Olivier Giroud’s surprising inclusion in Serie A’s Team of the Week came after his exceptional performance as AC Milan’s goalkeeper, stealing the spotlight away from his usual goal-scoring prowess.
In a critical juncture of the game where Milan clung to a delicate 1-0 lead, their primary goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, received a red card for a challenge on Caleb Ekuban, following a serious foul play ruling by VAR.
With mere minutes left in stoppage time and no substitutes available for AC Milan, Giroud showcased his extraordinary team spirit.
Fearlessly, he embraced the challenge, donning Maignan’s gloves and jersey, and courageously positioned himself between the goalposts, demonstrating his adaptability and unwavering dedication to the team.
The defining moment arrived when the 37-year-old made a spectacular save, sprinting off his line to intercept a high ball. With reflexes reminiscent of a cat, he expertly snatched the ball mid-air, securing it safely.
This exceptional save proved pivotal, ensuring Milan’s victory and preserving their leading position in the league standings. Giroud’s versatility and commitment have undoubtedly left a lasting impression on fans and pundits alike.
In a playful response to Giroud’s unexpected goalkeeping brilliance, AC Milan humorously designated him as a goalkeeper on the club’s website.
They even released a ‘Giroud 9’ goalkeeper jersey for enthusiastic fans to purchase.
Serie A enthusiastically joined the fun, naming the versatile French forward as the goalkeeper in their prestigious Team of the Week.
With a pivotal clash against Juventus on the horizon, Giroud is anticipated to revert to his familiar position, where he has carved out a stellar career at the highest echelons of the game.
Nevertheless, should a similar situation arise, manager Stefano Pioli can find solace in Giroud’s newfound versatility, knowing he can depend on the Frenchman to step into the goalkeeper’s role once more.
Giroud’s exceptional goalkeeping display not only earned him recognition in the Team of the Week but also played a pivotal role in securing Milan a vital victory, clinching all three points in the match.
His adaptability and outstanding contribution have undoubtedly left a lasting mark on Milan’s journey to success.
The lone goal of the game was scored by American international Christian Pulisic, displaying his skills with a well-executed finish just three minutes from the final whistle.
Milan swiftly embraced Giroud’s unexpected star turn, humorously categorizing him as a goalkeeper on their official squad list and offering fans the chance to purchase goalkeeper kits featuring his name and number.
The response from supporters was overwhelming, leading to a rapid sell-out of the merchandise.
Reflecting on the extraordinary match, Giroud expressed his pride in the team’s performance, stating: “I’ve never experienced that in my career, and I’m proud of the whole team. We fought like lions.”
“The final stop? I made a great save at the end. (The stop felt) almost like a goal.”
“I said to myself, Go, better to go out than stay in goal.”
“I don’t have the automatisms of a goalkeeper but I felt it that way. Puscas massacred my arm but it’s okay.”
Source : http://20newshub.com