Champions League: Giroud’s Late Header Sends Chelsea Into Knockout Stage
Chelsea sealed their progress to the Champions League knockout stage with two games to spare as Olivier Giroud‘s late header secured victory at Rennes.
The French striker has played just 127 minutes for the Blues so far this season, but made the most of his time on the pitch here with an injury-time finish after Timo Werner‘s effort had been blocked.
Just six minutes earlier, Rennes looked to have denied Chelsea when Serhou Guirassy headed home from a corner to cancel out Callum Hudson-Odoi‘s opener.
Frank Lampard‘s side dominated the first half and could easily have led by more than just Hudson-Odoi’s calm finish after he had been sent clear by a pinpoint pass from Mason Mount.
They invited the home side on in the second half and had to rely on a defence that included the returning Thiago Silva and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who made a couple of good saves against his former club.
A late winner for Sevilla means both they and the Blues have 10 points in Group E, nine more than both Rennes and Krasnodar.