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Giroud scores all four of Chelsea's goals to clinch top spot while Barca maintain winning run

Borussia Dortmund reached the Champions League last-16 while Juventus were also victorious.

Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring for Chelsea.
Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring for Chelsea.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

OLIVIER GIROUD SCORED four goals as Chelsea romped to an impressive 4-0 victory at Sevilla on Wednesday to secure top spot in Champions League Group E.

The 34-year-old striker is the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the competition since Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas in 1965 for Real Madrid against Feyenoord.

He is also the first player to net four times in a Champions League match since Cristiano Ronaldo against Malmo five years ago.

Both teams were already qualified for the last 16 before kick-off, but Giroud made the most of a rare start, scoring with his left foot, his right foot and his head to see Chelsea through as group winners, also slotting in a penalty.

The France international sent out a message to his manager Frank Lampard, with Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham seemingly above him in the pecking order, by making the absolute most of only his second start of the season.

Lampard will now be able to rest players for the final group game against Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge, with his side looking to improve on last season’s run to the last 16, where they were well beaten by eventual winners Bayern Munich.

Giroud wasted little time in putting Chelsea ahead, collecting Kai Havertz’s clever pass before cutting inside and bending a fine finish into the far corner in the eighth minute.

Sevilla were left frustrated as they saw two penalty appeals for handball turned down.

In the 20th minute, claims that Christian Pulisic handled were waved away by referee Artur Soares Dias after he checked the pitchside monitor.

The hosts had another penalty shout turned down following a lengthy VAR delay after an Ivan Rakitic free-kick struck the Chelsea wall.

Aside from those nervy moments, Lampard’s Blues were the more threatening, with Antonio Rudiger seeing a header cleared off the line before Alfonso Pastor kept out Pulisic’s low drive.

The home side started the second half brightly, as Jesus Navas picked out Nemanja Gudelj with a clever pass, but the Serbian international fired narrowly over.

Chelsea doubled their advantage in the 54th minute, though, as Giroud boosted his case for more game time further by latching onto Mateo Kovacic’s pass and clipping the ball over the Sevilla goalkeeper.

But he was not finished there, completing his first Champions League hat-trick since a treble against Olympiakos for Arsenal in 2015 with a looping header from N’Golo Kante’s cross.

Giroud rounded off a virtuoso display from the spot with seven minutes to play, scoring a spot-kick he had won himself.

hungary-soccer-champions-league Antoine Griezmann heled Barcelona to a 3-0 win. Source: Laszlo Balogh

Antoine Griezmann struck for the third game running as Barcelona beat Ferencvaros 3-0 to keep their 100% intact in this season’s Champions League group stage.

Ronald Koeman again rested Lionel Messi with qualification for the last 16 already assured, and Barca made it five wins from five in Group G with an impressive performance in Budapest.

France striker Griezmann has struggled to find his best form since joining from Atletico Madrid almost 18 months ago, but the 29-year-old appears belatedly to be hitting his stride under Koeman.

While Barca lag 10 points off the pace in Spain, albeit with games in hand, the Catalans can complete a perfect group-stage campaign for the first time since 2002-03 with victory at home to Juventus next week.

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Despite the absence of Messi, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Philippe Coutinho and injured pair Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati, a heavily rotated Barca ripped the Hungarian champions apart in the opening half-hour.

Griezmann’s clever back-heel flick from a Jordi Alba cross set the visitors on their way 14 minutes into a freezing night at the Puskas Arena.

Martin Braithwaite soon poked in a second from a similar position following an Ousmane Dembele assist, capping a 33-pass move with his fourth goal in three games.

Dembele crashed home a penalty after Braithwaite was upended by Abraham Frimpong, with Koeman withdrawing Alba and Sergio Busquets at half-time and giving some playing time to youngsters Carles Alena, Riqui Puig and Konrad de la Fuente.

Borussia Dortmund reached the last 16 of the Champions League despite Lazio captain Ciro Immobile scoring a second-half penalty against his former club in a 1-1 draw in Germany.

Immobile, who failed to make his mark in the Bundesliga after an unhappy 2014/15 season at Dortmund, converted a 67th-minute penalty to cancel out Raphael Guerreiro’s goal just before half-time.

The result at Signal Iduna Park means leaders Dortmund need a win at Zenit St Petersburg next Tuesday to be sure of progressing as Group F winners.

Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a men’s Champions League game as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 750th career goal in a 3-0 win for Juventus over Dynamo Kiev.

The Italian champions were already through to the last 16, along with Group G leaders Barcelona, but can still pip the Spaniards to top spot, sitting three points behind them ahead of their trip to the Camp Nou next Tuesday.

italy-juventus-dinamo-kiev Referee Stephanie Frappart. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The 36-year-old Frappart has already made history as the first woman to referee in Ligue 1, and took charge of the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea. She also made her Europa League debut in October.

Juventus had few problems on the pitch against the Ukrainians who they had also beaten 2-0 in Kiev on October 20.

Federico Chiesa inspired the victory, scoring the opening goal on 21 minutes helping Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata add two more in the second half.

Elsewhere, Club Brugge recorded a 3-0 win over Zenit Saint Petersburg in Group F.

© – AFP, 2020

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