It was a trademark Olivier Giroud goal that secured a precious victory over Atletico Madrid in Bucharest last night, and afterwards the striker analysed his decisive moment and the collective effort required to blunt our Spanish opponents.
Littered throughout Giroud’s glittering career have been an enviable collection of exquisite acrobatic efforts. This will compete with the very best of them, not least because of the occasion and the fact it settled a tight contest in our favour.
‘I didn’t know what to think about the goal, I was just trying to focus on hitting the ball well,’ explained Giroud.
‘I love overhead kicks and I was pleased to see the ball hit the back of the net. I had no idea about being offside or not. Mase told me the touch came from the defender. It was not off so it was good for the team and me.
‘We know the importance of the away goal in European competitions. That’s why I am very pleased to help the team to win the game.’
Giroud had three rugged Atleti centre-backs for company but helped keep them occupied with his blend of strength and savviness. He also contributed to a solid team performance that prevented the La Liga leaders from displaying much attacking threat.
‘We came with strong intentions to win the game and play our game. We analysed well their game and we knew how we could prevent a goal defensively. We were very strong at the back all together, good defensive shape, we played with more urgency and we deserved it.
'We faced a very great team and we were very committed. We knew their strengths and we dealt with that. We were confident in our qualities.
‘We just need now to stay focused,’ added the Frenchman.
‘We know they are strong away so we will need to show the same determination. In the Champions League small details count. We will give everything to go through in the second leg.’