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BATE Borisov 0-1 Chelsea: Despite a lacklustre performance - Let's focus on the positives.

. Chelsea beat BATE Borisov with a goal from Olivier Giroud to put Maurizio Sarri's side in firm control of the Europa League group ...

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Chelsea beat BATE Borisov with a goal from Olivier Giroud to put Maurizio Sarri's side in firm control of the Europa League group and have ensured qualification to the round of 32. Despite plenty of negatives from some Chelsea fans on social media, it's important to look at the positives here despite the fact that there wasn't many. 

Having sat and watched the game when I got home from work I feel now that it's a good win and three points to ensure that we qualify so that's important and a couple of positives. Eden Hazard came through the hour that he played virtually unscathed and Ross Barkley continues to flourish in his new midfield role. As each game passes by I am more and more impressed by his work-rate and his willingness to show for the ball, making himself available to pass to as one of the important three men in Maurizio Sarri's midfield.

I thought that Emerson looked busy down the left-hand side and got himself an important assist for Olivier Giroud who scored his first goal of the season and for Sarri which are both important positives.

I thought that we didn't look as much of a shambles with the starting back-four as we did against Derby at Stamford Bridge a week ago which is another positive. Oh, as for all those slagging Gary Cahill of once again on social media (shame on you by the way), I would like you to look at who threw himself in-between two Borisov players to a shot that had rebounded off the post in the last minute of injury time and cleared the ball away from danger - Gary Cahill!

Jorginho passed the ball to his normal standards and Pedro was busy throughout - again positives to take from the game.


So the obvious negatives that MUST be mentioned so to level things out and give this blog post some sort of balance to the arguments given. 

I thought that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was disappointing on the night, he didn't look up to speed with the game, found himself too often with his back to goal and didn't look himself.

The fact that BATE Borisov hit the woodwork THREE times indicates that we had rode our luck in the game and you would have to agree. If you then add the glaring opportunity they had created for themselves when the ball was pulled back across goal, only for their man to balloon the ball high over the bar from 12-yards you would have to admit that they deserved a draw.

However, in European football and these early group stages it's about taking your chances. If you do it can make a real difference and we did. Any one of us would have taken a win and three more points to qualify BEFORE the game kicked off so why do we feel slightly frustrated tonight?

If anything, we are so used to seeing Chelsea play their high-press, high tempo game passing teams off the pitch that we have expect it to happen all the time. Let's face it, this was a tough place to go against a side who would put everything out on the pitch to give a better performance than they did in London a couple of weeks ago. It was always going to be a different game and we should have expected that.

It's what is entered in the record books that matters and as I have said it's our fourth win from four games played, we sit top of the group having now qualified for the round of 32 and with two games remaining, look odds-on to win it.

I'd say that's job done wouldn't you?

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