Chelsea sealed their progress in the knockout phase of the Champions League with two games when Olivier Girouds later header secured victory in Rennes

The French striker has only played 127 minutes for the Blues this season, but made the most of his time on the pitch with an injury-related end after Timo Werner’s attempt was blocked

Just six minutes earlier, Rennes appeared to have played Chelsea when Serhou Guirassy walked home from a corner to cancel Callum Hudson-Odoi’s opener

Frank Lampard’s side dominated the first half and could easily have been led by more than Hudson-Odoi’s quiet end after being clearly sent by a precise pass from Mason Mount

They invited the home team in the second half and had to rely on a defense that included returning Thiago Silva and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who scored some good saves against his former club

A late winner for Sevilla means that both they and the Blues have 10 points in Group E, nine more than Rennes and Krasnodar

Lampard spoke ahead of Tuesday’s game about Chelsea’s need to get the Champions League deal done early and will be pleased with the result

Almost as important as the seal qualification is the fact that Chelsea can now rest the players for the final two group matches that take place during a relentless December full of tough games

The remaining games – against Sevilla and Krasnodar – take place in eight games per month between the league games against Tottenham, Leeds and Everton

They will want to take the clash in Spain more seriously as Julen Lopetegui’s side played the Blues in a goalless tie at Stamford Bridge and their only rival for the top spot is theoretically an easier draw in the last 16 / p>
They will be full of confidence, however, having won six games on the spin since losing to Sevilla with another at Manchester United in late October

Tuesday’s win could have been a little less stressful for them if they’d ended the other two clear chances that got in their way during their early dominance

However, on either side of Hudson-Odoi’s goal, Werner somehow found a way to shoot a shot over the crossbar from six yards, and Mount saw goalkeeper Alfred Gomis shoot a shot wide

Rennes deserved to equalize when, towards the end of a second half, a performance that was full of exertion but so often without recklessness in front of goal is clear to see why they went over five hours without a goal before Guirassy’s header had gone

But Chelsea bounced back thanks to the ever-reliable Giroud, who came in 69 Minute was sent by Lampard and his boss in the 91 at age 30 Goal rewarded for the club

goal! Rennes 1, Chelsea 2 Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) headed from the center of the penalty area to the top left corner

Attempt saved Timo Werner (Chelsea) tries with a right foot from the center of the box, held by the goalkeeper in the center of the box. Prepared by Hakim Ziyech

Attempt saved Ben Chilwell’s (Chelsea) header from the center of the penalty area is saved in the middle of the goal. Prepared by Hakim Ziyech

goal! Rennes 1, Chelsea 1 Serhou Guirassy (Rennes) headed from the center of the penalty area to the center of the goal. Prepared by Benjamin Bourigeaud with a cross from a corner

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55047362