Giroud grabs golden opportunity
Photo: Getty Images - Mike Hewitt

Giroud grabs golden opportunity

Olivier Giroud netted a perfect hat-trick against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday evening, putting himself in serious contention for a place in Chelsea's Premier League line-up this weekend.


On his 50th European appearance, Olivier Giroud gave the travelling fans much to marvel at, with a lesson in clinical finishing on display. 

The three goals were taken with effortless class, a characteristic the Frenchman has become fabled for during his time in England. All were scored inside the area with a first-time finish, this unerring accuracy often missing from Chelsea's attack.

After becoming the Europa League's leading marksman (nine) and the Blues second highest scorer this season (10), surprisingly his starting position in the Premier League is still from the substitute bench.

As reported on the Guardian website, Giroud told reporters, "I’m a competitor and I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch. I have been through a lot of tough moments in my career. 

"I just want to enjoy playing my football after winning the World Cup last summer. I want to take maximum pleasure on the pitch. That’s why when I play I try to enjoy the game as much as I can."

Strikers in straight competition

Chelsea progressed through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League at the expense of Dynamo, sizing up Slavia Prague in the next round.

All attention will turn to Sunday's league clash against Everton and who will lead the Chelsea line. Maurizio Sarri swapped miss firing Alvaro Morata for Gonzalo Higuain in the latest transfer window, the Argentine a favourite of the Italien manager after their spells at Napoli together. 

However, Higuain did not travel to Kiev after feeling unwell, leaving the door wide open for Giroud to gain the headlines. Despite his destructive displays in Europe, the 32-year-old has not started in the league since December and may have to settle for the sidelines once again.

I am not picking the team, the manager makes some choices," said Giroud to the Guardian on his and the clubs ambitions. "I play in the Europa League and I am happy to help the team to go through the stages step by step. The target is clearly to win it.

"The Premier League is another thing. Look, I’m 32 but I’m still young. I feel very well physically. I still feel as fresh as when I was in my 20s and I have the motivation to carry on."

French connection with club mates

With time running out for Chelsea to secure a Champions League spot for next season, the Blues must take advantage of an Everton side struggling for form. With the possibility of Higuain not at full health or firing on all cylinders, why would Sarri not look to his most clinically inform striker as a replacement?

Giroud's link up with those around him is a joy to witness, plus having the advantage of an extra year in London over Higuain, he has become accustomed to his team-mates playing style and thought process.

Eden Hazard once told TalkSport, "Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world; I think so.

When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him." If your talisman is talking this way, it cannot be ignored. 

It is unlikely Sarri will succumb and place Giroud into the starting lineup at the weekend, yet the towering forward's presence shouldn't be far from the mind of his manager.