Head of the class
Inside Blue Mon 19 Feb 2018
Olivier Giroud got his first goal for Chelsea on only his second start for the Blues, but the only surprise was that it didn't come from his head.
The Frenchman opened his account for his new club in front of the Stamford Bridge fans in Friday's 4-0 victory over Hull City in the FA Cup. Given that Giroud is arguably the best attacking header of the ball in English football, and now playing for the team packing the biggest aerial threat in the top flight, many expected his opening goal to come with one of his trademark headers, but if the statistics are anything to go by, maybe he is just saving it for the Premier League.
Since the 31-year-old came to these shores in the summer of 2012, joining Arsenal from Montpellier in his native France, no player has scored more goals from headers than Giroud.
In total, 27 of Giroud's 73 goals in the Premier League have come with his head, two more than his closest rival Christian Benteke. Even when you open it up to include every header since the Premier League began in 1992, only Peter Crouch is ahead of Giroud on the all-time list. To put that into context, he is a full 10 headed goals in front of Chelsea legends Didier Drogba and John Terry, and any Blues fan knows how potent those two could be in the air.
However, he may find his biggest rival for the crown of the Premier League's biggest aerial threat coming from one of his new team-mates, as since Alvaro Morata arrived from Real Madrid last summer, it is actually he who has the highest number of headed goals.
The Spaniard has six to his name this season, putting him one in front of Tottenham's Harry Kane and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.
Two of Giroud's Premier League headers have already come this season with Arsenal, but the stats also suggest it won't be long before he's adding to his tally with Chelsea, given that no top-flight side has scored more headed goals than us in 2017/18.
We have found the net through that method 13 times so far, two ahead of the next best - which, fittingly, is Giroud's former club, Arsenal.
The Gunners are still four headed goals in front us at the top of the all-time list, surely no coincidence when they've had our new French striker to aim their crosses at for the last six years, but now with the Premier League's two best headers of the ball lining up in attack for the team which scores the most headers, surely it is only a matter of time before we usurp their place on that throne.