Olivier Giroud, the Europa League’s top scorer this season, admitted after our first leg in Germany last night that Chelsea should have added to the single goal we netted in the draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Blues fly back home today level in the tie at 1-1 ahead of next Thursday’s second leg, after Pedro cancelled out Luka Jovic’s goal with a sweet strike shortly before half-time. The dangerous Jovic is now one behind Giroud’s 10 goals in this season’s Europa League.
‘It is a good result but if we look at the game we can be frustrated,’ said our France international centre-forward. ‘Even though they scored the goal, we finished the first half better and in the second half we had so many chances and we should have scored goals, so we feel a bit frustrated after the game.
‘Eintracht Frankfurt defended very compactly and deep. I think they knew how we wanted to use our midfielders. They defended very aggressively. They faded a bit towards the end of the game because maybe by then they were very tired but you have to say they played a great game, but even though we could have won this game we are in a good position.’
However the experienced Giroud is not going as far as saying Chelsea are now favourites to progress from our tie and make the final.
‘We need to finish the job, we must respect these opponents,’ he said. ‘Frankfurt are a good team and they will have Ante Rebic back.’ The Croatian international striker served a suspension last night.
‘He is a good player, I played against him in the World Cup. But we have a good chance to go through.’
Before the semi-final is decided though, there is the equally important task of continuing our challenge for a top-four place in the Premier League. We play Watford at home on Sunday with our final league game to come after the Europa League second leg. That is away at Leicester.
‘We are going to take one after the other one,’ said Giroud. ‘We have our destiny in our hands so we just need to focus on ourselves. We need to show character and we need to play with freedom. To play in the Champions League is massive for us and we need to win these two games.’