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Emerson, Giroud lead Chelsea past BATE (video)

Belarus Soccer Europa League

Chelsea’s Oliver Giroud heads the ball as he jumps with Bate’s Yegor Filipenko, left, during the Europa League group L soccer match between Bate and Chelsea at the Borisov-Arena in Borisov, Belarus, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)


Chelsea traveled a long way for Thursday’s Europa League match at BATE Borisov, and Olivier Giroud made sure their trip to Belarus was a success.

Giroud thumped a trademark header home in the 52nd minute, meeting a pinpoint cross from Emerson Palmieri to lift Chelsea to a 1-0 win.

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The Blues had 74 percent of the ball and out-attempted their hosts 17-9 in a victory that propels them into the knockout rounds.

Chelsea will win Group L with a single point earned or MOL Vidi point lost over the final two match days.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, David Zappacosta, and Gary Cahill joined Emerson as unusual starters for the Blues.

Follow @NicholasMendola