Blues away to Belarusian side BATE Borisov.
At a sparse and chilly Borisov Arena, the hosts started brightly, hitting the post through Dmitri Baga and then seeing Blues’ ‘keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga forced into fine save to deny Stanislav Dragun.
Alas for the hosts, it was Chelsea who would eventually score the only goal of the game early in the second-half, with Giroud heading down and in at the near post from a fine Emerson centre.
That goal was Giroud’s first of the season, his first in 794 minutes of football for Chelsea and his first since scoring against Liverpool back in May
BATE would hit the frame of the goal again before the end, courtesy of a Nikolai Signevich effort.
However, the game would end in a 1-0 win to Chelsea, who book their place in the knockout stages after making it four wins out of four in Group L.
Blues’ boss Maurizio Sarri will no be hoping that Giroud’s goal will kick-start the Frenchman’s shot-shy season at The Bridge.