Sarri highlights the importance of Giroud

KIEV, UKRAINE - MARCH 14: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his third and his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Dynamo Kyiv and Chelsea at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on March 14, 2019 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Maurizio Sarri singled out Olivier Giroud for praise after the French striker scored a hat-trick against Dynamo Kiev.

Giroud took his goal tally to nine goals- the highest in the competition as the Blues wrapped up an 8-0 aggregate scoreline to book a place in the quarter-finals.

Despite settling for a peripheral role in the club, the former Montpellier man has risen up to the occasion each time he is given the nod.

However, Sarri who prefers to deploy Higuain in the front role claims the French man is valuable to the squad just like other key players.

He said via Sky: “In the last period, every time he has been on the pitch, he was able to play really very well. He has scored nine goals in this competition.

“Olivier is, for us, a very important player. I am really very happy for him and for the hat-trick, and I am really very happy with him.”

Sarri was equally delighted to have equalled their biggest European away win since the 1970s, notching in five goals in Kiev.

He said: “We started very well, I think, and we wanted to start in this way because it was really very important to score after the result at Stamford Bridge.

“We were able to score after five minutes. So, for the opponents, it was really a very difficult situation. I think that we played a very, very good first half. In the second half, we managed the result. But I think [it was] a wonderful performance for 90 minutes.”

Next up for the Blues is a trip to Goodison Park where they take on Everton in their pursuit of a Champions League spot.