Browsing: Olivier Giroud

Both teams have accrued 26 points heading into their first match of the New Year, although the visitors do have two games in hand and have enjoyed a far better spell of form than their weekend opponents.

After a drab first 45 minutes where only a Kurt Zouma header that rocketed back off the crossbar threatened either goal, Olivier Giroud put Chelsea ahead when his effort squeezed through Rui Patricio and was awarded by goal-line technology.

Giroud, making his 50th start for the club, was at his clinical best as he took his tally to 10 goals in his last seven away starts in the competition and ensured Chelsea go into the round of 16 as one of eight seeded teams.

Dominant Chelsea had 76 per cent of possession in the opening half and missed a string of chances, with Villa keeper Oerjan Nyland twice denying Mason Mount, while Mateo Kovacic volleyed inches wide from the edge of the penalty area

N’Golo Kante started in midfield for Frank Lampard’s side after recently returning to full contact training despite his coronavirus fears.

Chelsea have triggered a 12-month extension in Olivier Giroud’s contract to secure his future until the end of next season, reports Gianluca Di Marzio.