- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
BATE Borisov - Chelsea
Europa League - 8 November 2018
Europa League – Follow the Football match between BATE Borisov and Chelsea live with Eurosport. The match starts at 18:55 on 8 November 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Chelsea have sealed their place in the last 32 of the competition, but it was probably their worst performance of the season.
BATE struck the woodwork no fewer than three times, but Olivier Giroud's first goal of the season proves the difference between the sides.
Maurizio Sarri's unbeaten run as Blues boss is extended to 17 matches.
POST! Chelsea are just hanging on here - BATE are denied by the woodwork again following a goal-mouth scramble!
There will be THREE minutes of added time.
WIDE! Berezkin shoots wide from the edge of the box, and that could be that for BATE's European hopes.
- OnCallum Hudson-OdoiChelsea
CHELSEA SUB: Pedro makes way for Callum Hudson-Odoi who has all of five minutes to make an impression.
CHANCE! Scherbitski is off his line quickly to smother an over-cooked Giroud pass aimed for Willian.
- OffAleksandr HlebBATE Borisov
- OnYevgeniy BerezkinBATE Borisov
BATE SUB: A third and final change for the visitors, as Yevgeniy Biarozkin replaces Hleb, once of Arsenal.
BATE are huffing and puffing for an equaliser, but they are clearly tiring. They have 10 minutes to find a goal or their European hopes are dashed for another year.
- OffMaksim SkavyshBATE Borisov
- OnHervaine MoukamBATE Borisov
BATE SUBS: Hervaine Moukam is on for Skavysh, while Jasse Tuominen came on for Signevich a couple of minutes ago.
SHOT! Barkley is getting forward more often now and he is inches from connecting with Willian's deadly cross, but a BATE defender climbs higher. His clearance is pounced on by Jorginho on the edge of the box, but the Italian can't keep his half-volley down.
BATE are tiring, but admirably, are still holding their rigid defensive shape really well. They need a goal, though.
Of course, it could have been a very different story had Baga's rocket-shot in the first-half been a few inches lower. Luck hasn't been on BATE's side this evening - Stasevich also struck the woodwork in the second-period.
So, as it stands, Chelsea will progress with four wins from four games in Group L. They haven't been at their best this evening, but Giroud's header is the difference between the sides.
OVER! Barkley, like his England colleague Loftus-Cheek, has had a poor game. He tries his luck from 25 yards but it's always curling over.
GOAL UPDATE: MOL Vidi have taken the lead against PAOK, which means BATE would fall to the bottom of the group.
- OffRuben Loftus-CheekChelsea
- OnMateo KovacicChelsea
CHELSEA SUB: The ineffective Loftus-Cheek is hooked off. His replacement is Mateo Kovacic.
CHANCE! A free header for Giroud but he can only head straight at the BATE goalkeeper. Should be 2-0.
- OffEden HazardChelsea
CHELSEA SUB: And that's it for Hazard, the Belgian is replaced by Willian.
MISS! BATE spurn a glorious chance to level the scores! Chelsea fail to track the run of Stasevhich and he is free to pull a cross back to Rios who makes a late run into the box. He has lots of time to pick his spot, but he leans back and skies the shot over with the goal gaping.
OFF THE CROSSBAR! Stasevich's shot from inside the box smashes off the top of the bar! For the second time this evening BATE are denied by the woodwork! It's another let-off for Chelsea.
Giroud's opener - his first club goal since May - has given Chelsea a new lease of life; suddenly they look full of confidence and hungry for more.
Well then, have BATE got a Plan B? The Belarus champions are heading out of the competition unless they can find a goal.
- GoalOlivier GiroudChelsea
GOAL! BATE 0-1 Chelsea
GIROUD TO THE RESCUE! It's a typical goal from the Frenchman. Emerson bends a delicious cross to the near post, Giroud skips away from his marker and makes connection with a powerful header which squirms past the goalkeeper.
It's Giroud's first goal under manager Sarri.
REALLY POOR! Hazard's floated cross is over the heads of everyone as the ball sails out harmlessly for a goal-kick.
Chelsea play a short corner, which they play short to Hazard. And the Belgian, rather cleverly, draws a foul, winning a free-kick right on the edge of the box.
It has been a frustrating night for everyone in Chelsea colours, but Giroud, in particular, will be feeling the strain. Handed an opportunity to impress in the absence of Morata, the Frenchman has struggled to be involved.
- 2nd Half
Chelsea get the second-half underway. They will need to move the ball much quicker if they are to make the breakthrough.
- End of 1st Half
No goals, no chances and not one shot on target from Chelsea. Things can only get better after the restart, can't they?
Never mind Giroud's plight, Chelsea are yet to register a shot on target in this first-half!
WIDE! Hazard's in-swinger picks out the desperate Giroud but his glancing header is never troubling the goalkeeper. And so the Frenchman's wait for a goal continues.
More inventive from Chelsea as a sweeping move releases Loftus-Cheek behind the home side's defence. But Filipovic is tracking him all the way and makes the challenge at the expense of a corner.
SHOT! Loftus-Cheek strikes from distance but it is always sailing harmlessly wide.
A drop of the shoulder takes Hazard past his marker as he cuts inside from the left, but a super tackle from a defender sees the Belgian dispossessed on the edge of the penalty box.
