Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has praised striker Oliver Giroud, following his match-winning performance against BATE Borisov.

The Blues secured qualification for the Europa League last-32 on Thursday night, edging out their opponents 1-0 in Belarus to keep up their 100 per cent record in the competition.

It was Giroud’s solitary strike that proved to be the difference between the two sides and Sarri lauded the Frenchman in his post-match press conference.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Sport

I’m pleased for him.

He’s a very important player for us, he’s very useful for the team but I know very well that strikers want to score, and so for his confidence it’s very important.

But I don’t want him to be worried about scoring because for us he’s very important.

Giroud’s winner was his first goal of the season, in his 12th appearance in all competitions, with many often critical of his goalscoring ability.

Dan Istitene/Getty Images Sport

Sarri clearly values him as far more than a poacher, however, with his hold-up play and aerial ability often providing a greater effect on the team than the more prolific Alvaro Morata.

Chelsea host Everton on Sunday afternoon as they look to stay unbeaten in this season’s Premier League – it will be interesting to see if Sarri retains Giroud up front.