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

Kepa shows off his ball control skills as he trains with his fellow goalkeepers in Belarus

Kepa shows off his ball control skills as he trains with his fellow goalkeepers in Belarus

Meanwhile, Blues boss, Sarri will be hoping to mark his first season at the club by winning the European title at the end of the season.

In addition to the cold temparatures Chelsea had to contend with a less than flawless playing surface at Borisov Arena.

Unai Emery's Gunners were the better side for long periods at the Emirates against a team who have already had three different managers this term, but were forced to settle for a point despite Sporting being reduced to 10 men late on when former Barcelona centre-back Jeremy Mathieu was sent off.

Maurizio Sarri has an enviable record and even managed to oversee this victory while suffering from a fever, presumably the same illness that befell Cesc Fàbregas and ruled him out of this game.

Giroud had not scored for Chelsea since May, as the striker went 794 minutes without finding the back of the net for the Blues.

"It wasn't easy to play a good game here, it was all the conditions to play badly, but I think we could have done better".

"The best thing is the result".

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"We had a very good win against Leicester and we were competitive in all of them".

"But you always need to keep working hard in training and keep believing, keep the faith".

Giroud's well-judged header from Emerson Palmieri's cross in the 52nd minute did provide Sarri with the rarity of two strikers in scoring form following Alvaro Morata's brace in the weekend win over Crystal Palace.

After a shaky start upon Sarri's arrival and with the Blues hosting Everton on Sunday, the Italian coach was candid but lauded Barkley's improvement.

"I'm pleased for him".

"We know it will be extremely tough against a top team but I think now we need to be going to these places and getting three points".

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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