Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The 34-year-old has joined Serie A outfit AC Milan on a two-year contract after leaving Chelsea.
Not many footballers get the praise and compliments they deserve for their performance. Some go under the radar and stay underrated despite producing match-winning exhibitions on a regular basis. Olivier Giroud is one of those footballers, who is considered underrated by football fans.
After stints at English top-flight clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, Olivier Giroud has now joined Italian outfit AC Milan. Scoring a combined 144 goals for the two London-based clubs, the 34-year-old has certainly established his name in the English football folklore. From starting as a target man to entering as a super-sub, Giroud’s numbers justify his stance as one of the most notable goalscoring figures of his generation.
Commemorating his exceptional career at the Premier League and impeccable professionalism, Khel Now brings you five stand-out performances from his decorated club career so far:
5. Two goals within three minutes against Middlesbrough
Olivier Giroud, for most occasions, was the dreadlock-breaker for Arsenal after 2012. Arsene Wenger’s side played an aesthetically pleasing brand of football and it was the Frenchman who often finished off the moves. Against Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the 2014/15 FA Cup, he replicated it once again.
The Frenchman scored two goals within three minutes to guide Arsenal to the quarterfinals. His brace came in the 27th and 29th minute of the match. Giroud’s opener caught everyone’s eye – every single Arsenal player touched the ball in the build-up to the goal. The goal served as a testament to the side’s free-flowing approach.
Nonetheless, Giroud’s presence up front was remarkable on the day, as the forward consistently created spaces and troubled the Middlesbrough defenders. After his splendid display, Wenger called him a ‘top player’ with “technical soundness, mobility and great focus,” in the post-match interview.
4. Scissor kick away at Crystal Palace
In addition to his poaching abilities, Giroud’s quality to pull off acrobatic goals is hailed by many. After an opening-day defeat at West Ham, the Arsenal forward inspired his side to a 2-1 win away against Crystal Palace.
The France international scored a scorpion kick off Mesut Ozil’s cross in the 16th minute. He did an excellent job retaining his balance before launching himself in the air to meet the cross. Their lead was short-lived and Palace looked prepared to defend deep and keep Arsenal at bay. Three goal-bound shots were blocked before Giroud pulled a rabbit out of his hat for the lead.
It is one of the many important goals Olivier Giroud scored at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger commented the goal to be Arsenal’s response and intent going forward to the season.
3. Brace off the bench for the Blues
Much of Olivier Giroud’s reputation as a player comes from his abilities to produce a match-winning moment and make a great impact from the bench. After departing from Arsenal in 2018, his first Premier League goal for Chelsea came against Southampton. Coming on as a substitute, the striker scored two goals to begin his spell with the Blues.
Antonio Conte’s side were struggling away at St. Mary’s, as the Saints took a 2-0 lead, courtesy of Dusan Tadic and Jan Bednarek’s strikes. Giroud’s inspiration struck right and Chelsea went on to score thrice in nine minutes to complete the comeback. He delivered a man of the match-worthy performance in that game.
The striker also displayed incredible efficiency in front of the goal, as he scored off the only two shots he took after coming on in the 56th minute.
2. 117th minute winner against Paris Saint-Germain
Montpellier’s heroic Coupe De La Ligue runner-up finish in 2011 was a bedrock to their Ligue 1 win in 2012. Facing the mighty Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final, the side scored in extra time to proceed to the final.
In front of a packed Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier’s rising striker Olivier Giroud was the star of the night. He pulled off a stunning overhead kick in the 117th minute of the match to seal a historic win. Controlling an aerial delivery using his chest, Giroud maintained balance and struck the ball in the back of the net. The goal resembled a similar strike that he pulled off against Atletico Madrid in the 2020-21 Champions League.
Despite going down 1-0 in the final against Marseille, Giroud’s all-round performance and the amazing goal produced one of the most memorable moments of the French Cup competition.
1. The Puskas winning Scorpion kick
On new year’s day at the Emirates, Olivier Giroud scored what Arsene Wenger called the best goal ever scored in the stadium. In a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, he pulled off yet another acrobatic effort, this time with a scorpion kick.
Just after intercepting the ball outside their box, Arsenal quickly set off on a counter. Alexis Sanchez received a ball towards the left and sent it flying towards sprinting Giroud inside the opposition box. He brought his improvising skills on fleek, scoring a sumptuous scorpion kick off the bar.
The whole sequence took just 17 seconds and the Frenchman’s overall involvement was nothing short of a heroic practice. Despite sprinting ahead of the ball, he managed to be agile enough to score off the bar.
His strike was deemed goal of the season and also won the FIFA Puskas Award. Giroud later described the goal as the best he has ever scored.