More Chelsea possession as the visitors step up the ante in search of an opener. BATE have been extremely well organised but you would imagine, at some point, they will make a slip-up in defence and the Blues may well take advantage.
Emerson whips in a teasing ball across the face of goal, but none of his Chelsea team mates took the gamble, and it's catching practice for BATE's goalkeeper Scherbitski.
We have reached the half-an-hour stage and Chelsea have yet to create a clear-cut opportunity, although they have dominated possession. In fact, the Blues are fortunate not to be trailing - Baga struck the woodwork for the hosts with a lovely-struck effort from distance with Kepa beaten.
BATE conjure up their best attacking move of the game, and after a dozen passes the ball is worked to Rios on the right. But he loses his composure and Chelsea now have a goal-kick.
Much better control of possession from Chelsea now, but BATE are holding their defensive shape well, and the Belarus champions are proving stubborn opponents to play through.
Hazard has yet to work his magic, but he's played through behind the BATE defence on the left. A little give-and-go with Loftus Cheek is nice, but then the Belgian's cross is cleared.
Jorginho concedes the ball needlessly in midfield, and Baga - who struck the post a while ago - is allowed to charge down the flank before delivering a cross into the box. Christensen is there to clear.
Chelsea go long as Christensen launches it forward to Giroud, who is still waiting for his first goal for Chelsea since May. He controls it on his chest and strikes a volley at goal, it takes a deflection off a defender, winning the visitors a corner.
The banners here in Belarus are fascinating!
CHANCE! Chelsea are under the cosh here in Belarus! A corner is delivered, and the Blues don't deal with it, Dragun is left unmarked at the near post and forces Kepa into a diving save.
OFF THE POST! No one closes down Baga and the BATE midfielder accepts the invitation to shoot from 25 yards. And what an effort it is, too. He catches it really sweetly, the ball looks destined for the far corner, Kepa is beaten, but it cannons agonisingly off the woodwork.
This is the rather interesting banner displayed behind the Chelsea goal.
Chelsea are beginning to get to grips with the game. The visitors are knocking the ball around comfortably as they enjoy a long spell of possession.
Zappacosta gets around his marker to arch a cross into the heart of the home side's defence but there are few blue shirts inside the box and Filipenko intervenes with a clearing header.
And it's all rather scrappy on the field, too. Barkley gets a sight of goal and rifles a shot, Giroud tries and fails to get out of the way, the ball striking his backside and diverting it out of play.
Some of the football Chelsea have played under Sarri this season has been thrilling - colourful, even. There is nothing bright about the conditions in Belarus, it's misty, dull and barely above 0 degrees.
BATE asking some questions of the Blues defence here early on. The ball is spread wide to Signevich who has space to get a cross in, Christensen fails to clear convincingly, and Stasevich, the club captain, fires wide with an overhead kick.
- 1st Half
And we are underway in Belarus where it is absolutely freezing!
A reminder of the teams...
Chelsea: Kepa, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson, Barkley, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Giroud, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Ampadu, Kovacic, Kante, Hudson-Odoi, Willian.
BATE: Scherbitski, Rios, Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic, Hleb, Dragun, Baga, Skavysh, Signevich, Stasevich. Subs: Chichkan, Yablonski, Berezkin, Ivanic, Tuominen, Polyakov, Moukam.
Chelsea can win the pool this evening, but only with a win and as long as Vidi and PAOK draw in the other Group L game.
Standing in their way are Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics, as they are otherwise known.
Kick-off is NEXT!
MATCH STAT: Chelsea have won six consecutive Europa League games, since a 2-3 defeat at Rubin Kazan in April 2013. Who would bet against the Blues winning the competition?
Kovacic and Ampadu are also likely candidates to play replace Hazard, whenever that time comes in the game.
While Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League with a comfortable victory over Palace on Sunday, BATE were busy clinching the Belarus league title with a 1-0 victory over Neman Grodno, leaving them a mighty 14 points clear at the top of the league with three games to play.
Loftus-Cheek netted a hat-trick as Chelsea won the reverse fixture 3-1 a fortnight ago, and his reward for his recent impressive form is a recall to the England squad.
Sarri on playing Hazard: "According to our doctor there is not any risk, otherwise he would have stayed at Cobham, of course.
"We felt that for him it’s better to play, not for 90 minutes, but to play after two weeks of not playing.
"In the last match he played only for 30 minutes. The best way for him is that tomorrow he will play for 45 or 50 minutes."
BATE TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Scherbitski, Rios, Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic, Hleb, Dragun, Baga, Skavysh, Signevich, Stasevich.
Subs: Chichkan, Yablonski, Berezkin, Ivanic, Tuominen, Polyakov, Moukam.
EDEN HAZARD STARTS
Having missed three recent matches with a back problem, the Belgian is a surprise inclusion in Maurizio Sarri's starting XI.
He is one of many new faces in the Blues' line-up which beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at the weekend, with Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek and Giroud all restored to the team.
Morata and Fabregas didn't travel with the team.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Kepa, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson, Barkley, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
Subs: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Ampadu, Kovacic, Kante, Hudson-Odoi, Willian.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE text commentary of Chelsea's Europa League Group L clash at BATE Borisov.
Having made a perfect start to their campaign, the Blues can confirm their spot in the last 32 of the competition with a victory in Belarus.