Giroud ended his 11-game goal drought this season by giving Chelsea a 53rd-minute lead, and the Premier League giants held on despite BATE striking the woodwork three times in the match. BATE started strongly and came within a whisker of taking an early lead as former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb teed up Dmitri Baga for a long-range strike which crashed against Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s post. But Sarri’s men were much improved after the break and Giroud, who also scored twice for Arsenal against BATE in the Europa League last term, broke the deadlock by meeting left-back Emerson’s cross with a firm downward header. There was still time for BATE to hit the post again, as right-back Rios’ brilliant dipping volley beat Kepa but bounced to safety. Pablo Machin’s side are level with Krasnodar, who beat Standard Liege 2-1, at the top of Group J.
Source: Punch November 08, 2018 20:03 UTC