Olivier Giroud’s goal secures Europa knockout stage for Chelsea
Olivier Giroud ended his drought by scoring the only goal as Chelsea won 1-0 at BATE Borisov on Thursday to clinch a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with two group games to spare.
Giroud had not scored for Chelsea for six months but he knows what it’s like to net against BATE. Last season, he was on target in both games against the Belarusian champion when he played for Arsenal in Europe’s second tier competition.
Emerson Palmieri crossed from the left in the 53rd minute and Giroud stooped to head in for Chelsea. The France striker was playing up front instead of Alvaro Morata, who was rested.
The win extended the London club’s unbeaten streak this season to 17 games.
Chelsea tops Group L with a maximum 12 points. Hungary’s Vidi is second on six points after a 1-0 victory over PAOK .
Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt won 3-2 at Apollon Limassol to advance while Lazio beat Marseille 2-1 to march into the next round and send last year’s runner-up out. Ten-man Sevilla won 3-2 at Akhisar thanks to a late penalty, but Anderlecht was eliminated.