Reported by football.london
Joe Cole has praised Chelsea for showing their quality by winning against BATE Borisov despite putting on a disappointing performance.
Maurizio Sarri’s side secured qualification to the knock out stages of the Europa League with their victory. They have now won four games out of four in group L and sit top with a maximum 12 points.
Olivier Giroud scored his first club goal since May to make sure of the points for the Blues in Belarus.
However, BATE rattled the woodwork three times as the visitors struggled to dominate the game as expected.
According to BT Sport commentator Nigel Spackman the Premier League title winners had a rare night off form.
“Sarri will be happy with the scoreline,” he said. “A clean sheet, he’ll be happy with that.
“Overall the performance has probably been Chelsea’s worst display of the season so far.
“Away in Europe. 1-0. Great result. But the performance tonight hasn’t been up their normal standards.”
Maurizio Sarri gestures from the sideline during Chelsea’s win over BATE Borisov. (Image: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole was also critical of the visitors in spite of their success away in Belarus but pointed to the positives that prove why Sarri’s side cannot be underestimated this season.
“Chelsea made it hard for themselves,” he said. “You’ve got to give them credit BATE because they dug in there.
They kept the back four together and defended crosses and Chelsea, with their complacency, gave them