Olivier Giroud: From striker to goalkeeper in one incredible match After goalkeeper was sent off:
AC Milan’s Olivier Giroud is best known for his goalscoring prowess, but he proved himself to be a more than capable goalkeeper in a bizarre Serie A match against Genoa on Saturday.
With Milan already leading 1-0 in the 98th minute, goalkeeper Mike Maignan was sent off for a dangerous challenge. Milan had used all of their substitutes, so Giroud volunteered to go in goal.
Just minutes later, Genoa goalkeeper Josep Martinez was also sent off, meaning that both teams had to finish the match with outfield players in goal.
Giroud was immediately called into action, tipping a deflected free kick onto the crossbar. He then made a crucial save in the 112th minute, rushing out to smother a shot from Genoa striker George Puscas.
Olivier Giroud’s heroics helped Milan to secure a vital three points, keeping them top of the Serie A table.
- AC Milan 1-0 Genoa
- Goalscorer: Christian Pulisic (87′)
- Red cards: Mike Maignan (AC Milan, 98′), Josep Martinez (Genoa, 103′)
- Possession: AC Milan 59%, Genoa 41%
- Shots: AC Milan 12, Genoa 7
- Shots on target: AC Milan 3, Genoa 1
Giroud’s stats in goal:
- Minutes played: 12
- Saves: 2
- Clean sheets: 1
After the match, Giroud spoke to Sky Sport Italia about his unusual experience.
“I never experienced a moment like this!” he said. “I am very proud for the team, we fought to the end, I made a good save! I was also lucky with the crossbar. We fought like lions and I am very happy for the fans.”
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Giroud also revealed that he used to play in goal as a child. “I do not have the movements of a goalkeeper, but that is what I felt,” he said. “It really hurt my arm, but that’s fine. I did like to go in goal when I was a kid, so that’s why I was chosen.”
Giroud’s performance in goal was widely praised by fans and pundits alike. Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton tweeted: “Olivier Giroud going in goal and making a save is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in football.”
Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri wrote: “Olivier Giroud is a legend. He can do everything.”
Giroud’s heroics in goal have only added to his popularity at AC Milan. He has already scored four goals in seven Serie A appearances this season, and he is now a key player in Stefano Pioli’s side.
It remains to be seen whether Giroud will ever have to go in goal again for AC Milan, but his performance against Genoa has shown that he is more than just a striker. He is a versatile player who is always willing to put the team first.
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