Olivier Giroud has publicly claimed the fact that his scorpion kick goal on New Year’s Day against Crystal Palace was better than Manchester United creative midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal against Sunderland a week prior.
Both strikes were perfectly-executed but which one was better?
Mkhitaryan won the goal of the month award, unsurprisingly, as a result of his scorpion kick effort from close-range at Old Trafford.
Having looked dangerously close to scoring again with pass combinations in-and-around the visitors’ box, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s probing delivery was slightly behind the talented Armenian, who improvised accordingly to flick an audacious effort goalwards past the dive of Jordan Pickford.
However, once you look back at the goal, one major criticism is the fact that the 27-year-old was standing in an offside position when the ball was played towards his path and as a result, the goal shouldn’t have stood.
When compared with Giroud’s fantastic finish though, there are a few key differences between the two. Arsenal broke quickly on a counter-attacking move, one which Giroud played an initial part in with a deft backheel flick into the path of Granit Xhaka behind him. The 30-year-old Frenchman then ran from behind the centre circle into the box near the penalty spot before having the composure and quick thinking to pull off a scorpion kick of his own within a flash after Alexis Sánchez’s lofted ball over Mathieu Flamini. The fact it crashed in off the crossbar despite Wayne Hennessey’s best efforts make the strike all the more sweet to watch.
Giroud had this to say when questioned about his team-mates’ opinion on his spectacular effort: “Actually they were teasing me, saying that the Mkhitaryan one was better.”
“It’s crazy that two similar goals were scored in one week. I don’t know if I got inspired, it’s destiny. He did very well as well, but I think mine is better. But to be serious it was funny in the dressing room, we were all surprised by what happened,” Giroud further explained.
In terms of whose strike was better, both were executed to perfection and overall fantastic goals. Mkhitaryan’s helped put the icing on the cake in a comfortable 3-1 win whilst Giroud broke the deadlock in stunning fashion but as he was also involved during the build-up with a quick passing move forward, not to mention the fact he was actually onside when he struck goalwards, means that his was better in comparison.