Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri fought a fever and was only content with the result after a disappointing 1-0 victory at BATE Borisov and secured the qualification for the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Chelsea's fourth win from three Group L games – three of them 1-0 – was fought in icy fog and only French champion Olivier Giroud scored the first blues goal since defeating Liverpool in May, a 794-minute, infertile Series, beaten.

"The best situation this evening is the result. We did not play very well, "said Sarri.

"It was not easy to play a good game here. There were all the conditions to play very badly for the cold, for the opponents, for the pitch and for everything. I think we could have done better.

"I did not like the first half. We only moved the ball horizontally and slowly. It was really difficult to be dangerous.

"Better in the first 20, 25 minutes in the second half. Then we did not do very well for the last 15 minutes. "

It was a challenging day for Sarri.

He added, "Today I also had problems. I had a fever. It was a very tough day for me. I do not know if I'm improving or if it's just the temperature. "

BATE, which had been comfortably beaten in London last month, hit woodwork three times, including deep in downtime, and Eden Hazard's services were required longer than expected in Belarus.

Chelsea has qualified for the knockout phase (AP)

When the game started in the 51st minute, Hazard was fouled and sent the resulting free kick past the far post.

Meanwhile, Hazard had been canceled, and Sarri gestured wildly in his technical field, apparently in the direction of the Belgian.

Moments later, Giroud struck Emerson Palmieri's cross past the near post.

Giroud told BT Sport: "It's true, I was hoping to score soon because I came from the World Cup too late and had little luck. You always have to work hard and keep the faith. "

Sarri added, "I'm happy for him. He is a very important player for us because he is a very, very useful player for the team.

Olivier Giroud scored his first Chelsea goal under Maurizio Sarri (Reuters)

"But I know very well that strikers want to score. And for his trust, I find it very important. But I do not want him to worry about the scoring because he is very important and very useful to us. "

Chelsea would have liked to score a goal, instead BATE pressed too late.

"They played very well," added Sarri. "They were unlucky. I think they could draw the game. "

Chelsea have qualified ahead of two games, the home game on 29 November with the Greek PAOK and the trip to Vidi in Hungary on 13 December.

Sarri is now hungry for the extra point needed to secure the top spot in the group and push the thoughts of Europe to the last 32.

He added: "The first goal in this competition was the qualification. Now we want the second goal to win our group.

"That's very important, because then we can talk about this competition again in February. In February we will certainly have another destination, but the first one is very important. "

PA

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