Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Olivier Giroud remains a 'very important player' for Chelsea after hitting a hat-trick against Dynamo Kiev, manager Maurizio Sarri has said.
Giroud has struggled for a place in the Chelsea first team in the Premier League since the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain in January, but he has starred in the Europa League - he is the top goalscorer in this year's competition.
He underlined his importance once again as he scored a hat-trick as the Blues defeated Kiev 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals 8-0 on aggregate, much to the delight of his manager.
"In the last period, every time he has been on the pitch, he was able to play really very well. He has scored nine goals in this competition," Sarri said.
"Olivier is, for us, a very important player. I am really very happy for him and for the hat-trick, and I am really very happy with him."
Sarri praised his team for maintaining their focus despite holding a comfortable advantage from the first leg.
"We started very well, I think, and we wanted to start in this way because it was really very important to score after the result at Stamford Bridge," the Italian added.
"We were able to score after five minutes. So, for the opponents, it was really a very difficult situation. I think that we played a very, very good first half. In the second half, we managed the result. But I think [it was] a wonderful performance for 90 minutes."
Chelsea's Europa League quarter-final will be live on BT Sport on the eir sport pack. Subscribe here
Getty Images/Mike Hewitt