Chelsea edge out BATE Borisov to reach last 32 of Europa League

Liverpool FC v Southampton FC- Premier League

Liverpool FC v Southampton FC- Premier League

We didn't play very well.

Manager Maurizio Sarri has confirmed that both Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas would be left behind in England for the game, the striker given a rest while his compatriot recovers from illness.

Having comfortably despatched BATE in our previous group game, we expected Chelsea to make light work of this contest.

"He [Morata] played for three matches in a row, so I thought it was better to rest at Cobham and have good training", Sarri said.

And Maurizio Sarri admitted his side did not perform very well on the night.

BATE Borisov have no fresh injury problems and will be hopeful of calling upon former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb who had to come off in the first fixture two weeks ago with a knock.

However, the Blues were creating very little in the final third, with only a miscued Olivier Giroud volley from a floated Ross Barkley pass coming anywhere near to breaking the deadlock.

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Predicted Home XI: Shcherbitski; Poljakov, Filipenko, Milunovic, Filipovic; Baga, Yablonski, Dragun; Ivanic, Tuominen, Stasevich.

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

West Ham United could contend for a top half finish if they completed the loan signing of Ruben Loftus-Cheek in January.

The Englishman scored a hat-trick against BATE and followed it up with a late goal in Chelsea's following game against Burnley, the best goalscoring form of his career so far.

With all of Sarri's other midfielders also playing well, speculation over Loftus-Cheek's near future hasn't let up.

As a result, Sarri believes it is best for him to play in Borisov and regain his rhythm.

Chelsea's fourth victory from as many Group L games - three of them now 1-0 - was played out in freezing fog and memorable only for Olivier Giroud's first Blues goal since May's win over Liverpool, a 794-minute barren streak.

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