Goals; BATE Borisov
Chelsea- Giroud (51′)
Olivier Giroud’s first goal of the season was enough for a fortuitous Chelsea to edge past BATE Borisov 0-1 in the Europa League and qualify from Group L.
Surprisingly, the underdogs from Belarus started the much livelier and in all fairness played better than the blues in the first half. From the first whistle to half time, BATE put the Chelsea defence under alot of pressure with their high press game in attacking areas forcing the Chelsea defence and midfielders into a few mistakes. The first shot of the game was an overhead kick in the second minute from Skavysh which was wide Kepa’s post but that was the first warning sign for Chelsea.
Source: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
The best chance of the first half came to BATE, and in the 11th minute, the ball found Baga on the edge of the box, and Chelsea’s failure to close down the player nearly cost them the first goal of the game as Baga’s thunderous shot thundered off Kepa’s post! BATE also nearly scored from the corner 2 minutes after Baga’s great chance, when Dragun’s flicked header at the near post was well saved by Kepa and just about scrambled away by Chelsea’s defence. These were very bleak warning signs for Chelsea going into the half-time break- luckily at 0-0…
Chelsea’s best chances of the first half were very scarce even though they had the majority of the possession in the first half. And that is credit to the way that BATE Borisov played in the first half, with Giroud and Emerson having Chelsea’s only real attempts of the game, but none of them being real clear cut chances.
So Chelsea had to step it up in the second half, otherwise if they didn’t, then there would have been a good chance that their unbeaten record in all competitions could end tonight in Belarus…
Unsurprisingly, Maurizio’s Sarri’s team talk had Chelsea fired up in the earlier stages of the second half, and their early pressure paid off with the first goal of the game, when Emerson’s cross from the left hand side was headed in by Giroud after he got in front of is marker. That goal was a relief for Chelsea and a massive relief for Olivier Giroud who ended his long goal drought. The goalkeeper maybe could have done better with that one. However, Chelsea’s higher intensity didn’t last for too long, and the pattern of the first half resumed with BATE Borisov looking very dangerous.
And they could have levelled in the 58th minute when Dragun shot found Signevich in the box and he diverted Dragun’s misguided shot onto the bar. And only a minute after, BATE missed another great chance when Rios’s shot from inside the box was blazed over the bar, after Signevich’s pull back found an Onrushing Rios in acres of space, and he couldn’t keep his shot under the bar. BATE’S only other chances in the second half came nearer the end of the game with the substitute Berezkin pulling his shot in the 87th minute just wide of the post. Dramatically, in the last minute of stoppage time, from a BATE corner, Dragun’s shot from the edge of the box smashed the post and again was scrambled clear by the Chelsea defence. That was the third time that the Belarusian champions hit the woodwork in this game!
Chelsea started the second half really well, but couldn’t add a second before the BATE onslaught happened late on in the game, with Giroud, Jorginho , Hazard and Barkley all missing chances for Chelsea to kill off the game.
Overall, Chelsea were very lucky to get away with all 3 points, whereas for BATE, they performed very well tonight (much better than their performance at Stamford Bridge), and just lacked a little bit of quality and luck which they needed to obtain at least 1 valuable point from this game.
Player and Manager ratings out of 10
BATE Borisov- Formation: 4-3-3
Scherbitski- 6 (Made some really good saves, but maybe could have done better for the Chelsea goal)
Rios- 7 (defensively solid, caused Emerson alot of problems. However missed a massive chance to score for BATE)
Volkov- 7 (on the whole, defensively solid)
Filipenko- 7 (on the whole, defensively solid)
Filipovic- 7 (defensively solid)
Baga- 8 (played very well- unlucky not to score with his attempt in the first half, which thundered off the post)
Dragun- 8 (Very solid in the midfield, nearly got an assist for Signevich’s chance which he should of finished. He nearly also scored in the first half with a header from a corner which was well saved by Kepa)
Hleb- 6 (didn’t have a massive effect on the game)
Skavysh- 7 (lively in the attacking areas, caused Chelsea’s defence a few problems)
Signevich- 5 (quite game. The only chance he got in the game was when he hit the bar!)
Stasevich- 6 (caused Chelsea’s defence a few problems with his pace)
Tuominen- 7 (Impacted the game really well. Unfortunate not to score in the dying seconds of the game when his shot thundered off the post)
Moukam- 6 (lively when came on. didn’t have alot of time to impact the game)
Berezkin- 6 (lively when came on. Also didn’t have alot of time to impact the game, but he nearly scored in the 87th minute with a shot which just drifted wide of Kepa’s post)
Manager rating-Aleksey Baga- 8- picked his best 11 and his team caused Chelsea many problems. Unlucky that his side didn’t get at least a point, but it was a much better performance from his side tonight compared to the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge in the attacking and defensive side of things.
Chelsea- Formation: 4-3-3
Kepa- 5 (average, didn’t have many saves to make. Could do nothing about the 3 attempts from BATE which hit the post)
Emerson- 6 (suspect defensively but got the assist for Giroud’s goal)
Cahill- 6 (a little shaky at the back, but kept a clean sheet at the end of the day)/
Christensen- 6 (same as Cahill)
Zappacosta- 4 (poor defensively and couldn’t deliver a good ball into the box)
Jorginho- 6 (controlled performance)
Barkley- 6 (poor first half but livened up in the second half)
Loftus Cheek- 5 (Average- kept giving the ball away. Nothing like how he played in revers fixture at Stamford Bridge where he scored that hatrick).
Hazard- 6 (didn’t really affect the game today for Chelsea. Was just played to get minutes under his belt after being out with a back injury.)
Pedro- 6 (poor in first half, but much better in the second half)
Giroud- 7 (Had multiple chances to score, but took his header well in the second half to end his long goal drought)
Willian- 5 (didn’t impact the game much)
Kovacic- 5 (didn’t impact the game much)
Hudson-Odoi- 5 (didn’t have enough time to impact the game)
Manager rating- Maurizio Sarri- 7- picked a strong side who went out there and put on a professional performance, although they were very luck to gain all 3 points.
BATE Borisov Chelsea
Possession (%) 26 74
Shots 9 17
Shots on Target 1 4
Corners 3 6
Fouls 14 5
Position in Europa League Group
Chelsea have qualified for the last 32, and have 12 points from 12 with a goal difference of +5. Vidi FC are second with 6 points after their crucial 1-0 win at home against PAOK. PAOK are in third place with 3 points. And BATE are in 4th place with 3 points, but a worse goal difference than PAOK.
Next Games for both teams
In the Europa League, both these teams are next in action on the 29th of October with Chelsea playing PAOK at home at 8pm. Whereas at 5:55pm (UK time), BATE Borisov take on Vidi FC in Belarus. In terms of the domestic league for both sides, Chelsea are next in action in the Premier League on Sunday where they take on Everton FC at 2:15pm (UK time) at Stamford Bridge. Whereas in the Belarusian league, BATE are next in action on the 21st of November where they take on Shakhtyor Soligorsk away from home at 3pm (UK time).
By Danyal Khan (Twitter- @DKMatchreports)
Categories: Europa League