Giroud’s hat-trick sends Chelsea to EL quarters

March 15, 2019

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Europa League round-of-16, second-leg match between Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea at the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, yesterday.
Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Europa League round-of-16, second-leg match between Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea at the Olympiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, yesterday.

Olivier Giroud celebrated his 50th European competition game by scoring a hat-trick as Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev 5-0 yesterday to cruise into the Europa League quarter-finals.

Giroud struck early in Kiev in the second leg of the last 16, added his second later in the first half and completed his hat-trick in the second half for Chelsea to advance with a massive 8-0 win on aggregate.

Giroud was the third player this season to score three in Europe's second-tier competition.

Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi also had one apiece for Chelsea.

Elsewhere, Napoli advanced 4-3 on aggregate against last year's semi-finalist Salzburg despite losing the second leg 3-1.

Valencia advanced thanks to an injury-time goal from substitute Goncalo Guedes that secured a 1-1 draw at Krasnodar and a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Later, Arsenal needed to overturn a two-goal deficit against Rennes at the Emirates, while five-time champion Sevilla travelled to face Slavia Prague after a surprising 2-2 draw in the first leg last week.

Giroud made sure Chelsea was in control from the start.

He netted in the fifth minute from close range after a corner kick from Willian landed right in front of him. The two were among the seven changes coach Maurizio Sarri made from a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton in the Premier League on Sunday, a blow to Chelsea's hopes of making the top four Champions League qualification places.

To win the Europa League is another option to secure a spot in the Champions League for next season.

Sarri didn't have striker Gonzalo Higuain available because he had a fever after the weekend match and didn't travel to Ukraine.

But Giroud is more than an adequate replacement.

He added his second in 33rd after Alonso set him up with a cross from the left. And in the last move of the first half, Giroud released Callum Hudson-Odoi free on the left to cross for Alonso who tapped in the third.

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