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Ill Maurizio Sarri unhappy with Chelsea performance in Belarus

Ill Maurizio Sarri unhappy with Chelsea performance in Belarus

Chelsea went straight onto the front foot after the restart - presumably after some stern words from Sarri - and the visitors found the breakthrough in the 52nd minute as Giroud directed a glancing header inside the near post after meeting Emerson's cross from the left flank.

'Today I was in trouble, too, ' Sarri said afterwards.

With the ex-Napoli manager at the helm, the Blues have embarked on a 16-match unbeaten run in all competitions, seeing them sit second in the Premier League standings while also looking on course to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

'The best situation this evening is the result. There was all the conditions to play very badly, for the cold, for the opponents, for the pitch, for everything. I think we could have done better.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Welbeck's replacement, had the first real opening of the game but volleyed wide from just a few yards out early in the second half. It was really very hard to be unsafe.

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BATE nearly snatched a leveller in the third minute of added-on time, but Baha's 20-yard volley struck the post before Chelsea frantically cleared the ball away from danger and saw out the remaining seconds for their fourth successive win of the group. We didn't manage the last 15 minutes well.

Giroud struck moments later, heading in Emerson Palmieri's cross at the near post.

"I am pleased for him".

"For me, football is about levels and, if you don't defend properly and you don't do the basics well enough, high-level players and high-level teams normally punish you and that was the case tonight", Gerrard told the Rangers website. "But I don't want him to be anxious about scoring because for us he's very important". "It was a very hard day for me".

Sarri praised the "important" Giroud and insisted that the striker is "very, very useful" for the team even when he is not among the goals.