Maurizio Sarri gives positive Gonzalo Higuain injury update


A hat-trick from Giroud set the tone as the Blues wrapped up a 5-0 - and 8-0 aggregate - victory over Dynamo Kiev to ease into the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. I feel very well physically.

Arkadiusz Milik scored a crucial away goal in the 14th minute to all but end the tie, leaving Salzburg needing five unanswered goals to progress.

"He played very well - better in the second half because we found the spaces and Callum in the spaces is really a very good player", Sarri added.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard is one of several first-team stars who should come back into the starting XI as Chelsea continue their pursuit of a top-four finish.

"I thought he was terrific", Walker said.

First-choice centre-forward Gonzalo Higuain missed the midweek trip to Kiev due to illness, with back-up Olivier Giroud continuing his fine form in Europe by scoring a hat-trick.

"In fact I think he's been very good for Chelsea since he's been at the club, possibly underrated in many respects but proving it again in the Europa League that he can score goals".

Unai Emery

"No. No chance. I'm a competitor", Giroud said, per The Sun.

Elsewhere Portuguese giants Benfica play Inter Milan's conquerors Eintracht Frankfurt and there's an all-La Liga tie as Villarreal play Valencia for a place in the semi-finals.

The remaining tie pits Benfica against Eintracht Frankfurt, with the victor facing Chelsea or Slavia Prague in the semi-finals.

It means Arsenal and Chelsea will be kept apart until the final should they advance and sees Blues manager Maurizio Sarri also avoiding his former side Napoli until that stage.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek had an excellent game during the week and Sarri was full of praise for the Englishman in his pre-match press conference.

"Chelsea are probably one of the favourites and the performance last night proves why".

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