OLIVIER GIROUD defied the frozen wastes of Kiev’s Olympic Stadium to mark his 50th Euro game with a goal feast to warm Chelsea hearts.
The veteran French striker scored a hat-trick and set up two more as Chelsea wrapped up their place in the Europa League quarter finals with a stroll.
Boss Maurizio Sarri’s concerns about injury to his players on what he described as a ‘disaster’ of a pitch which was frozen in parts proved an unfounded fear.
Giroud last scored three in one game against Aston Villa in May 2016.
Chelsea went ahead after just over four minutes when Giroud prodded home from a corner by Willian, helped on by Ruben Loftus-Cheek in a goalmouth scramble.
On 33 minutes the former Arsenal star scored a similar effort from a perfectly weighted curved ball into the box by Marcos Alonso to claim his ninth goal of the season for Chelsea – all but one of which have come in Europe.
Loftus-Cheek also had a shot parried by the keeper and Chelsea were able to play at much less than full tempo and treat this last 16 second leg as a training ground run out.
Alonso took the aggregate tally to six-nil when he tapped in the third for Chelsea in first half stoppage time.
Young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi played a neat one-two with Giroud then cut into the box, dragging the ball back for Alonso to poke home a simple goal.
The dominance of Chelsea meant that Sarri was able to rest key players like Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Jorginho in readiness for Sunday’s Premier League match at Everton.
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Chelsea were so dominant that kind-hearted midfielder N’Golo Kante even stopped to pose for a selfie with a Ukrainian ball boy as he trooped into the tunnel at half time.
Kiev did threaten in the 51st minute with a rare attack but even then their luck deserted them and Serhiy Sydorchuk hit the post.
Giroud headed in a free kick from Willian in the 59th minute and Alonso then smacked the crossbar with a set-piece shot a minute later.
Hudson-Odoi scored his fifth goal from seven starts this season to make it 5-0 still with 12 minutes remaining from a Giroud through ball.