The 34-year-old French center-forward performed so well in the game that he left Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel filled with praises of him. The German tactician described the striker as a player who trains like a 20-year-old and said the Frenchman is a strong factor in his team.
Olivier Giroud has been at Chelsea since January 31, 2018. He was almost frustrated out of the club during the 2019-2020 season due to a lack of regular game time.
Towards the end of his contract with Chelsea, the London club extended his stay at the club until June 2021. Ever since Thomas Tuchel became the coach of the club, the German tactician has shown relatively low interest in the football star than his predecessor Frank Lampard. But that has never discouraged the player.
So far under Tuchel, the French veteran striker has played four games in all competitions in which he scored two goals. His performance against Atletico Madrid in Chelsea’s Champions League last 16 first leg on Tuesday could make him more indispensable in the current set of the team.
Tuchel said: “If you see him daily, you cannot be surprised. He is totally fit, his body is in shape and his physicality is on the top level.
“Mentally I have really the feeling he enjoys every day being a professional soccer player on this level and this is the level he needs to be.
“He trains like a 20-year-old, as a 24-year-old. He is a guy who has a good mixture of seriousness and joy in training. He is always positive and it is a big factor for the group.
“He starts, when he comes from the bench, he has all these qualities and it is good like this.”
Besides Olivier Giroud’s factor in the Champions League game, Chelsea outplayed Atletico Madrid in most parts of the match. The Premier League side dominated in almost all aspects of the game.
Chelsea played so beautifully that they made 677 passes against Atletico Madrid’s 397 passes. Chelsea enjoyed 64 percent of the ball possession while Atletico Madrid managed 36 percent of the ball possession.
At the end of the game, Chelsea had 11 shots, 5 of which were on target. While Atletico had six shots and none was on target.
“I am super happy for my players and the team for such a big reward”, Tuchel said after the game. “We actually can read it on the scoreline that we have the result against top opponents.
“It was very important that we are absolutely concentrated overall 96 minutes and that we also accept that it’s very hard to create chances, but we did all that and it was a very good team effort.”
'We controlled the whole match and kept a clean sheet which is amazing!' 💪— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 24, 2021
The boss' view. pic.twitter.com/DZ6zvM8pgW
While Atletico Madrid’s coach Diego Simeone said: “I understood we had to play like this. I think the main problem was we didn’t have a lot of precision about taking back the ball.
“It was a hard game, no one had a lot of chances of scoring but also it was very difficult with their attack because they have really strong and quality players.”