Olivier Giroud’s fairytale story this season continues to grow, it has been a tale of hard work and professionalism despite being out of favour.
The Frenchman peeled off his marker to plant a trademark clinical header from Christian Pulisic’s cross against Norwich for his third goal in four games. The goal provided the priceless three points for Chelsea’s fifth straight win at home to strengthen their place in the top four on Lampard’s 50th game in charge of Chelsea.
Despite a nervy win over their already-relegated opponents, the crucial win keeps Chelsea four points above Leicester City and Man United, with Giroud getting some much-deserved appreciation as he registers three goals in his last three starts.
3 – Olivier Giroud has scored in three successive Premier League starts for the first time since January 2017 when netting six in a row when starting for Arsenal. Furthermore, the Frenchman has scored in six of his last eight Premier League starts for Chelsea. Magnifique. pic.twitter.com/ZnlttYvVHe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 14, 2020
Giroud’s determination has been there for all to see in an inconsistent side as he leads by example being one of the experienced legs in the team. The striker’s continued form since breaking back into the starting lineup pre-lockdown has been impressive and typical of the man. His work rate has been exemplary, too, as he maintains his blossoming relationship with his wingers.
Since the restart, his immense form has seen him put away clinical finishes on the way to victory against Aston Villa, Watford and Crystal Palace which all displayed his lethal touch in the box. The 33-year-old’s hold-up play is up there with the best in the world and has helped in-form Willian and Pulisic to thrive since the restart. Par for the course, Giroud has been magnificent whilst Tammy Abraham has suffered an expected dip in form in his breakthrough season with the Chelsea first team.
When he was frozen out for most of the first half of the season and seemed set on a move to Inter Milan in January, Giroud’s professionalism has drawn constant praise from Lampard all season. Now, he has become a key player in a key moment of the season.
With Chelsea’s insipid defence threatening to derail their top four bid at the backend of the season, the World Cup winner’s determination in leading from the front can drag them over the line much like it did against the Canaries.
On the prospect of Chelsea’s exciting attacking setup with new acquisitions Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech next season, Giroud would be licking his lips at the quality around him, knowing he can prove decisive again.
Frank Lampard clearly needs defensive reinforcements over the summer transfer window. However, in Giroud, he has an important player with the Midas touch.