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.
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.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s action:
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 .
SEVILLA SCORES HIGH
Ever Banega converted a penalty three minutes from time against Akhisar as he grabbed the winner for Sevilla, the most successful club in Europa League history.
Earlier, Nolito and Luis Muriel gave the Spanish club a 2-0 lead, but Elvis Manu started a comeback for Akhisar in the 52nd, four minutes before Sergi Gomez was sent off. Onur Ayik then equalized for the Turkish side after 78.
Sevilla is tied atop Group J on nine points with Russia’s Krasnodar, which beat Standard Liege 2-1.
In Group H, Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Mijat Gacinovic scored as Eintracht made it four wins from four Europa League games. Emilio Zelaya netted twice for Apollon, the second time from the penalty spot.
Marco Parolo headed the opening goal for Lazio in first-half injury time and Joaquin Correa beat goalkeeper Yohann Pele 10 minutes into the second before Marseille got one back through Florian Thauvin.
Eintracht has 12 points followed by Lazio on nine. Marseille and Apollon, both on one point, are out.
In Group G, Spartak Moscow beat Rangers 4-3 in a thriller after the Scottish club had led 3-2. Villarreal leads the section with six points after drawing 0-0 at Rapid Vienna. Rangers and Spartak are one point behind.
Anderlecht’s campaign came to an end after a 2-0 defeat at Group D rival Fenerbahce.
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