Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud scored all four goals against Sevilla as the Blues won 4-0 to all-but clinch their position at the top of Champions League E.
Giroud, who admitted that his level of game time was “worrying” last month, made of a statement of intent by heading Chelsea into the knockout stages last week.
And the Frenchman continued that resurgence on Wednesday. In fact, he was unstoppable throughout as he sent a stern message to boss Frank Lampard over his future ahead of the January transfer window.
Giroud’s opener came after he slotted a fine finish with his left foot into the corner. It was Kai Havertz – who has also struggled for action of late – who got the assist.
Sevilla’s early threat showed, though, when a goalmouth scramble almost ended in an equaliser. However, Chelsea managed to scrape the ball clear.
But the Spanish side grew into the game, earning two – albeit unthreatening – free kicks just outside the penalty box.
Blues winger Christian Pulisic has struggled for injury in recent weeks but he showed signs of his raw talent in the first half. The American’s pace was a constant danger and he fired one chance wide, before his next effort was saved.
Chelsea, though, reached half-time with their 1-0 lead intact after staying relatively compact without the ball.
Sevilla had the best early chance of the first half, Nemanja Gudelj firing over Edouard Mendy’s goal on the half-volley.
But it was Chelsea who stretched their lead, Giroud dinking over Sevilla goalkeeper Alfonso Pastor from Mateo Kovacic’s pinpoint pass.
Pulisic continued to have an impact in the visitors’ attack and forced a block from his shot after a breakaway.
Mason Mount should have added Chelsea’s third but there was only one man who was intent on doing so – Giroud. The Frenchman completed his hat-trick with a flicked header from N’Golo Kante’s cross.
However, Giroud was not done there. After Chelsea won a penalty, he stayed cool to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and fire the ball into the top-right corner.
Chelsea return to action on Saturday when they play Leeds in the Premier League.