Hat-trick hitman Olivier Giroud lauded the Chelsea display following Thursday night’s dismantling of Dynamo Kiev.
Giroud netted his seventh, eighth and ninth Europa League goals of the season to help us into the last eight of the competition, securing a ‘perfect’ hat-trick with one right-footed, one left-footed and one headed finish, as well as playing important roles in the build-up as Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi also found the net to secure a memorable 5-0 win.
‘Our target tonight was to win the game,’ the striker said. ‘I was very pleased with the goals I scored and the assist I gave to Callum. It was a great team performance today.
‘When I am on the pitch I try to give everything for the team. In the second part [of the season] I play mostly, if I can say, in the Europa League games, so that’s why I score many less goals in the championship.’
Indeed, he is now the Europa League’s top scorer this season, with opportunity to add to that tally to come now we are safely through to the quarter-finals.
We will discover our opponents on Friday afternoon, and Giroud admits it is a trophy we are very eager to lift in Baku at the end of May.
‘It’s a big target for us, the last chance to win something,’ the 32-year-old explained. We want to qualify for the Champions League next year. We need to finish in the top four but we want to win the Europa league, that’s the target. There are some big teams still so it’s very interesting to carry on in this competition.’
Asked which of his three goals on the night he was most pleased with, he paused to think before it was the one struck with his weaker right foot that brought him most joy
‘Maybe the second one because Marcos gave me the ball into my path at the right time and place, it was a right-foot finish so it was unusual for me!’ he smiled.
‘The third, it was a cross from Willian, we work on it a lot in training and tonight we did well from set-pieces. It’s nice when you can score from set-pieces.’