Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea beat BATE Borisov 1-0 to progress to the knockout stage of the Europa League.
The goal ended a barren run of 794 minutes without scoring a goal for Chelsea in a stretch that went back to May, having also not found the back of the net for France on their way to winning the World Cup this summer.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri revealed after the victory over BATE Borisov that he was never worried about Giroud’s goal drought because the 32-year-old striker offers so much more to the team than just goals.
“Yes, I’m pleased for him,” Sarri said.
“He’s a very important player for us because he’s very useful for the team. But I know very well that strikers want to score. And so, for his confidence, I think it’s very important.
“But I don’t want him to be worried about scoring because, for us, he’s very important and very useful. Very important.”
Giroud admitted he was hoping to score soon.
“I was hoping to score soon because I came back late from the World Cup and I lack a bit of efficiently and luck, like at Burnley, but you need to keep working hard and keep faith and I did,” Giroud said.