What a week for Olivier Giroud!
On Wednesday he scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal to keep the club in the Champions League. On Sunday, he gave the Gunners the lead in the Premier League defeat of Aston Villa, scoring from the penalty spot. That goal was the 50th of his Premier League career, so it seems an appropriate time to remember some of his best.
So, Olivier. 50 Premier League goals, but which five were (in my opinion) the best?
Just missing out are strikes against Newcastle United, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and West Ham United. Right-footed efforts, smashes of the left-foot and powerful headers all haven’t made it into my top five.
5th: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United, 2013/14
Taking a long ball out of the air and smashing it home with his RIGHT foot, this is the one of two right-footed efforts to make the cut, and when considering his best Premier League goals I realised he’s got a much better right foot than we may give him credit for.
4th: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal, 2015/16
His first of the current season, and Mesut Özil’s first assist of the campaign.
The cross was way too far behind Giroud to make anything of it…or so it seemed.
3rd: Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle, 2014/15
Giroud’s favourite type of goal. He makes his favoured run – in front of the near post – and uses the outside of the left foot to take all the weight off the ball and guide it into the near post. Perfection.
2nd: Southampton 2-2 Arsenal, 2013/14
The only game on this list Arsenal didn’t win. Struggling and behind on the south coast, Giroud’s special Cruyffed effort with his weaker foot got us back into the game.
One of the daintiest goals he’s scored in an Arsenal shirt, and one of the most unappreciated.
1st: Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur, 2013/14
It had to be, didn’t it? Scoring the winner in a north London derby is great. Scoring the only goal in a north London derby is amazing. Doing both after an entire summer of fans demanding a striker is about as good as it gets.
And how did he do it? With the archetypal Giroud run and finish, of course.
Here’s to the next 50, Olivier!