Yet to find the back of the net for Chelsea this season, Olivier Giroud showed on Sunday he still knows what he’s doing in front of goal by helping France beat Holland in the Nations League.
Anticipating Benjamin Mendy’s cross ahead of Virgil Van Dijk, the veteran forward rifled in a volley from close range, which Jasper Cillessen could do nothing about.
This was Giroud’s first goal for club and country since May 28th, when he scored against Ireland in a World Cup warm-up game, and you could see what it meant to him in his celebration.
After the game, the Chelsea forward explained his feelings to the press, praising the fans in the process.
He said, relayed by Le Parisien: “I’m filled with joy to be supported by a crowd like that. They didn’t let go, even when we conceded the equaliser. They were always behind us and we wanted to fight for them until the end.
“It’s always difficult to come back as world champions, but we wanted to do well in our first home game.”
Continuing by saying he was ‘very happy’ for France and the result they pulled off, Giroud’s team mentality is what earned him a lot of praise throughout the tournament in Russia despite not scoring.
This was emphasised by Didier Deschamps, who said: “I’m very happy for Olivier. It happens that strikers go through dry spells. Like I said before, he’s often unfairly criticised.
“You can’t ask him to do what other strikers do, but he’s very important for the team. It’s when he’s not there that you realise how useful he is. The players know this. We need him and we will need him.”
Next up for Giroud, a home game at Stamford Bridge against Cardiff, where he’ll be hoping to get his first start ahead of Alvaro Morata.