Chelsea reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday after a late Olivier Giroud strike gave the Blues a 2-1 win over Rennes.
France forward Giroud’s powerful header snatched the points for Frank Lampard’s side after Serhou Guirassy had levelled Callum Hudson-Odoi’s first-half opener.
The French striker has played just 127 minutes for the Blues so far this season, but made the most of his time on the pitch here with an injury-time finish after Timo Werner’s effort had been blocked.
Just six minutes earlier, Rennes looked to have denied Chelsea when Serhou Guirassy headed home from a corner to cancel out Callum Hudson-Odoi’s opener.
Frank Lampard’s side dominated the first half and could easily have led by more than just Hudson-Odoi’s calm finish after he had been sent clear by a pinpoint pass from Mason Mount.
They invited the home side on in the second half and had to rely on a defence that included the returning Thiago Silva and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who made a couple of good saves against his former club.
The Blues have 10 points in Group E, nine more than both Rennes and Krasnodar.
Elsewhere, Chelsea were joined in the next round by Group E rivals Sevilla after the Spanish side snatched a late 2-1 win at Krasnodar.
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