Another Magical Olivier Giroud Header Caps His Incredible Europa League Campaign
The Europa League’s leading scorer did it again on Wednesday with his most clutch goal of the season, the one that opened the scoring against Arsenal in the 2019 Europa League Final.
Former Gunner striker Olivier Giroud headed the ball beyond former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech for a poetic start to the final.
— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) May 29, 2019
Me watching Giroud slot it past Cech before realising it isn’t 2014 pic.twitter.com/GRy2YVnHAY— ALLEGRI IS AVAILABLE (@WorldClassAFC) May 22, 2019
Giroud finishes as the competition’s leading scorer having scored one more than Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jović. His 11th of the tournament kicked off an onslaught of Chelsea goals in the second half.
He even assisted on Chelsea’s fourth, converted by Eden Hazard. It was his fourth assist of this incredible Europa League campaign.
Giroud dropped a dime for the assist on Hazard's second pic.twitter.com/EbViivo6zj— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) May 29, 2019
The Frenchman destroyed defenses in Europe but struggled to get playing time in the Premier League, tallying only seven starts domestically among his 27 EPL appearances (scoring two goals).
Giroud thinks he’s made it clear that he’s the team’s clear-cut striker, and he does have a case. Here are his other 10 goals in the Europa League.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 29, 2019
With the team lacking an elite striker, Chelsea fans have scratched their heads over his lack of playing time in favor of Gonzalo Higuain. But manager Maurizio Sarri kept the forward on the bench for the majority of the season.
Giroud will turn 33 at the beginning of the next season, his last season under contract with the team after he was given an extension back on May 21.
Chelsea will be in the Champions League next season, but a potential summer transfer ban still lingers over the club. Now it’s officially the offseason for the Blues, and for Chelsea fans, the Christian Pulisic —> Giroud era is about to begin.